Confidential theses and projects

Students often cooperate with companies or organisations when writing major assignments, such as theses and reports – for the sake of simplicity called 'assignments’ in the following. In the Examination Order, it is stipulated, among other things, that it is agreed between the student, the university and the third party to which extent the third party's data may be used. An agreement on confidentiality ensures that the third party’s information about internal business matters will be disclosed to unauthorised persons. Trade secrets are also protected in accordance with the legislation on trade secrets.

Assignments

For all assignments, apply:

In connection with the student's work on an assignment, the AU supervisor, co-examiner and other persons at Aarhus University (secretaries and other administrative staff) has a duty of confidentiality in accordance with Danish Public Administration Act. It is worth noting that the information provided to the supervisor during the supervision process is subject to confidentiality in accordance with the rules laid down in the Danish Public Administration Act.

No copies will be distributed by AU to other parties, unless the student, for example, places the assignment on loan via AU libraries, or if the legislation otherwise requires disclosure (e.g. in the case of request subject access to documents).

In the event of an appeal in connection with an examination appeal, assignments will be available to all members of the Board of Appeals, and these will all be covered by the duty of confidentiality, cf. Danish Public Administration Act.

For assignments marked confidential, apply also:

A declaration of confidentiality is thus primarily intended to regulate the student's behaviour towards the company or organisation, by obliging the student to process anything that it may have access to with confidentiality. If the agreement is acceptable for AU, it can be signed by AU, and the assignment then should be marked 'confidential'. This is done on the front page of the thesis/project report and must be chosen by the student in WISEflow, for assignments that is to be submitted electronically.

The supervisor/examiner ensures cf. the Examination Order that any associated oral examination is closed to the audience.

The student has the opportunity not to give his/her consent to the assignment to be made available via the library, which mean that the assignment will not be accessible for reading and/or lending.

The student’s obligations

A confidentiality agreement must be drawn up between the company/organisation, AU and the student in order to comply with the requirements of the Examination Order. As a help, AU has prepared a standard confidentiality agreement, which is possible to use.

Standard Confidentiality Agreement

Find the agreement here: Student agreement 

The following procedure applies when the standard confidentiality agreement is used:

  1. The student must ensure that the agreement is signed by:
    • The student in question
    • The company in question 
    • The supervisor
  2. The supervisor must subsequently submit the standard confidentiality agreement to the departmental programme coordinator for signing (see below)
  3. Once everyone has signed the confidentiality agreement, the supervisor must, via his/her AU-mail, submit an electronic copy to tto@au.dk (Technology Transfer Office) for filing and storing.
    The supervisor/department also has a duty to filing and storing the agreement.

Company-specific Confidentiality Agreement

If the standard confidentiality agreement is not used, the other confidentiality agreement (company-specific confidentiality agreement) must be approved by TTO (Technology Transfer Office; tto@au.dk) on behalf of the university. The supervisor must, via his/her AU-mail, sent this agreement to TTO when signed.

The following procedure applies when the company-specific confidentiality agreement is used:

  1. Students must make the supervisor aware that they are using another agreement than the standard confidentiality agreement
  2. The supervisor must send the agreement to TTO for negotiation/approval on behalf of AU
  3. When the agreement has been approved, the supervisor must send it to the departmental programme coordinator (or, if AU surrender rights, the department head) for signing. The supervisor must also sign the agreement and thereby confirm that he/she is aware of the agreement
  4. The student will then receive the signed contract and must make sure that it is signed by the company
  5. Once the company has signed the contract, the supervisor must return the contract to TTO (tto@au.dk) for filing and storing. The supervisor/department also has a duty to filing and storing the agreement.

It is important to emphasise that the student must familiarise themselves with the content of the agreement – the student must be the one who complies with the agreement. If the student needs advice on the content of the agreement and/or needs to negotiate the terms of the agreement, the student must seek his or her own adviser. AU cannot advise students on any further details of the agreement, nor is able to negotiate on behalf of the student.

Departmental Programme Coordinators

The following departmental programme coordinators may sign the confidentiality agreement (Standard Confidentiality Agreement, and Company-specific Confidentiality Agreement where no rights are surrendered):

Department of Management