Corona/Covid-19 - FAQ for PhD students

Special circumstances at the individual graduate schools may apply. Contact your graduate school for more information.

PhD projects and courses

What does the government's announcement that research labs are gradually reopening mean to me?

PhD students at the university’s locations in Jutland and on Funen can return to their work place

The new political agreement reached on 20 May on the next phase of the reopening of Danish society means that PhD students who work at the university’s locations in Jutland and on Funen will have access to their workplace at the university. 

For the Capital Region of Denmark and Region Zealand, the additional reopening applies to PhD students whose research requires physical attendance. 

The reopening must comply with the guidelines laid down by the authorities and will involve a number of restrictions.

You will be informed by your management about when, and under what conditions, you can return to your work place. 

Read more on the Information about Corona Page 

I’m working on my PhD thesis, but I’m having problems because of the COVID-19 situation – what should I do?

Most importantly, you should contact your principal supervisor for help in adjusting your PhD plan so that it will be possible to complete your PhD by the deadline. Your amended PhD plan must still meet the requirements for a PhD programme.

The COVID-19 situation is not in itself a valid reason for granting an extension to your PhD.

Any applications for extension will be processed on the basis of an individual, specific assessment. The assessment will be carried out by the graduate school management at your graduate school on the basis of the school's guidelines. The graduate school management will make the final decision in the case.

Can I apply for an exemption for course ECTS credits for a PhD course that has been cancelled?

If a planned PhD course has been cancelled or postponed because of the COVID-19 situation, you should complete the course when it is offered again if at all possible. Some courses will be reorganised as online courses, and you should keep regularly check on your graduate school’s website for information about this.

I am supposed to hand in my PhD thesis during the university shutdown. How can I hand in my PhD thesis?

All PhD theses should be submitted online. See your graduate school website for the procedure at your specific graduate school.

If your graduate school normally asks for a printed version of the thesis, this will not apply during the university shutdown.

My PhD defence is scheduled for a date during the university shutdown. How will it be conducted?

Due to the COVID-19 situation, PhD defences at AU will be conducted virtually. Please contact your graduate school for further information.

Employment conditions

Where can I find more information about my employment situation at Aarhus University?

If you are employed as a PhD student at Aarhus University, you can find answers to a number of questions about your employment and the coronavirus on the Staff website.

Can I get unpaid leave from my PhD programme?

In general, the COVID-19 situation does not constitute a basis for granting leave, unless this is considered appropriate in relation to the PhD programme.

Contact your principal supervisor for a discussion of what is best for your PhD programme. An assessment of the leave application will be based on an individual, specific assessment. The assessment is carried out by the graduate school management at your graduate school, who will also make a decision in the case.

Change of research environment/study period abroad

Can I apply for exemption from the requirement for a change of research environment if the stay has been cancelled or interrupted?

If your change of research environment/study period abroad has been cancelled or interrupted due to the COVID-19 situation, you should first contact your principal supervisor. Together, you can discuss your PhD plan and assess the possibilities for a new change of research environment.

I am doing research/studying abroad. Am I insured during the COVID-19 situation?

If you were given an insurance card from Aarhus University before the start of your stay abroad, you can find information on the current rules on the Staff website 

If you are enrolled on a flexible PhD scheme (4+4 or 3+5) and you are on part A (and you did not receive an insurance card from Aarhus University before the date of departure), the same insurance rules apply as for Master's students. Read more on the Study Portal 

Work and residence permits

I am an international PhD student at AU with a work and residence permit in Denmark. What are the consequences of the COVID-19 situation for me?

The corona page for international academic staff (IAS) has answers to a number of questions about your work and residence permit in Denmark in relation to coronavirus. See the IAS corona page 

Crisis response

I want to participate in the crises response at the hospital. What do I do?

PhD students at the Graduate School of Health can find information at the Graduate School of Health website. 

If you want to participate in the crisis response full time or part time, you can apply for leave from your PhD programme, and your enrolment and scholarship can be extended accordingly. To apply for leave, please contact your graduate school. Any applications for extension will be processed on the basis of an individual, specific assessment. 

For further information about applying for leave, contact your graduate school.