FAQ

Doctoral Admission

What is the aim of a doctoral degree at the Wiso Department (Dr. rer. pol.)

The doctoral degree is the research-oriented deepening or supplementation of an already completed university degree with the aim of making an independent contribution to research and thus acquiring an increased ability to argue scientific arguments. In principle, the doctoral degree consists of the independent preparation of a doctoral thesis (which usually consists of several essays) and an oral examination. The doctoral degree is awarded upon successful completion and publication of the doctoral thesis.

What are the general admission requirements?

If you are interested in a doctoral degree at our department, you must:
1. have found a first reviewer (usually a professor in our department). Unfortunately, we cannot help you find a first reviewer.
2. fulfil the formal requirements stipulated by the Framework Doctoral Regulations (FAU) and the Faculty Doctoral Regulations (WiSo):

o Master’s, state examination, Diplom or Magister at a university or university of applied sciences in an economics and social science programme
o Final grade of 2.5 or better
o At least 50 ECTS credits in economics and social sciences, whereby 20 ECTS credits can also be recognised from other disciplines relevant to the doctoral topic. If the necessary ECTS points cannot be proven, the    prospective student can be admitted on condition that the missing ECTS points are made up.

How do I log in or how do I register with DocDaten?

As soon as you have found a first , please register in DocDaten.

At the end of the online registration process, you will receive the “Application for admission to doctoral studies – Dr. rer. pol.”, which you should sign and submit to the doctoral office  together with the following documents (each as a PDF).

1. Curriculum vitae;
2. Copy of a valid identity document;
3. Proof of university entrance qualification (e.g. Abitur);
4. Proof and certificates of your university degrees (Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees);
5. Proof of a proper course of study (e.g. transcript of records).

After a positive review and processing, you will receive a letter of admission from us with a copy to your reviewer.

We will contact you if we have any questions or if we need additional documents from you.

The title of the thesis remains a working title until submission and is only finally entered in DocDaten by the doctoral office when you submit your thesis (opening of proceedings).

When registering in DocDaten, please be sure to enter your e-mail address and a cell phone number so that we can contact you if necessary. Please keep your contact details up to date during the entire doctoral procedure and let us know of any changes.

If you have any further questions, please refer to our FAQs or contact the team in the doctoral office.

Is it enough if I submit copies of my Master's and Bachelor's certificates?

Yes, the copies are sufficient in most cases. However, it may happen that we need a short personal copy of the original. In this case, the doctoral office will contact you.

How can I register on the IdM portal? How do I receive the activation letter?

For this purpose, we refer to the page of the Rechenzentrum.
Login IdM-Portal: https://www.rrze.fau.de/infocenter/kontakt-hilfe/idm/#collapse_0

Instructions for activating your IdM account: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eqB3hvWDz0U

Can I be enroled?

You can enroll at the university during your doctoral studies. Here you will find the advantages, informations of enrolment and the contact persons.

Can I also doctoral degree part-time?

Yes, an external doctoral degree is possible at the School of Business, Economics and Society, as long as you can find a suitable reviewer and work together on your doctoral degree . External doctoral students must also complete the doctoral program, which is worth 30 ECTS. Please contact your reviewer care directly.

Supervision

I am interested in a doctoral degree (Dr. rer. pol.). How can I find a supervisor?

Unfortunately, we cannot help you find a supervisor.

To find a suitable chair for your research focus, please refer to the chairs of the institutes.
For the first meeting with your reviewer, we recommend that you familiarize yourself with the checklist for good practice in the supervision and implementation of qualification theses (Checkliste zur guten Praxis der Betreuung und Durchführung von Qualifizierungsarbeiten).

Further information and documents can also be found on our Website under “Supervision” and in the FAQs.

You can apply for admission to the doctoral degree Dr.rer.pol. at our department under the following conditions:

1. you have found a supervisor (usually a professor in our department).
2. you fulfil the formal requirements specified by the Doctoral Regulations (FAU) and the Faculty Doctoral Regulations (WiSo):
o Master’s, state examination, Diplom or Magister at a university or university of applied sciences in an economics and social science programme
o Final grade of 2.5 or better
o At least 50 ECTS credits in economics and social sciences, whereby 20 ECTS credits can also be recognised from other disciplines relevant to the doctoral topic. If the necessary ECTS points cannot be proven, the prospective student can be admitted on condition that the missing ECTS points are made up.

My second reviewer is not employed at WISO, but externally. What should I be aware of?

Please contact the doctoral office if you have any questions regarding the constellation of reviewers.

External reviewers must be approved in advance by the doctoral committee; submission / opening of the doctoral procedure is only possible on the following PST. In this case, please contact us approx. 6 months before your planned submission.

The “Application for the appointment of an external second assessment” (document under “Supervision” is submitted by the first reviewer and must be submitted to the doctoral office at least 2 weeks before the meeting of the Doctoral Committee (PST).

The doctoral candidate or first reviewer must contact the second reviewer in good time with reference to the GAT deadline for submission of the review!

