Become a part of the PhD programme of Arla and Aarhus University

Applications for the Arla and Aarhus University PhD programme 2021 are now open. The application deadline is 15 October 2020.

[Translate to English:] Foto: Jesper Rais

Do you want to be part of Arla and Aarhus University's PhD program? Now is the time to apply!

The PhD programme is based on the long term strategic alliance between Aarhus University and Arla Foods on the common agenda of developing science-based solutions of relevance to the surrounding society.

The financial frames of this programme is a 50:50 financing split between Aarhus University and Arla Foods. We expect to jointly fund a total of 3 PhD projects each with a budget of 2 mill. DKK.

The purpose of this PhD programme is to encourage new collaboration of mutual benefit, build and sustain research agile networks, inspire strong collaborative research environments that can strengthen competencies required in companies and create a knowledge base for successful larger collaboration projects.

Relevant research themes

  • Food quality and safety – hereunder extended shelf life and ambient storage
  • Rapid prototyping including processing and packaging solutions – accelerated testing of product qualities and changes hereof
  • Sustainability – smart farming, animal welfare, methane reduction, farm biodiversity, sustainability across the whole food system, sustainable processing and packaging
  • Business models, consumer interaction and knowledge
  • Bioactivity and physical functionality of milk and milk-based ingredients including use of advanced physical methods
  • Development of new methodologies to investigate milk, dairy and milk ingredients as well as demonstration of applicability of technologies and advanced methodologies from other fields into the dairy arena.

Who can apply?

  • The call is open to applicants from Aarhus University
  • Budget: 2 M DKK (with 1 M DKK from Arla and 1 M DKK from AU)
  • Eligible costs: PhD salary and up to 3 mo TAP support (salary is plus 20% overhead), travel for PhD to conferences or study abroad, and material costs 


Important dates

15 October

Deadline expression of interest (EoI)
Download the EoI template here
1 December Selected EoI applicants informed and invited to write full application
20 JanuaryDeadline full application 
20 FebruaryFunded applications announced
March-September 2021 PhD project are to start

If you have any specific questions to Arla about the relevance of your PhD fellowship to the relevant research topics please contact either:

Peter Langborg Wejse         Email:
Henrik Jørgen Andersen         Email:


The PhD Programme is a two stage process:

1) The EoI is a one-page description of the research idea and its relevant to Arla Foods and a brief budget summary.
 The submission deadline for EoI is 15. October, 2020 and they should be sent to 
The EoIs will be evaluated by Arla representatives.
 Selected EoIs (max 10) will be invited to submit full applications.

 2) The full application is 1-2 pages, plus a budget.
 A template will be supplied for the full applications.
 The submission deadline for full applications is 20. January, 2021 and they should be sent to 
The full applications will be evaluated by a coordinating group with representatives from AU, Arla Foods amba and Arla Foods Ingredients.
 The 3 funded applications will be announced 20. February, 2021. It should be noted that 2 projects will be put on a reserve list.
 The 3 funded projects will proceed to project agreement; hereafter the funds will be paid.
 The project agreement must be finalized before the end of 2021. PhD candidates are expected to start in the time period between 1. March and 1. Sept. 2021.
All co-funding and PhD candidates should be secured by 1. September 2021, otherwise the PI will default on the Arla grant. If any of the funded 3 projects default on the grant, then the 2 projects on the reserve list will be reconsidered for funding, this process will be carried out in dialogue with the relevant PIs.