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How PhD scholarships are distributed

New figures give a pointer on who receives PhD scholarships at Health. And they are not dominated by medical doctors. The figures can provide important knowledge that can be used in departmental recruitment policy.

2016.11.03 | Ulla Krag Jespersen

New figures draught a picture of the typical PhD scholar at Health. Photo: Lars Kruse/AU.

New figures draught a picture of the typical PhD scholar at Health. Photo: Lars Kruse/AU.

She is a woman, aged 26-30, and she (often) comes from a different educational background than the otherwise obvious Master's degrees in medicine and odontology. That is the rough picture of a typical scholarship recipient at Health according to the figures.

New figures compiled by the Graduate School at Health provide an overview of the scholarships awarded in the period from September 2014 until May 2016, revealing factors such as gender, age and qualifying examination. They also show how applicants and scholarships are shared among the faculty's three research programmes Clinfo, Biomedicine and Public Health.

Fifty percent are neither doctors nor dentists

Perhaps a little surprisingly, the majority of scholarship recipients at Health do not come with a Master’s degree in medicine or odontology, but with what is referred to as "Other" in the figures. This can cover e.g. public health science, molecular medicine, molecular biology, physics or nursing science. 

Biomedicine’s PhDs in particular have a different educational background (84 per cent), while Public Health can muster 72 per cent in the category. Only Clinfo has a majority of PhD students with either a medical or odontological Master’s degree (61 per cent).

Majority of women and young

Then there is the question of gender distribution. Slightly more than half (63 per cent) of all scholarship recipients at Health are women. Viewed by programme, Clinfo and Public Health both attract 64 per cent women, closely followed by Biomedicine with 59 per cent.

Looking at age distribution, the typical scholarship recipient is aged 26-30 (42 per cent). In general, the young students apply for and are granted scholarships; the majority of scholarships (82 per cent) go to people aged 35 or under. Though at Clinfo and Public Health it is possible to meet a couple of handfuls of scholarship recipients above the age of 40 (a total of six per cent).

Clinfo is largest

The figures also show how the PhD students are distributed between the three research programmes. Clinfo is the largest with 455 enrolled PhD students, while Biomedicine and Public Health have 80 and 108 respectively. Clinfo also has the most full scholarships (58 per cent), while Public Health has 23 per cent and Biomedicine 18 per cent. On the other hand, the success rate for securing a scholarship is virtually the same for all three programmes at fifty-fifty.

Finally, the figures show that there has been a fall in the number of applications over recent years. Figures peaked in November 2014 with 102 applications, but since September last year they have remained more or less constant at around 73 applicants for each application round for all three programmes.

Automatic grants

While drawing-up the figures, it became apparent to the Graduate School that many applicants either fail to or forget to apply for grants towards their PhD programme. The faculty management team has therefore decided that when applications are made, applicants will in future also automatically apply for the grant of DKK 550,000. This will apply from the February 2017 round of applications. The grant can be made independently of whether the applicant receives full salary during his or her PhD programme.

The admission and scholarship level will remain unchanged in 2017. Full scholarships will be adjusted upwards from DKK 433,000 to DKK 450,000 with effect from the November 2016 application round.

The strategic priorities for the application rounds in 2017 are: Mobility (both outgoing and incoming), early recruitment, interdisciplinary projects and collaboration with external partners.



Administrative, Technical / administrative staff, Health, Health, Academic staff, PhD students