Health celebrates its PhD graduates

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Previously, PhD graduates simply received their diploma in the post. But a new ceremony at Health will add some glamour to the achievement that gaining a PhD degree or a higher doctoral degree represents.

2017.06.02 | Marie Groth Andersen

Photos: Lars Kruse

Last Wednesday, AU's Main Hall was decorated for a party with straight rows of chairs, colourful flowers and neatly rolled PhD diplomas. The reason was that Health is launching a new tradition and will celebrate the faculty's new PhD fellows and doctoral candidates with a festive and formal ceremony held twice a year.

Health awards eight to ten higher doctoral degrees annually, while the faculty has 160-170 PhD graduates each year.    

Abrupt end to three years of hard work    

Medical doctor and PhD Peter Skov Jensen is presented with his diploma by Head of Graduate School Helene Nørrelund. Photo: Lars Kruse    

One of the PhD fellows who was honoured at the first ceremony is Peter Skov Jensen, who is a medical doctor and earned his PhD degree in January.

"I think it's a really good initiative. It's nice to get an extra pat on the back from AU for all the energy you’ve put into working on your dissertation," he said before the ceremony.

Peter Skov Jensen celebrated his PhD himself with a reception after his PhD defence followed by a relaxed dinner for his family. He describes it as a bit of an abrupt end to the three years, where he submitted his dissertation in late September and then after his PhD defence the following January, received his diploma in the post.

He took his mother and father with him to the ceremony.

"They’re very proud and I know they’re also really looking forward to being here."    

Chair of the PhD committee: Good to have a celebration

Karthiga Thavachelvam is a PhD student at the Department of Biomedicine and chair of the PhD Association at Health. From her position as chair of Health’s PhD Association, she also thinks that the ceremony is an excellent initiative.

"It’s a positive thing to have a day with an official celebration. It’s good to acknowledge what we’ve done."    

Professor at the Department of Public Health, Cecilia Ramlau-Hansen (left), was presented with the JCD prize by the chair of the PHD Association at Health, Karthiga Thavachelvam. Photo: Lars Kruse  

Karthiga Thavachelvam also participated in the ceremony on Wednesday, where she presented the JCD prize to the PhD supervisor of the year in her role as chair of the PhD Association. This year the prize went to professor at the Department of Public Health, Cecilia Ramlau-Hansen.

"I try to be that helping hand that helps gently push the students to achieve the goals they didn't think they were capable of reaching," said the professor in her acceptance speech, where she also said what a great honour it was to receive the prize.    

Something special    

Head of Graduate School at Health, Helene Nørrelund, presented each of the twenty PhDs who had chosen to take part in the ceremony with their diplomas and a handshake.

"We’re starting this celebration based on the motto that you should always remember to celebrate your successes. Earning a PhD degree after three to four years of hard work is a success and we wish to acknowledge that as a faculty," she said.    

Dean Lars Bo Nielsen. Photo: Lars Kruse    

In his speech to the new PhD fellows and higher doctoral candidates, Health’s dean Lars Bo Nielsen also made clear that the celebration was appropriate.

"What you’ve achieved is something special. You should be proud, and you should know that the faculty and the graduate school are proud of you."    

All of the recipients of the higher doctoral degree and PhD graduates who took part in the ceremony last Wednesday together with Dean Lars Bo Nielsen and Head of Graduate School Helene Nørrelund. Photo: Lars Kruse

Translated by Peter Lambourne

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