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GSTS application guide

This guide applies to all PhD applicants no matter the type of PhD study structure.

To ensure that your application fulfills all the requirements, please read all the information below carefully before you apply.

Before you apply

Assessment criteria

The main criteria used in evaluating incoming applicants are their documented qualifications (composition of previous course programme, grades, publications, motivation, study periods abroad, duration of study, recommendations, etc.).

Regarding grade point average: GSTS does not have a fixed requirement for a minimum level of the grade point average. However, you can use the grade point average requirements from the Industrial PhD scheme (page 3-4) as a guideline for the approximate minimum level for PhD admission.

Secondary criteria are the scientific quality of the prepared research project for the PhD degree programme and the suitability of the research environment for such a project.

Additional aspects that can be taken into consideration include previous activities outside the university, plans for mobility during the PhD study period, plans for collaboration with external partners, plans for dissemination activities, etc. 

When assessing applicants with a Master’s degree, more weight is placed on the secondary criteria and additional aspects than for applicants without a Master’s degree.

Freedom of research

Aarhus University is committed to protecting the rights of PhD students and ensuring optimal conditions throughout the entire PhD study. For Aarhus University, it is crucial that PhD students have the freedom to conduct research without fear of economic sanctions or reprisals. This is essential for PhD students to develop their academic independence and skills and contribute to new knowledge in their research area, as described in the basic principles of PhD education at Aarhus University.

GSTS does therefore not accept third-party contracts (for example in connection to international scholarships) that limit the freedom or mobility of PhD students during and after the PhD study at GSTS. PhD students who are not employed by Aarhus University are required to sign a document stating that no such third-party contracts exist.

Erroneous or misleading information may result in rejection of an application for a PhD study or termination of the PhD study.

Financing and prospective supervisors

If you are applying with a personal grant or outside our advertised PhD-positions, you are strongly recommended to contact a prospective supervisor before submitting you application. All our advertised positions have a supervisor already affiliated. 

To learn more about our PhD programmes and to find a researcher to contact about possible supervision, please visit the programme website or search for a researcher by subject here.

Admission to a PhD programme of study is contingent upon financing. Financing can come from a variety of sources such as public or private research foundations, private companies, EU programmes, etc. These types of funding are often secured through the PhD supervisor. Some international PhD students receive financing from their home country, and some PhD students are employed in private companies, most often as part of the Industrial PhD programme. Note that GSTS requires PhD students without employment at Aarhus University to demonstrate a minimum monthly income corresponding to two PhD SU scholarships (One PhD SU scholarship equals DKK 6,820 per month (2024-level, before tax).  

If a student is admitted, it is the responsibility of Aarhus University to ensure that a complete financing plan is in place for the PhD student in connection with admission. The plan covers all expenses for the PhD programme: Scholarship/fellowship, tuition fee, running costs, incl. expenses for mobility plans, etc.

All accepted PhD students must pay tuition. In most cases, tuition is covered by the PhD financing plan. However, if the PhD student is self-financed, for example via international grants or private funding, the PhD student must secure the tuition fee him- or herself. Failing to pay tuition in due time will result in termination of enrolment in the PhD programme. Note that at any time during the recruitment process, GSTS may ask self-financed applicants to document being able to pay the tuition fee.

Information and attachments needed for the application

Please note that you must have all relevant appendices, attachments, addresses for referees, etc. ready when you apply, as the entire application must be uploaded in one go. A partially completed application cannot be saved and completed later.

If you wish to upload more than one document under each section, you must scan/merge all documents into one large PDF document and upload this. GSTS reserves the right to remove scientific papers, large reports, theses and similar. You may consider indicating a URL where the information is available. 

All information in the application must be in English or Danish, preferably English. Please note that GSTS reserves the right to verify the authenticity of your educational diploma and transcripts. This means that GSTS can request additional information to verify an application, and reject the application if it is proven, or if the University has reasonable grounds to believe, that the information provided is false or if the applicant refuses to provide the requested information, irrespective of whether an offer has already been made. 

Only documents received prior to the application deadline will be evaluated. Thus, documents sent after deadline will not be taken into account. The programme committee may request further information or invite you to attend an interview.

You will be asked to enter information regarding:
Attachments must be pdf-files, max. 20 MB, no zip.

As a minimum, all applications must include curriculum vitae, transcripts and diploma(s), grade point averages (weighted and unweighted), project description, one reference and motivation.

