PhD guidelines

Here you can find information about the PhD programme at the Department of Management:

Information for MGMT PhD students

Here you can download an overview of useful information for MGMT PhD students:

PhD planner guidelines

MGMT Guidelines regarding the PhD planner report - for supervisors and PhD students

To ensure that we get the right pieces of information at the right time fed into the PhD planner system, the attention should be directed towards the following:

1. The system should be adequately and timely updated by 31 January and by 31 August or as stipulated by the Aarhus BSS Graduate School. After the student has uploaded the information, the supervisor must approve it.

2. Particular attention should be paid to (i) coursework (i.e. registered ECTS points) and (ii) the stay abroad. Both issues are explicitly appearing at the upper left corner at the front page where the student and the supervisor are both asked to indicate if the study is expected to lead to timely completion (or not). Normally most students will do the majority of their coursework during year one, and if there are major deviations from this practice, it should be addressed in the individual reports made by the students and the supervisors (there might be perfectly sound reasons for a specific deviation, however, such reasons must be explicated in the student and supervisor reports).

3. Attention should also be paid to the following formal requirements: (i) enrolled students will have to include in their plan for course work, MGMT and DOME PhD courses, in total 20 ECTS (cf. the guidelines for BSS), of which 15 ECTS will come from the 3 obligatory MGMT courses namely Linear Statistical Models, The Role of Theory in Business Research, Advanced Qualitative Research Methodologies: Ethnography, Case Studies, Grounded Theory and Action Research. The next 5 ECTS must thus come from the existing PhD courses offered by MGMT faculty or DOME or from other BSS departments. The remaining 10 ECTS can then be achieved from specific doctoral courses from other universities in Denmark or abroad after recommendation from the supervisor and approval by the head of the programme.  

4. Students as well as supervisors should provide an individual report of 5-8 lines stating the key deliveries so far and their forthcoming plans. In this report, the not yet achieved ECTS points and the stay abroad must be addressed. If this is not the case, the report will not be approved. The individual reports are very important as they provide more in-depth assessments from those that are supposed to have the deepest and most updated information. In the case of a potential problem later on, these individual reports may become important documents with valuable information.

PhD Assessment Committees

MGMT procedure for appointment of assessment committees

The MGMT procedure for appointment of PhD assessment committees adheres to the BSS Graduate School’s Rules and regulations for the PhD programme, section 12: “Assessment and defence of PhD dissertation”. 

Please specifically pay attention to the “Conflict of interest” section 12.1: 

“There must be no conflict of interest between the members of the assessment and the PhD student and PhD dissertation, cf. the Rules on conflict of interest in Danish Public Administration Act. Thus, the members are not allowed to have: 

•   a personal or financial interest in the outcome of the defence

•   prepared, submitted or published articles with the PhD student.” 

A “personal interest in the outcome of the defence” can refer to instances where the committee member has already assessed significant parts of the PhD student’s later stage work in a formalized way as might be the case for e.g. 3rd year presentations. More informal feedback at earlier stages and on smaller parts of the PhD dissertation e.g. through research group seminars or informal individual meetings will normally not be considered as a conflict of interest. 

Please also keep in mind that the acknowledgement section of the dissertation needs to be formulated in a way that it does not leave any doubt about the impartiality of the assessment committee members. 

In reasonable time before the expected submission of the dissertation, the MGMT PhD administration contacts the main supervisor:

·       to confirm the expected submission date

·       to ask for a proposal for an assessment committee 

The proposal should list 3 internationally recognised scholars within the field of the dissertation with the rank of full or associate professorship. The chair of the committee must come from the MGMT faculty. The other two members must be from external institutions, at least one of which from an institution outside of Denmark. 

The main supervisor ensures (informally) that the suggested potential members of the committee are willing to undertake the assignment incl. coming to Aarhus University for the defence. 

It is important that the main supervisor reasons the proposal by writing 2-4 line as how the research of the proposed members specifically links to the PhD student’s project etc. The proposal must include links to the proposed members CVs and their email addresses. 

The main supervisor forwards the proposal for the assessment committee to the Head of the MGMT PhD programme, cc the MGMT PhD administration. 

In case of doubt, do not hesitate to get in contact with the Head of the MGMT PhD programme.

Mentor scheme at MGMT

The purpose of the mentor scheme is to improve the work experience of new PhD students and other faculty and improve their integration into the department’s routines and activities. In particular our ambition is to create more interaction and better collaboration between foreign PhDs and new faculty and the rest of the department.