The second reviewer must be determined before the dissertation is submitted and the doctoral office must be informed by the deadline for the submission/opening of the doctoral procedure at the latest.

If necessary, further reviewers can also be appointed by the doctoral office or doctoral committee.

Are information presentations also offered on the procedure?

Twice a year, we organize a Zoom information event on the topic of doctoral procedures, to which we automatically invite all active doctoral candidates and inform them via our website. After registering, you will receive a confirmation and the Zoom link. You are welcome to attend more than once.

Where can I find support for PhD students?

Support is also available from the FAU doctoral student representatives, where you will also find the elected representatives for the department at WiSo: (https://blogs.fau.de/proko/; Email: promovierendenkonvent@fau.de.

In addition, we will of course be pleased to answer any questions you may have and, if necessary and in consultation with you, will pass on your concerns to the current acting liaison professor.

How can I end my doctoral degree prematurely?

The premature termination of the doctoral project must be announced to all those involved in the specific doctoral project in accordance with Section 8, Paragraph 6 RPromO.

After you have informed your first reviewer, please submit your premature termination to the doctoral office using the correct form, which you can find on the website under “Documents and Services – Supervision”.

You will then receive a confirmation with a copy to your first reviewer.

Doctoral thesis

What are the formal components of the dissertation

The formal components of the dissertation are regulated in accordance with § 10 of the Framework Doctoral Degree Regulations 2013, e.g.

-Title of the dissertation (if in English also German title);
-Approx. 2-page summary (if in English also in German);
-table of contents;
-number of pages;
-bibliography and other aids

Please be sure to use the current (!) template “Title page” for the dissertation (see website under “Opening of the doctoral procedure“);

Proofreader’s version of your dissertation as a print copy: 1 x copy in print version, double-sided with adhesive binding (no ring binding) for the doctoral office; if necessary, additional print copies in consultation with the reviewers.

Please coordinate any other formal components that are not regulated directly with your first reviewer.

What is the difference between cumulative and essay-based dissertations?

The distinction between cumulative and essay-based dissertations is purely legal. If you submit a dissertation with at least two papers already published, it is legally a cumulative dissertation. Otherwise, it is an essay-based one. Operationally, however, this has no impact, as both types are handled in the same way. It is therefore irrelevant that “cumulative” instead of “essay-based” is stored in DocDaten.

How should my essay-based dissertation be structured?

It must contain at least three articles, at least one of which must be written by a single author. In addition, at least two of the articles should have the potential to be published in a high-ranking peer-reviewed journal, preferably at an international level.

Are the co-authors of my essay-based dissertation to be listed?

The declaration of co-authors must be signed by all co-authors involved and submitted to the first reviewer for each article. The declaration is part of the documents that you must upload as a PDF to DocDaten by the submission deadline / opening of the doctoral procedure.

Can I change the title of my dissertation at a later date?

So far, this is a working title. The final title of the dissertation will be entered in DocDaten by the doctoral office after submission of your dissertation.

May I write my dissertation in English?

If this has been agreed in writing with your first reviewer, you can write your dissertation in English. Please note that your dissertation must still contain a German title and a German summary.

How will my dissertation be published?

Once the doctoral committee (PST) has confirmed the grades, you can publish.

Further information and contacts for publication can be found on our website under “Publication (completion)” and in the FAQs.

Can there be copyright / legal problems with the publication of my essay-based dissertation?

If you have any legal questions on the subject of copyright, please contact the legal advisor for legal issues relating to copyright, open access and research data management: Ms. Petra Heermann, Tel. 09131 85-23920; e-mail petra.heermann@fau.de or ub-tb02ju@fau.de

Website for doctoral rights at Erlangen University Library: https://ub.fau.de/ub-coach/rechtsfragen/promotionsrecht/

Submission of the doctoral thesis – Opening of the doctoral procedure

At what times can I submit my doctoral thesis?

Each year there are three PhD collection dates (PST) at our department. The first is usually at the end of April/beginning of May, the second at the beginning of July and the third at the end of November/beginning of December. The doctoral thesis has to be handed in about two months before the respective PST.

Please coordinate your submission date in advance with your first reviewer – with reference to the review submission date (GAT) -, check your documents for completeness (e.g. “Declaration of co-authors” if essay-based), and arrange an appointment with the doctoral office approx. 2-3 months before submission for your electronic “opening of the doctoral procedure” in DocDaten.

At this point at the latest, please inform us of your second review (note: in the case of an external second review, please notify the doctoral office at least 6 months before submission).

You can find the PhD collection dates (PST) and the documents required for the submission here under “Opening of the doctoral procedure“.

What are the requirements for the doctoral program?

The successful completion of the doctoral program is confirmed by your first reviewer on page 3) of the application to open the procedure. You should submit the certificates to your first reviewer. In total, the program includes modules worth a total of 30 ECTS. How exactly you obtain these, whether through seminars, lectures, conferences or similar, will be agreed with your first reviewer, as this is regulated differently depending on the institute.

