The four-year programme is divided into a pre-doctoral year followed by three years of PhD training at one of the Novo Nordisk Foundation Research Centers embedded at the University of Copenhagen or the Technical University of Denmark.
The pre-doctoral year includes short rotation projects, choice of a lab for the long-term (PhD) project, and common research-based courses. Approximately 15% of time during the pre-doc year is spent on courses, and the remaining 85% on lab-based research. Students make an agreement with a supervisor to join their lab for the long-term (PhD) project approximately two months after starting the programme.
The pre-doc curriculum is designed to introduce the range of world-class research at the Centers and encourage collaborative research ideas. It also equips students with practical and analytical skills essential for their PhD projects, builds researcher networks, and supports development of PhD project plans. This generates a broad base of knowledge, expertise and contacts.
All candidates must pass a qualifying exam at the end of the pre-doc year to qualify for the following three years of PhD education. Students that demonstrate satisfactory progress at the exam can then enrol as PhD students with the relevant Graduate School at the University of Copenhagen or the Technical University of Denmark for the remaining three years of their PhD Project.