PhD Supervision – University of Copenhagen

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PhD Supervision

All PhD students have one or more supervisors for the entire duration of the PhD programme. 

Principal Supervisor

All PhD students have a principal supervisor. The principal supervisor must be an associate or full professor employed at the faculty during the PhD programme.

Together with the PhD Student, the principal supervisor plans the PhD programme. The principal supervisor is main responsible for the whole PhD programme, including.

  • making a supervision agreement at the time of enrolment.
  • holding a planning meeting with the PhD student and any co-supervisors (no later than 14 days after enrolment).
  • ensuring that the final PhD Plan is submitted to the PhD school on time.
  • ensuring that progress assessment reports (PARs) are submitted to the PhD school on time.
  • at the end of the PhD programme, to discuss the structure and contents of the PhD thesis and programme with the PhD student and submit the relevant forms regarding the conclusion of the PhD programme.

It is mandatory for all principal PhD supervisors to have participated in the 'Course for PhD supervisors at SCIENCE in Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR)'. The course is availbale at SCIENCE and SUND. Dates for the next course can be found in the SCIENCE course database or the SUND course database.

You can read more about the requirements for principal PhD supervisors in Guidelines for principal supervisors and in the Faculty PhD Rules, section 2.7.


Some PhD Students have additional supervisors, co-supervisors, who possess qualifications in the relevant subject area(s) of the PhD programme. For instance: 

  • PhD students whose research is mainly conducted at an institution or company outside  the University should also have a supervisor from the institution or company in question.

  • Industrial PhD students must also have supervisors at the company employing them. Please see the faculty rules, section 2.7. and the guidelines for the Industrial PhD Programme.

Change of Supervisor(s)

During the study, the PhD student may apply to the PhD School for a change of supervisor or to add one or more co-supervisor(s) to the PhD programme. This must be done through PhD Planner via the Application tab.

General information about PhD supervision