Defence

The defence takes place after the handling of the assessment committee’s preliminary recommendation and not later than three months after submission of the thesis. However, two weeks at the earliest after the assessment committee has submitted its recommendation. The month of July is not included when calculating the deadline.
 
The principal supervisor arranges with the members of the assessment committee (examiners) and the PhD student a date and time for the defence. The defence must take place at DTU.
 
The principal supervisor publishes the date and time for the defence proceedings in the engineering weekly Ingeniøren (in the section on meetings, congresses, etc.), registers the time of the defence in the DTU calendar no later than two weeks before the defence and notifies DTU Avisen, redaktion@dtuavisen.dk. Furthermore the posting of the defence must be sent to the PhD Office through DTU DOC, CAS Serviceafdelingen, and the chairperson presiding over defence.

 
The notice must state how a thesis abstract can be obtained and also that a copy of the thesis is presented for inspection at the PhD school in question.
 
The principal supervisor appoints an associated professor or professor at DTU to preside over the defence (to be the chairperson). Members of the assessment committee as well as principal and co-supervisors cannot be appointed chairperson. A chairperson’s checklist of the defence proceedings can be found in the menu on the right hand side. The principal supervisor sees to it that the chairperson receives the following materials:

a) a copy of the advertisement of the defence
b) a signed and dated copy of the thesis (incl. summaries)

The time limit for the defence is three hours, 45 minutes of which are set aside for the PhD student’s independent presentation of the main results of the thesis (lecture). The assessment committee is in charge of the assessment of the defence. The defence must be conducted in English unless a dispensation is given.

 
The 45-minutes set for the lecture itself must be observed. If a lecture is of considerably shorter duration, the assessment committee may require a new defence. In case of considerable exceeding of the time limit, the chairperson must interfere offering the PhD student the opportunity of a very brief conclusion.
 
In connection with the defence, the members of the assessment committee and the supervisors are entitled to ask questions to the PhD student concerning the scientific work.
 
Others may also ask the PhD student questions concerning the scientific work. Any such question must be limited to 15 minutes, including the time necessary to reply.
 
Immediately after the defence, the assessment committee must make their recommendation as to whether the PhD degree should be awarded. This is the responsibility of the head of the committee. The recommendation must be justified and if there is disagreement, the decision must be based on majority of votes. The recommendation is to be forwarded to the Office for PhD and Continuing Education.
 
If the recommendation of the assessment committee is negative, the head of the PhD school may decide that the PhD thesis is to be assessed by a new assessment committee if the PhD student requests so within one week. The request is to be sent to the Office for PhD and Continuing Education.
 
The principal supervisor will receive the forms used for the recommendation of the assessment committee together with the notification of approval of the assessment committee.
 
In rare cases DTU may grant the PhD student an exemption in such a way that the defence can be held with only two of the three members of the assessment committee present. Contact the Office for PhD and Continuing Education in order to apply for an exemption.
 
If necessary, in order to observe the regulations of publication in the act on inventions at public research institutions or the act of inventions of employees or if other specific circumstances apply, the institution may decide to postpone the defence for one month. A postponement of the defence implies a reciprocal agreement between the parties involved, including when the defence can take place.

Further information