What is the procedure for submitting my dissertation / opening the doctoral procedure?

The PhD collection dates (PST) and required documents can be found under Documents and Services under “Opening of the doctoral procedure”.

You have already agreed on a date ( please note the PST doctoral deadlines!) for the electronic submission of your dissertation (opening of the procedure) approx. 2-3 months in advance and informed us of your second assessment (if you have an external second assessment, please contact the doctoral office approx. 6 months before submission ).

Please proceed as follows on the agreed date (in the morning):

and afterwards, after 2 weeks at the latest …

  • by (in-house) post or in person after making an appointment:
    Dispatch/submission of documents in paper form as well as 1 x A4 of your dissertation in print version (perfect binding; printed on both sides)

We will send you a confirmation (with a copy to your reviewers) once we have received, checked and successfully opened your case;

Please coordinate the handover of the dissertation (option: electronic/print version) directly with your reviewers.

When the procedure is opened, the final title of your dissertation is determined and adopted by the doctoral office at DocDaten;

Please check the data you have entered (contact, dissertation title, etc.) and be sure to inform us in good time of any (deadline) changes.

Further information can also be found in the doctoral regulations here.

What happens after submitting the dissertation / opening the doctoral procedure?

The third supervisor is assigned by the doctoral body and may not belong to the same institute as the first reviewer or second reviewer.

Once the first reviewer has agreed a date with the supervisors involved and all reviews (GAT) have been received, you will receive your disputation date from the doctoral office with an invitation in the so-called “big letter” at least one week before your disputation, including written grades and the name of the third supervisor. You then send your dissertation to the third supervisor by email as a pdf document.

How are third supervisor assigned for the disputation?

The third supervisor is appointed by the doctoral office  and may not belong to the same institute as the first reviewer or second reviewer.

When will I be told the date of my oral examination?

After coordinating the date with the supervisors involved by the first reviewer and the receipt of all reviews (GAT), you will receive your disputation date including written grades and the name of the third supervisor with your invitation (so-called “big letter”) from the doctoral office at least one week before your disputation.
You then send your dissertation to the third supervisor by email as a pdf document.

When will I receive the grades for my doctoral thesis?

We will send you the two written grades of your reports together with the written invitation to the oral examination.

Who is responsible for organizing and conducting the disputation?

The organization and implementation of the disputation is carried out by the first reviewer.
In addition to the content, please also agree on the technical details (e.g. zoom link for video conference; room).

With your signature on the “Application for the opening of the doctoral examination procedure” you agree, among other things, to a possible “digital oral examination”. Further information can be found here under “Digital oral examination”.

How is the grade of my doctoral procedure made up?

Two thirds of your grade consists of the average grade of the dissertation and one third of the grade of the disputation. If there is an intermediate grade that lies in the middle between two grades (1.5; 2.5; 3.5), the better grade applies.

What is the current grading system?

If your dissertation is accepted, the grades 1.0 – 4.0 apply with intermediate grades at quarter grade intervals (0.25). The grades 0.75 and 4.25 are excluded. If your thesis is rejected, the grade will be non rite (5.0).

Can I request my grades and reports from the doctoral office?

You will automatically receive your grades in writing from the doctoral office  during the doctoral process. To view the reviews, please contact your reviewers directly.

 

Publication

What exactly do I have to consider when printing the doctoral thesis for submission to the library?

You can find all the library guidelines that are important when publishing your dissertation here

When can I publish my doctoral thesis?

After the doctoral committee (PST) has confirmed your grades and you can present a signed ready-to-print note (application for completion), you may publish your thesis in the selectable variants. You can find the different options on our homepage and on the application for completion, which you can find on our website under “Publication (completion)”.

What do I need for the completion?

On the application for completion, which you must submit to the branch library after confirmation of the grades by the doctoral committee (PST), you must obtain the signatures of your first and second assessors for the ready-to-print note.

What is the print approval?

The ready-to-print note on the application for finalisation is the release of your dissertation for publication, which your reviewers sign. You submit this application to the branch library.

What happens after the submission of my doctoral thesis to the library?

As soon as the doctoral office has received confirmation of your successful publication from the library, we will issue your doctoral certificate.

We will send you the certificate (German and English) by post to your contact address entered in DocDaten (please check if necessary!).
Note: the English certificate is only valid in conjunction with the signed German certificate.

My dissertation is essay-based and there are still parts in the review process. How do I handle this?

For essay-based theses: Please remember to add an embargo note to your thesis if parts of essay-based dissertations are still in the review process. Send this blocking notice, signed by you and the first reviewer, to the doctoral office . After the doctoral office  has signed it, you can forward the application directly to the library.

I have published my dissertation but have not yet received a certificate. How long can this take?

As soon as the doctoral office has received confirmation of your successful publication from the library, we will issue your doctoral certificate.
We will send you the certificate (German and English) by post to your contact address entered in DocDaten (please check if necessary!).
Please note: the English certificate is only valid in conjunction with the signed German certificate.