  • Personal information - please provide proof of name changes if all documents do not bear the same name. 
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Academic background - diplomas and transcripts for all relevant, credit-bearing qualification(s), such as Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees. Please note, that even if you have started/finished your Master’s degree programme, the transcripts and diploma of your Bachelor’s degree must still be included in the application. If the original documents are not in English or one of the Scandinavian languages (i.e. Norwegian, Swedish or Danish) then copies of the original documents as well as a certified English translation must be attached.
  • Grade point average - the weighted and unweighted grade point average of your academic degrees. The grade point average of your Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees must be stated separately clearly indicating whether the average is weighted or unweighted. The weighted grade point average must be calculated based on your transcripts' credit system (e.g. ECTS/credits/points etc) - a tool for the weighted calculation is available here: for ECTS, for Other credits (up to 35 courses) and for Other credits (up to 75 courses). Please upload the calculation as a PDF file under ‘Other information to consider’.
    If available, GSTS encourages you to also upload documentation of your ranking, i.e. in which pct. you have been ranked in the graduation class of your study programme. 
  • Admission - information on desired starting date, credit transfer, etc.
  • Language skills - please see the “Language skills” section below. 
  • Financing - indicate sources and amounts of possible financial support, if any. Also, please see the "Financing and prospective supervisors" section above.
  • Plan of study - use the drop-down menu to choose your specific project or open call. Please enter the title of your open call project.
  • Project description (½-4 pages) - the project announcement will state whether you should copy the description from it or write one yourself. Describe your ideas and research plans if you write the description yourself. You can indicate a URL to further information. GSTS strongly recommends that you contact the relevant supervisor listed in the project announcement prior to applying.
  • References (min. 1) - optionally, you can use this template to send to your referee(s). Previously obtained letters of reference can also be uploaded as PDFs. Please note that it is your responsibility to ensure that all relevant references are received at GSTS prior to application deadline. You can either upload the reference (as PDF) yourself or ask the referee to send it as PDF directly to GSTS via e-mail to gradschool.tech@au.dk. If you choose the latter, please upload a PDF document saying that you have done so. Please note that GSTS will not contact referees to remind them to submit a reference and references received after deadline will not be taken into account. GSTS will upload the reference to the application so it will not be visible to the applicant.
  • Motivation (max. 1 page) - explain your reasons for applying.
  • Source - how you found out about the call.

A certified English translation is required for documents written in languages other than English or one of the Scandinavian languages (i.e. Norwegian, Swedish or Danish).

Language skills

Excellent communication skills in English are considered essential, and the applicant must be able to read, write, and speak academic English fluently. English language requirement is comparable to a minimum of TOEFL 83 or IELTS 6.5 (which is comparable to a an “English B level” in the Danish upper secondary school (“gymnasium”).

The PhD administration may ask applicants to document their proficiency in English at any time during the recruitment process if this is considered necessary.

How to apply

Filling in an online application

  1. Application attachments:
    The "Information and attachments needed for the application" section above contains important information about the various application elements. Please read this information carefully before you start your application.
    Please note that you cannot submit the application if one or several of these documents have not been uploaded.
    If you wish to upload more than one document under each section, please scan/merge all documents into one large PDF document and upload this. Please note that we reserve the right to remove scientific papers, large reports, theses and similar. Instead you can indicate a URL where the information is available.
  2. When you have all your attachments and information ready apply via the link in the project description.
    Attachments must be pdf-files, max. 20 MB, no zip. All information in the application must be in Danish or English.
    Some of the information fields in the application have a little number outside of them to the right. By clicking on the number, you can find further directions on how to fill in the information field/what information is needed.

After submission of the application, you will receive a confirmation e-mail with an application ID you should use for reference, if needed.

Only documents received prior to the application deadline will be evaluated. Thus, documents sent after deadline will not be taken into account. The programme committee may request further information or invite you to attend an interview.

The online application has to be filled out in one session. It cannot be saved and completed on a later date. However, it will stay open for filling out for as long as the browser window is open.

The GSTS does not charge an application fee.

After you have applied

Assessment procedure

All incoming applications are considered by the GSTS admissions committee, which draws on the recommendations supplied by the programme committees at the Faculty of Technical Sciences. The head of the graduate school admits new PhD students based on the recommendations of the admissions committee.

Click this link for more information of the Members of the admissions committee at Faculty of Technical Sciences.

Informing applicants about the decision

After all applications have been evaluated, you will receive an e-mail from the GSTS with either an offer of admission or a rejection. If you approve the admission offered, you will be contacted by the GSTS in regards to the actual start date, study and residence permit if needed (international students), etc.

If you have a Danish CPR number, documents relating to your admission to the GSTS will be delivered to your e-Boks. You are required to be able to receive digital mail from public agencies, and are responsible for checking your e-Boks. If you do not have a Danish CPR number, you will receive these documents by e-mail.

After enrolment


On admission, the head of PhD school appoints the supervisor(s) for each PhD student based on the recommendations of the programme committee:

  • One main supervisor, who is a permanent member of the scientific staff at the Faculty of Technical Sciences at the level of at least Associate Professor or Senior Researcher. The main supervisor has overall responsibility for the PhD student’s project and PhD studies.

  • Optional co-supervisors who are employed either within or outside the university and qualified within the field in question.

Any later changes of main supervisor and/or co-supervisor(s) must be approved by the GSTS (see section 5.3 in the GSTS Rules and Regulations).

The GSTS recommends that you talk to your supervisor(s) about matching expectations.

Practical info for internationals

Do I need a work and residence permit and if yes, how can I get it? What about tax registration? Where should I live? As an international student starting your PhD studies in Denmark, you may have questions like these concerning practical matters. Therefore, the GSTS has gathered info for international students to help you get on top of the practicalities.

Initiating the PhD project

Congratulations on your enrolment as a PhD student at the GSTS! Our "Initiating the project" page contains info, guidelines and tools on starting up your project and the formalities in this regard.


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