Employment as a PhD student

PhD students who have been selected to receive a scholarship, will receive their scholarship payments in the form of a monthly salary for the three year period for which they are enrolled in the PhD programme. This means that you are employed on an employment contract. Your employment contract cannot be extended except in circumstances that are regulated by law. Your employment will take place according to the agreement between the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations and the Ministry of Finance concerning the salary of PhD Students.

The basic monthly salary is approximately DKK 25,000 before taxes. Additionally there is an annual research budget to help cover the cost of conference fees, books, travel etc. The monetary amount of the annual research budget is subject to change depending on the financial resources available to the Faculty.

As a PhD student you will be provided with a computer, office phone and an office, as well as general office supplies.

Please note:

  • The year of employment in Iceland, within the framework of the joint PhD programme between the University of Copenhagen and the University of Iceland, will take place in accordance with the Agreement between the Union of University Teachers and the Ministry of Finance of Iceland (Félag háskólakennara). Thus, your monthly salary will differ from the amount stated above.
  • If you are undertaking an industrial PhD programme, your salary may depend on the agreement you have with the company/public institution you have been employed by. For additional information, please contact PhD Administration.

Part-time study
The PhD programme is usually undertaken on a fulltime basis with a prescribed period of study of three years. However, in special cases, following a request by the PhD student, permission may be granted for the PhD programme to be completed on a part-time basis. Please contact PhD Administration for additional information.

Extension of employment
Your employment period is terminated once you submit your PhD thesis or at the latest, after the completion of the three-year employment period. The time taken to assess your thesis is not included in your employment period.

It is possible to extend the employment period as a PhD student in case of illness or where your leave of absence is regulated by law (childbirth, adoption, military service etc.).

Leave of absence
This section only applies to a request for leave of absence that is not regulated by law. The possibility exists to request leave of absence from the PhD programme for both academic and personal reasons. The leave of absence request must be in writing, outline the reasons as to why leave is sought and be accompanied by a statement from the PhD student’s principal supervisor. A decision will be made after the request has been assessed by the PhD Committee. For further information, please contact PhD Administration.

Useful contacts
DJØF: A trade union that is relevant for employees and students within the fields of law, research, economics, political science, administration, teaching, communication and management. Trade union membership is voluntary.

Akademikernes a-kasse: An unemployment insurance scheme. Unemployment insurance is not compulsory in Denmark.

Information on taxation
Taxes must be paid to the Danish State when you live and work in Denmark.
For additional information on taxation please see:

For further information, please contact International Staff Mobility (ISM).