Working hours for PhD Students

As an employed PhD student (5+3), you are obliged to perform work tasks for the department equivalent to 280 working hours per year, totaling 840 hours for three years.

At the Department of Biological & Chemical Engineering (BCE), the primary work tasks are:

  • Teaching on regular courses as a Teaching assistant (minimum of 200 hours)
  • Co-supervision of students (10 hours pr. 5 ECTS points)
  • Other relevant tasks (e.g. assistance in research activities that are not directly relevant for the PhD project, creation of webpages, work in relation to the yearly PhD event, etc.)

The assignment of teaching on regular courses will be agreed with the BCE secretariat and your supervisor, while most other tasks are agreed with your supervisor alone. Agreements are typically made on a semester basis.

Flexibility: The workload is flexibly adjusted so that some semesters may include more hours and others less.

Time tracking: Each student is given an Excel spreadsheet in which to record their working hours for record-keeping purposes.

Exemption: You are automatically granted one semester’s (140 hours) exemption from work obligation with no reduction in pay.
Furthermore, you can receive exemption (70 or 140 hours) during extended stays in other research environments for up to six months depending on the duration and timing of the stay relative to working periods.

Role of the PhD Committee: The Department's PhD committee determines the overall guidelines for the tasks assigned to PhD students as part of their employment.

Illustration of the average distribution of working hours for 5+3 PhD Students. Et billede, der indeholder tekst, skærmbillede, Font/skrifttype, linje/række Automatisk genereret beskrivelse

Teaching on regular BSc, BEng and MSc courses

A minimum of 200 hours of your working hours will be allocated to teaching on regular BSc, BEng or MSc courses. Which courses to teach is agreed with the BCE secretariat and your supervisor to ensure that your academic background is relevant for the courses and align best with your research project.

The secretariat ensures that at the start of the PhD program, a plan is made that shows which courses the PhD student is expected to teach during the PhD program.

Teaching on regular courses may consist of:

  • Guiding students in class or during lab work as a teaching assistant
  • Correcting and giving feedback to student assignments
  • Develop course materials
  • Lecturing

Hours for teaching: You will receive compensation for both direct teaching and preparation time. A one-hour lecture corresponds to 2.5 working hours, including preparation and correcting and giving feedback on assignments.

For 3+5 and 4+4 PhD students

For 3+5 and 4+4 PhD students who are employed by BCE for the last two years, the same work obligations and guidelines apply as for the 5+3 PhD students (see above).
However, since the employment is only for the last two years (after passing the qualification exam) the total amount of obligated working hours is 560 hours.

Illustration of the average distribution of working hours for 3+5 or 4+4 PhD StudentsEt billede, der indeholder tekst, skærmbillede, Font/skrifttype, nummer/tal Automatisk genereret beskrivelse

Employment during Part A: You might be offered employment as student teachers to work as teaching assistants or to perform other kinds of academic work.