Independent University Newspaper
Copenhagen Business School

Popular searches:

Independent University Newspaper

Copenhagen Business School

New lockdown could cause further delays for PhD Fellows

empty hallway

(Photo: Anna Holte)

The Vice Chair of CBS’ PhD Association (PAC) is worried that more PhD Fellows, also those who have just started their PhDs, will experience delays resulting from coronavirus. PAC is initiating steps to make the new normal caused by the coronavirus more bearable for PhD Fellows.

News |   15. Dec 2020

Anne Thora Lykkegaard


Thomas Skinnerup Philipsen has just started his three-year PhD at the Department of Accounting at CBS in September. His PhD project plan was approved to begin early next year, including ethnography fieldwork at another Danish university beginning after New Year.

“Currently, I think that it’s very unlikely that it’s going to be possible to do, and it is crucial part of my PhD project to be able to do observation studies and be present at the university. So I’ll probably have to rethink that,” he says.

Thomas Skinnerup Philipsen is also the newly elected Vice Chair of CBS’ PhD Association, PAC, and he believes that this second lockdown will result in more PhD Fellows facing delays in their studies, including those who are in their first and second years.

“This lockdown will be an echo of the spring, but now it will most likely affect even more PhDs. Especially if the lockdown doesn’t end on January 3, but continues,” he says and adds:

“As a new PhD Fellow with three years of work ahead, you have some flexibility, but some of that period will also be spent on PhD studies, teaching, exchange trips and research. Then it’s not an awful lot of time if you have to entirely rethink your project on top of it all.”

Thomas Skinnerup Philipsen is also hearing that first- and second-year PhD Fellows at CBS are now experiencing delays.

In September, the PhD Association Network of Denmark (PAND) and the Danish Association of Masters and PhDs (Dansk Magisterforening/DM) conducted a survey among the almost 9,000 PhD Fellows in Denmark.

About 1,400 PhD Fellows responded to the survey, of whom just over 50 percent answered that they were between two to four months delayed due to the ongoing pandemic.

In October, the Danish Parliament allocated DKK 18 million to support extensions of PhD Fellows’ contracts. On November 9, just about 600 PhD Fellows had applied for an extension, of whom 80 percent were accepted, according to a press release from the union Universities Denmark.

Camilla Gregersen, President of DM, says to the Danish science media ForskerForum that the need for funding extensions of PhD Fellows contracts is much more extensive.

“DKK 18 million does not even cover the extensions that the universities have already given,” she says and continues:

“Moreover, our survey shows that many of the PhD Fellows are unaware that they can apply for extensions. So I would encourage PhD Fellows, postdocs and others who are delayed because of coronavirus to apply for extensions. It’s important that the universities and politicians know about the real need for extensions.”

Members of PAC and PAND have previously criticized the lack of funding for the PhD Fellows’ contract extensions and asked for a standardized application procedure at CBS.

Adopt a can-do attitude

Thomas Skinnerup Philipsen explains that PAC remains in dialogue with CBS’ Senior Management about the obstacles faced by its PhD Fellows, and the association is also considering a few ideas on how to make this lockdown and the near future with coronavirus more bearable for its PhD Fellows.

“I think we need to adopt a can-do attitude. We are in close dialogue with the Senior Management, the PhD School, Heads of Departments and shop stewards on what we can do. So when talks about who can return to campus begin, I hope that CBS will once again acknowledge that a particular group of employees have a greater need to return to campus. Namely PhDs. And hopefully we will see them reacknowledge this,” he says.

What you realize during these lockdowns is that it’s not really the nice height-adjustable desk you miss, but rather the professional talks and social bonds

Thomas Skinnerup Philipsen

Moreover, the PhD association is looking into ways to give the PhD Fellows a social life connected with CBS. For example, this autumn the association hosted intro days for the new PhDs for the first time, and now the association is collaborating with postdocs and assistant professors on hosting cross-departmental courses.

“Now that PAC is established at CBS, I think it’s time that we move into a more social function so that we can create a better everyday life for our PhD Fellows. Do we need more study groups? Do we need more courses? Do we need some online activities? More meetings in smaller groups combined with academic content? I know that a lot of PhD Fellows would appreciate these initiatives,” he says and continues:

“For example, I’m about to establish a cross-departmental reading group because I realized that other PhD Fellows and researchers are working in the same field as I am, and it motivates me to study with them, so I’m not just all on my own.”

“What you realize during these lockdowns is that it’s not really the nice height-adjustable desk you miss, but rather the professional talks and social bonds,” he says.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

New lockdown could cause further delays for PhD Fellowsby

  • News

    Why so sudden? The CBS financial crisis explained

    Employees and union representatives have posed many questions in the wake of the 17 August announcement of a firing round. In this interview, University Director Arnold Boon explains how Senior Management has been working with the budget and a change of financial strategy since the fall of 2022, and why layoffs are now necessary.

  • Blog

    Uncertain times: Essential for business schools to understand their market

    The alliance of European business schools met at CBS in June to enhance recruitment strategies, stay informed on industry trends, and analyse where the global economy is heading. The CBS MBA Programmes shares some key take-aways from Associate Dean and Professor Jesper Rangvid’s presentation.

  • News

    Working hard all summer: Bachelor Admissions

    The employees in charge of bachelor admissions at CBS are a small exclusive team. They ensure the validity of diplomas and the fulfilment of entry requirements for bachelor’s degrees at CBS – and, not least, that the applicants get the necessary help to upload the right documentation and find their way around the application procedures.

  • News

    Union reps want transparency about redundancy packages

    The unions are hoping for a fair process – and the AC club is calling for transparency about redundancy packages. Academic union representatives expect that actual dismissals can be avoided among faculty members, whereas administrative staff are expecting layoffs.

  • Gif of the week
  • News

    Snapshots: CBS staff busy preparing for a new semester

    For the staff at CBS, the weeks and sometimes even months leading up to study start are spent busily preparing for new and returning students and a brand-new semester.

  • Guide

    Those odd little words

    Some words of advice from CBS WIRE’s proofreader Helen Dyrbye, a British expat who has lived in Denmark for decades. Here she explains a few tiny words that can occasionally spell BIG trouble.

  • News

    Community is key for study start 2023

    This year, showing both new and returning students the concept of ‘community’ at CBS is a top priority. There is room for everyone, and you can find others that share the same interests as you. Those are the key messages from the Student Communications team. This is highlighted by two campaigns, during the introduction week and at the Bachelor Kick Off.

Follow CBS students studying abroad

CBS WIRE collaborates with

Stay connected