Leave of absence

PhD students may apply for leave of absence of minimum one month and up to one year during the entire period of study.

The PhD Office must receive the application for leave of abscence before the leave is commenced and no later than one month before the ending date of the PhD study. No salary is paid out during the leave of absence.

Application for leave of absence need not be motivated, but by signing the application, the principal supervisor as well as the head of the PhD school/head of department confirm that the studies can be resumed without any problems at the expiration of the leave of absence.

The leave of absence must not be spent working on the PhD project.

Please find the form that should be used in connection with applying for leave of absence at DTU Inside.


Rules for unpaid leave/part-time employment for non-Nordic/EU/EEA/Swiss citizens


Taking unpaid leave or part-time employment may result in loss of work and residence permit.


Unpaid leave
Non-Nordic/EU/EEA/Swiss citizens must apply for unpaid leave no later than 2 months before the leave is to commence, and no later than two months before the ending date of the PhD study.

Please note that non-Nordic/EU/EEA/Swiss citizens, who have a permit valid for a specific job, are NOT allowed to take unpaid leave if you plan to reside in Denmark during the unpaid  leave period – unless you are going to take up another job AND hold a work and residence permit for permit valid for this job.

Please note that the new permit must be issued before you can start working in the new position.

The application for leave of absence must be approved by the PhD Office before the leave is commenced.

No salary is paid out during the leave of absence.

Part-time employment
In order to obtain a work permit, employment conditions must meet the usual terms and conditions for employment in Denmark. The authorities (SIRI) currently require that the employment must be a full-time appointment for those from outside the Nordic/EU/EEA/Swiss regions.

Therefore, we expect that an application for a new work permit will be rejected, when filed on the basis of a change of employment with reduced hours, because it does not meet the usual/regular employment terms.

Rules for unpaid leave for Industrial-PhD students 

A special rule applies to industrial PhD students, which means that the leave cannot be granted unless the business supervisor has co-signed the application and approval of the leave by the ministry is enclosed with the application.