PhD defence

Procedure for providing information about your PhD defence

In connection with your PhD defence, you have to send us a brief (max. 5-10 lines) description of your project/defence by e-mail no later than 14 days after submitting your PhD thesis, whereupon we announce your defence on your department’s website and the faculty’s websites. We also forward it to selected media, including newspapers.

We encourage you to think carefully about the description – see hints below. Experience shows that good, informative descriptions increase the likelihood of having the defence published in the media. Sometimes the media even contact you with a view to writing a more in-depth story.

See below of how you should structure the description.

No later than 14 days after submitting your PhD thesis, you have to:

  1. Decide on a title (which is different from the title of your PhD project) and a brief description of your PhD project (no longer than the example shown below, i.e. max. 5-10 lines), as well as the other points shown in the example.
  2. If you can provide a relevant illustration (such as a photo, a drawing or a figure) from your research or your project, including captions and legends, you are more than welcome to send that as well. This increases your chances of being mentioned in the media.
  3. The above should be submitted in both Danish and English.
    English-Danish translation service:
    You can send the English résumé to translator Erling Grønlund (e-mail: who will translate it into Danish and return it to you. If you wish to use this service, the résumé must be sent to Erling Grønlund no later than the same day as you submit your PhD thesis. If you e-mail him, please write ‘RÉSUMÉ TRANSLATION’ in the Subject field. The résumé will be translated within 2 weeks.
  4. Submit the text in Word, RTF or TXT format.
  5. Include a photo of yourself. It does not have to be a traditional passport photo – a more casual or descriptive photo would be better. A good example would be a photo showing you at work, for example bent over your books, doing fieldwork, teaching or something similar, or a photo of you in your spare time. Note: The photo should be in JPG format, at least 10 cm wide, with a resolution of at least 150 DPI (pixel/inch). Forward it separately as an attached JPG file, not inserted in the Word document or the like. 
  6. Indicate whether you would like us to send the description to selected local media, for example a paper in the town where you went to school. Normally, we forward the description to Danish newspapers such as Politiken, Jyllands-Posten, Århus Stiftstidende, Ingeniøren and Aktuel Naturvidenskab, and websites including, and your department’s website. If you would like us to forward it to local media, please provide the relevant e-mail address(es). It is a good idea to also send us a separate version or an additional comment in which you mention your association with the local area in question (e.g. “… [your name] is a student from xx Upper Secondary School …”).
  7. Send everything to the PhD Partner at the Graduate School of Science and Technology/GSST who looks after your department or programme.


Tips and tricks

  • Create a heading that grabs the attention of the readers and at the same time gives an idea of your project and defence.
  • You cannot fit it all into ten lines, so choose what is most important and simplify it.
  • Think of your target group as the average newspaper reader, not someone from the same subject area or department.
  • Avoid using specialist terms and technical jargon, both in the heading and everywhere else.
    You can use technical terms, but only if they are sufficiently common to appear in the science sections of newspapers.
  • If possible, it is a good idea to give examples of how your research results have been used in practice.
  • Ask your friends, family or partner – who do not work in your field – for feedback about your heading and the text.



Description of your project and defence

The following is an example of how you can structure the description of your PhD project and defence.

Example (fictitious):

Analysis of proteins in connective tissue – gaining an understanding of rheumatoid diseases

PhD defence, Sunday 24 December 2024. [your name].

During his/her studies, [your name] researched the proteins in human connective tissue. Connective tissue is special in that its cells form a strong network of highly water-binding carbohydrates and proteins located outside the cells. [Name] studied how one of the proteins, the so-called inter-a-inhibitor, stabilises the carbohydrates and how the protein is broken down in connection with inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis.

The new research findings contribute to the understanding of how the connective tissue is formed and the mechanisms the body uses to counteract the breakdown of the connective tissue seen in rheumatic diseases.

The PhD degree was completed at the Interdisciplinary Nanoscience Center (iNANO), Science and Technology, Aarhus University.

This résumé was prepared by the PhD student.

Time: Sunday 24 December 2024 at 24.00
Place: Building 1532, room 116, Lecture Theatre G1, Department of Mathematics, Ny Munkegade 120, Aarhus University, 800 Aarhus C.
Title of PhD thesis: Inter-alpha-inhibitor a proteoglycan in the extracellular matrix
Contact information: [your name], e-mail: [your e-mail address], tel.: +45 [your telephone number – your mobile number, if applicable]
Members of the assessment committee:
[Professor xxxx xxxx, Department of xxxxx, University of Geneva, Switzerland
Professor xxxxx xxxxx, Institute of xxxxxx, University of Oslo, Norway
Professor xxxxx xxxxx (chair), Department of xxxxxx, Aarhus University]
Main supervisor:
[Professor xxxx, iNANO, Aarhus University]
[Professor xxxx, iNANO, Aarhus University]
Language: The PhD thesis will be defended in English

The defence is public.
The dissertation is available for reading at the Graduate School of Science and Technology/GSST, Ny Munkegade 120, building 1520, rooms 128-134, 8000 Aarhus C.


Additional illustration and corresponding text (optional):

Photo: Peter Gabriel

Image of the development of rheumatoid arthritis

The dark round holes are where the inflammation is in the process of breaking down the connective tissue cells, thereby developing rheumatoid arthritis.
In his/her PhD project, [your name] developed a new technique that makes it possible to monitor and photograph the breakdown of connective tissue protein. This provided the researchers with a new tool to gain insight into the development of rheumatoid diseases.

See an example of how your description appears on the websites here.

Comments on content: 
Revised 17.01.2018