The mentor scheme will have a set-up with informal meetings between the mentor and the mentee as the key activity. There are no formal rules for these meetings, but the department suggests that they take place monthly, perhaps over lunch or coffee. We also suggest that the mentor is available – within reason – to the mentee for ideas and advice on problems and situations as they occur during the mentee’s first months at the department.

The mentoring relationship officially ends after six months.

All new PhD students, postdocs or assistant professors will be assigned a mentor upon arrival at the department. The mentor will be selected among the department’s professors, associate professors and experienced assistant professors. The head of the section to which the new staff member belongs is in charge of appointing the mentor. It will be the responsibility of the mentee to approach the mentor.

The mentor will offer advice and ideas about life as an academic both in general and at the university and the department, based on his/her own experience. The mentor is not supposed to act as a second supervisor, nor is the mentor expected to be familiar with the mentee’s particular research area.

Mentorship is considered to be part of the job description of a faculty member; no teaching hours will be allocated nor will pay supplements be given for acting as mentor.

PhD students' max. level of costs

Being a PhD student at the Department of Management means that you have up to 60,000 DKK to spend during your PhD study – up to 30,000 in connection with stays abroad (for stays of 3 months or longer) and another 30,000 DKK for e.g.:

  • PhD courses
  • conferences
  • travels
  • student assistant working hours
  • books
  • software
  • data collection
  • etc.

All costs within the budget of 30,000 DKK have to be approved beforehand by your main supervisor and then by Birgitte Hellstern.

All PhD students will within a 3 months’ notice after enrolment be asked to provide a budget for their PhD period to be worked out in collaboration with their supervisors. The budget must be sent to Birgitte Hellstern as she will control your budget throughout your PhD study.

This also means that when you claim your expenses in RejsUd, you must NOT press the ‘Complete Send’ button in RejsUd (Step 4). Instead, you must send an email to Birgitte telling her that you have a claim in progress. She will then compare the money spent with your budget and send your claim onwards in the system.

PhD students’ travel and expense applications and/or claims


1. Fill out the Expense Form – inclusive your AU ID ?mandatory for PhD students (you can find your AU ID here:

2. If applying for books – write the title(s) of the book(s)

3. Signatures:

  • Your main supervisor must sign all expense forms/travel applications before any purchase.
  • Put the expense form in Birgitte Hellstern’s pigeonhole.

How to apply for co-financing of stays abroad in connection with PhD study*

The stay abroad (or deviations) must, apart from appearing from the individual PhD plan, also be approved by the head of the Aarhus BSS Graduate School, re. Rules and regulations for the PhD degree programme  

You have to apply by sending an e-mail to the head of the MGMT PhD programme (cc the MGMT PhD administration): an overview of your PhD plan, a project description, a budget, a description of the expected outcome of your stay/contribution to your PhD study, an invitation from a university, recommendation from your supervisor. The conditions as stipulated in the below must be fulfilled:

‘Head of department will co-finance stays abroad with up to 30,000 DKK based on refund of actual costs as reported in RejsUd. Application for co-financing must be submitted to the head of MGMT PhD programme prior to the stay abroad. Stays abroad must be of at least 3 months duration (in continuation).

The MGTM co-financing is granted regardless of external funding. This implies that there is no requirement that external funding has been/will be sought to get access to this funding.

When you want to use any of the granted money, you must follow the usual procedure and hand in travel applications or expense forms to either Ulla, Birgitte or Jonna for signature. They will then keep track of how much money you spend from your stay abroad grant. Please always include “Stay abroad-grant” on the travel applications/expense forms – if you fail to, the money will be deducted from your ordinary PhD budget. The project number is 10569 and Ulla, Birgitte or Joanna will give you the relevant activity number to use since this depends on the type of expense.

You must comply with the rules and regulations of Aarhus University and it is your responsibility that the costs do not exceed the 30,000 DKK granted. Please read this page carefully and refer to all conditions herein mentioned.

Please note especially that your costs of living cannot be covered by the amount granted and you cannot have refund for the same costs from two sources (e.g. the department and some external funding). Please also note that external funding has to be spent before your MGMT funding.

In addition to the above, the MGMT department will as of 1 January 2016 guarantee a deficit of up to max. 30,000 DKK PROVIDED that you have applied for funding from at least five of the following funds:

(please note that most of these websites are in Danish only)

Documentation in the form of applications and answers from at least five of the above-mentioned funds must be enclosed if the deficit guarantee is going to be in force.