Prize theses

Pursuant to section 27 of the Examination Order, Ministerial Order no. 1062 of 30 Juni 2016 on University Examinations and Grading (Eksamensbekendtgørelsen), the university may stipulate rules for announcing and converting prize theses.  

Aarhus University hereby stipulates the following rules for prize theses at Aarhus University: 

Announcement of prize theses

1.-(1) At Aarhus University, a number of prize theses are announced each year. The theses submitted may be awarded a gold medal or an 'accessit'. 

(2) The prize theses are normally announced in Danish. However, theses in foreign languages may be announced in the relevant language. 

2.-(1) The rector issues a call for prize thesis proposals from the main academic areas each year in February. 

(2) The dean collects proposals from the main academic area's departments, schools and centres. Following consultation with the Academic Council, the dean decides how many and which prize theses to announce within the main academic area. Following consultation with the Academic Council, the dean approves the wordings of the prize theses and fixes a deadline for submitting theses, see clause 3. 

(3) The main academic areas submit the wordings of the prize theses to the rector before 1 June. The rector arranges for the publication of the prize theses on the university's website. 

Deadlines and conditions for submitting theses

3.-(1) The deadline for submitting prize theses must be fixed between 12 and 24 months after the announcement of the prize thesis. 

(2) In special cases, the rector may, based on a recommendation from the dean, approve an extension to a deadline for submitting theses already fixed. 

4. Prize theses may be co-authored by up to three authors. If theses are written by more than one author, the contribution of each author must be clearly distinguishable. It must appear from the thesis itself or from an enclosed declaration who is responsible for what. 

5.-(1) Work which has previously been submitted for assessment in the form of a PhD dissertation, Master's thesis, group of topics etc. cannot be submitted as a prize thesis. When submitting a prize thesis, the author(s) must declare in writing that the thesis has not previously been submitted to the same or another educational establishment for assessment. 

(2) If a part of the thesis, a variant of the thesis in terms of content or form or another thesis of relevance to it has previously been submitted for assessment, the author must submit a written declaration explaining the relationship between the new thesis and such earlier thesis. The assessment committee appointed decides whether the new thesis is of a sufficiently independent nature for it to be assessed as a prize thesis. 

Formal requirements and submission of theses

6.-(1) The prize theses must be written in Danish, Norwegian, Swedish, English, German or French. The dean may grant permission for theses to be written in a different language. 

(2) Theses must be submitted in the name of the author in the format and at the place and on the date fixed in connection with the announcement of the prize thesis. The main academic area checks that the formal requirements for submission are complied with.   


7.-(1) Within one month of having received the thesis and upon consultation with the relevant department, the dean appoints an assessment committee consisting of two or three members.  

(2) In so far as is possible, members of the assessment committee are appointed from among the university's most obvious expert lecturers. However, the dean may ask one or two scientists from outside the university to become members of the committee. One member of the committee must always be an expert lecturer from the main academic area. 

8.-(1) The committee submits a substantiated written recommendation in Danish, in which the awarding of a gold medal or an accessit is recommended or stating that the thesis cannot be recommended for an award. In the event of disagreement on the committee, a substantiated written recommendation is submitted for each of the viewpoints represented. If the thesis is by more than one author, a separate recommendation is made for each of them. 

(2) The dean sends a copy of the recommendation to the author. At the same time, the author is allowed two weeks to submit his or her comments, if any, on the recommendation unless the committee is unanimous in its recommendation of awarding a gold medal. Any comments by the author are presented to the assessment committee which is thus given an opportunity to revise or further substantiate its recommendation. 

9.-(1) Based on the committee's recommendation and a statement from the Academic Council, the dean decides the awarding of a prize. The dean may only award a prize if a majority of the members of the assessment committee – or one member of a committee consisting of only two members – has recommended the awarding of the prize in question.  

(2) The thesis, the recommendation submitted and the dean's substantiated decision is sent to the rector within three months of the main academic area having received the theses at the latest. 

(3) The names of authors of theses which are not awarded a prize are not made public. 


10.-(1) The prize is either a gold medal or a certificate to the effect that the thesis obtained an accessit. The author of a thesis obtaining an accessit also receives a cash prize. 

(2) The front of each medal features the Aarhus University seal and the inscription 'Solidum petit in profundis'; on the back, the name of the prize winner and the year of the award are inscribed, surrounded by a laurel wreath. 

(3) The prizes are presented to the relevant authors by the rector, the dean or the head of department. 

(4) The rector issues a certificate stating that the main academic area in question has decided to award the university's gold medal or an accessit for the thesis.  

(5) Within a deadline stipulated by the rector, the authors may request that they be paid the equivalent of the cost of producing a gold medal in cash rather than receive the medal. 

Converting to Master's thesis

11. Pursuant to section 25 of the Examination Order, and following consultation with the Academic Council, the dean may for each degree programme offered by the main academic area stipulate that prize theses are converted to a Master's thesis. Prize theses which have been awarded a gold medal are given the mark 12. Other theses, including theses which have been awarded an accessit, are given a mark based on a statement thereon from the assessment committee which assessed the thesis in accordance with clause 7.  

Filing and use of theses

12.-(1) A copy of each thesis is filed in the main academic area's archives, from which it may be borrowed by persons having obtained the author's written consent.  

(2) The author owns the copyright to the thesis and may publish it in a changed or unchanged version. If, in connection with the publication of a thesis, it is stated that the thesis was awarded the university's gold medal or an accessit, the relationship between the prize thesis and the published work must be stated. 

Amendment of rules, exemptions and appeals

13. The rector may amend the rules on prize theses with effect from such time when the next announcement of prize theses for a given year is made. 

14. The rector may in very special circumstances grant exemptions from the prize thesis rules following consultation with the dean. 

15. A main academic area can, within the scope of these rules, stipulate supplementary rules concerning prize theses at such main academic area.  

16. Legal questions related to the university's decisions on student matters may be brought before the minister in accordance with the rules laid down by the minister, see section 34(1) of the Danish University Act (Ministerial Order no. 367 of 25 March 2013 as amended) (Universitetsloven).