Principles of allocation

Principles of teaching allocation at the Department of Chemistry

Allocation of the teaching is a large "hand-held puzzle", which involves more than 100 PhD. students and more than 10.000 hours.

We try to meet all requests but it is obviously not always possible.

We allocate after the principles as decided at several levels:

  1. Outer frames (Natural Sciences, PhD school etc.)
  2. Department demands (by department head, executive committee, education committee etc.)
  3. "Rules of thumb"

1. Outer frame


As a main rule, all PhD students are required to teach 140 hours per semester through their entire PhD. Read more about this at "How much do I have to teach".

Teaching hours are calculated according to the norm of Nat, where 1 hour of confrontation (i.e. 45 minutes) elicits 2,5 hours, including preparation/subsequent processing time.

Pregnant women are not allowed to carry out laboratory exercises - which means that it may be necessary to make some changes in the middle of a quarter. In a situation like this, everyone must be flexible.

2. Department demands


  • The department must offer the best teaching possible on all departments courses - including PhD-instruction 
  • Generally it is expected that all PhD-students, no matter direction of study, can teach first year courses.
  • Wishes/requests for teaching are collected from course responsible VIPs and from PhD-students.
  • Lene Conley collects teaching requests from PhD-students enrolled at the chemistry programme and the PhD-administrator at iNANO collects teaching requests from PhD-students enrolled at the nanoscience program. iNANO allocate instructors for their own courses and at nano-classes in the obligatory first year nano-chemistry courses. The rest of the iNANO instructors are allocated together with chemistry -instructors at chemistry courses by Lene Conley.    
  • At the large first year courses (common chemistry, inorganic chemistry, common chemistry bio/geo, organic chemistry, organic chemistry bio) study cafe is offered - typically Monday-Thursday afternoons for 1,5-2 hours. One TØ instructor and one LØ instructor are normally present + backfill instructors if needed. The arrangement is adjusted every year according to the number of available instructors. Thus during some semesters the study cafe can not be offered every day.  
  • If possible one extra instructor (backfill) is allocated for each of the five above-mentioned courses - this is a big wish because of the huge coordination of large courses, often with 15-40 classes and instructors. It is the aim that the backfill instructor also have a class in the course. This person is selected by the course responsible VIP. Lene Conley ensures that there are experienced instructors for the task. In some semesters, because of lack of instructors, there will not be backfill instructors at all courses.
  • In some courses "extra" hours in LØ and CØ are granted. This can for instance be due to software which have to be installed/updated every year or in laboratory courses without a laboratory technician.     

3. "Rule of thumb"


  • It is the aim that an instructor has only to teach in one course per quarter unless otherwise is agreed upon. This can unfortunately not always be possible, particularly in the spring semester, where several 70-hour courses run during both quarters. In total, the instructor normally still only have to teach in two courses per semester.
  • In extraordinary cases it may be possible to allocate extra hours to a course. This is used for new courses, for extensive changes of a course and for new exercises in big laboratory courses. It can not by expected every year and it has to by arranged early with Lene Conley (and possible ph.d.-administrator by iNANO) by the course-responsible VIP.
  • The last "rest of hours": some courses give an uneven number of hours", where it is not possible to allocate 70 or 140 hours in total to the instructors. It is aimed that all instructors teach as close to 140 hours per semester as possible - i.e. two TØ/LØ possible with an additional SC and possible uneven allocated during the two quarters. In some cases this is not possible. In these case Lene Conley together with the ph.d.-student will try to find a suitable solution - this can for instance be by allocating a SC in one of the first year courses, which then should be done by taking all SCs in 1-2 weeks (and not a SC in each of the 7 or 14 weeks). It can also be solved by allocating the rest of the hours for "other tasks" (but only if it makes any sense). Another solution can be that the PhD-student gets less or more than 140 hours per semester.   
  • Sometimes "special tasks" can be allocated to both Danish and foreign PhD students. For instance education committee, "Besøgsservice" (visits from Danish high schools), translation of laboratory manuals, mentor tasks for foreign Erasmus students, ad hoc instruction of bachelor and master students in large research groups where only a couple of postdocs/PhD-students are present, and other department tasks. This varies from year to year and it is not something that can be expected.           
  • It is the aim that foreign (i.e. non-Danish speaking) PhD-students teach the same course through the PhD. It is the supervisors task to help Lene Conley and PhD-administrator at iNANO to find suitable courses. If the teaching material is not in English the foreign students are given more hours than normal because of language complications.
  • Correction of laboratory reports when the instructor is non-Danish speaking - a solution is found for each occasion. For example extra hours to a Danish instructor who make the correction instead, or something else.