Salary of PhD student and Postdoc in Denmark

In Denmark similar to Germany and Switzerland, PhD students and postdoc are employed by the universities on a fixed term contracts. The salaries are determined according to the collective agreement for academic staff employed by the State Sector. In analogy to German salary regulations, your PhD or Postdoc salary partially depends on your earlier experiences. As a PhD student you will be categorized on a pay grade according to the fact if you have been working after finishing your graduate (master) studies. Although the difference are not so big, you will earn more if you have more experiences. Your pay grade can be either 4, 5, 6 or 8. The following table shows PhD gross salary in denmark according to the mentioned grades (seniority).

You can see more informations about the academic salary in Europe and comparison of the PhD and postdoc salary in Europe.

 Seniority (years of experience)Gross salary (excluding pension)Gross salary (including pension)
Pay grade 4025,759 Danish Krone29,317 Danish Krone
Pay grade 4125759 Danish Krone29317 Danish Krone
Pay grade 5227662 Danish Krone31497 Danish Krone
Pay grade 6329398 Danish Krone33487 Danish Krone
Pay grade 8431108 Danish Krone35444 Danish Krone

Since in Denmark, duration of PhD study is 3 years, if you have got 4 years of experience, you will be placed on pay grade 8 which is generally the pay grade of a fresh postdoc. However, a postdoc will get some extra salary due to his qualification. The gross salary of a Postdoc in Danish university is around 40000 Danish Krone per month (DKK/month).

Net salary of PhD students and Postdoc in Denmark

The net salary calculation is a bit tricky and depends on many factors. Since the tax in each city has its own rate, it is hard to provide a common precise calculation. However the difference is not that big and we can provide you a relatively precise average net salary of PhD students and Postdoc employed with Danish universities.

For a PhD students the net salary can be calculated as 60% of the gross salary (including pension). So for a fresh PhD student in pay grade 4, the average net salary is 17500 Danish Krone per month. For higher pay grade students, this number can raise up to 19500 Danish Krone per months (which is generally rare).

The net salary of a Postdoc can be very different if he/she is on “researcher taxation” scheme or “normal taxation”. You can be qualified for researcher taxation scheme if you start working as a Postdoc (or higher academic level) in a Danish university provided that you have not worked or lived in the country before. If you satisfy that condition (e.g. incoming postdoc to Denmark), your taxation (if you want) can be a fixed rate of 26%. Including other labour contribution to this number, you take home around 60% of your gross salary. It means, the average net salary of a postdoc with the mentioned condition would start from 24000 Danish Krone per month.

If you are not categorized under the taxation scheme (i.e. normal tax scheme), your net salary would be a bit less. In that case your net salary start from 22500 Danish Krone per month.

Tax deduction for PhD students and Postdoc

Under several circumstances, you can have some tax deduction (therefore getting more net salary). For example, if you are employed as PhD but your life partner is not working (but living with you in Denmark), you can get some deduction. In this case, the tax rate will be applied on your gross salary after reducing 86000 Danish Krone per year. In other words, you can have on average per month 2500 Danish Krone extra to your net salary. For details of the procedure and regulation, see the Denmark tax authority website (link).

In addition to the mentioned deduction, you can apply for some other deductions such as transport, food, and union membership (for details see the link).


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Fastepo website has a especial academics portal where you can find more academic career such as PhD positions, Postdoc positions , Professorship and Scholarships.

You can also find more details about the study programs in various european countries such as admission requirements, the cost of student life, tuition fees and how to apply for a PhD programs.

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