PhD Education

The PhD education qualifies the student to carry out research, development, and teaching at a high international level in the private and public sector. Below is more information about the education and how it is structured at DTU Space.

The PhD education

The PhD education is a three-year research education which corresponds to 180 ECTS. As a PhD student, you will carry out independent scientific research including a written dissertation and a public defense of your PhD work.

The PhD program consists of:

  • an independent scientific project,
  • coursework corresponding to 30 ECTS
  • teaching and dissemination activities corresponding to approximately 6 months,
  • an external research stay,
  • a PhD thesis, and
  • a public defense.

Read more about the PhD education at DTU

The DTU Space PhD school

At DTU each institute has its own PhD School with a local Head of school. Every school has an associated PhD committee in which three scientific employees and three students from the PhD school are members.

We have about 40-50 PhD students enrolled at the DTU Space PhD School.

The DTU Space PhD School follows the general rules as they are implemented at DTU. In addition, a few special requirements apply, so that:

  • The individual research project is carried out within the scientific disciplines in focus at the institute, i.e. Astrophysics, Geophysics, Earth Observation, and developments of associated sensors and technologies,
  • The thesis is usually based on publications in international peer-reviewed journals,
  • As part of the courses Supervision and facilitation of learning, Sustainability evaluation and communication, and Journal Club are mandatory,
  • The external stay of 3-6 months is usually completed at a university abroad or a research institution such as NASA,
  • As part of the teaching and dissemination activities (1/2 year), Department work up to 3 months may apply. PhD students employed at DTU are required to serve as teaching assistants for the introductory courses offered by the institute.

Initially, through the first few months a newly enrolled PhD student will plan the PhD project with their supervisor, which includes the planning of elements of the research project, the external stay, courses, relevant conferences, and which courses the student becomes a teaching assistant in.

During the PhD study, the student prepares half-year reports to monitor progress. In addition, after 18-24 months a so-called Mandatory Lecture is held where the student gets feedback on the research and the PhD project as such.