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General FAQs

FAQs on doctoral procedures

If you have any other questions relating to a specific faculty, please go to the faculty’s separate FAQ pages:

Questions concerning registration

To register in docDaten use your IdM account.

You will already have an IdM account if you are or were enrolled or employed at FAU. Once your login name has been activated (see below) in the IdM self-service system (www.idm.fau.de) you can view the data you have entered at www.docdaten.fau.de.

If you are employed at FAU you can find your login name and the activation password in your account information letter. If you are a student, you can find these details on your student ID.

Activation: If you have not studied at FAU and are not employed here, please contact graduiertenzentrum@fau.de. Here you will get the information you need for your IdM account. You only need to activate your login name once in the IdM self-service system. To do this, simply enter your login name and your activation password in the relevant fields. You can get this information from the Graduate Centre.

If you have forgotten your IdM login name or if an existing account no longer works, please contact one of the RRZE Helpdesks. The FAU Graduate Centre only has access to your IdM login until you have activated your account. Once you have activated your IdM account, the RRZE is responsible for managing it.

Helpdesk locations:

Erlangen southern campus: Computer Centre (RRZE)
Martensstr. 1, Erlangen
1st floor, room 1.013
Phone: +49 9131 8529955
Fax:+49 9131 8529966
Opening times:
Monday–Thursday 9.00 am–4.00 pm
Friday: 9.00 am–2.00 pm

Erlangen city centre: IZI Helpdesk
Bismarckstr. 1, Erlangen
C Tower, Room C105
Phone: + 49 9131 8526134
Fax: + 49 9131 8522121
Opening times:
Monday–Thursday 9.00 am–4.00 pm
Friday: 9.00 am–2.00 pm

Nuremberg: IZN Helpdesk
Lange Gasse 20 Nuremberg
Room: 0.439
Phone: + 49 9131 5302815
Fax: +49 911 5302408
Opening times:
Monday-Friday 9.00 am–12.00 midday, 2.00 pm–5.00 pm and 7.00 pm–9.00 pm
Saturday 9.00 am-12 midday, 3.00pm–5.00 pm and 8.00 pm–9.00 pm

You can make some amendments to data saved in docDaten yourself. If you wish to make other changes, send us an e-mail with the details (graduiertenzentrum@fau.de).

If you have been admitted to a doctoral degree programme, you can enrol as a doctoral student for a maximum of six semesters. Please check the deadlines and information provided by the Student Records Office (Studierendenverwaltung) for programmes with no admission restrictions. In order to enrol you need confirmation of your status as a doctoral candidate at FAU; you can find the corresponding information in docDaten.

As a doctoral student, you must also pay the semester fees paid by undergraduates (this includes the cost of your basic semester ticket).

Questions on admission

Section 8 of the General Doctoral Regulations (RPromO) specifies that you need to submit an application for admission to a doctoral degree programme at the beginning of your doctoral project. This offers a number of advantages:

  • We can check at an early stage to see whether you have satisfied the requirements to study at doctoral level at FAU.
  • Once admitted, you are registered as a doctoral candidate at FAU (even if you are not employed by FAU).
  • You can benefit from our central services.
  • You will regularly receive important information on studying for a doctorate.

Once you have registered through the doctoral portal docDaten, you will be able to find all the forms required. Each of these forms includes a list of the documents you will need to supply. Please make sure that you have gathered all the documents required before submitting them for admission or initiating the doctoral procedure.

Generally, the original documents must be submitted; these must also be in German (the official language). However, the Offices of Doctoral Affairs will also accept attested copies of documents and certified translations of documents and also documents in English.

If you submit the original with a copy, this can be compared and verified straight away and you can take the original away with you again. Please make your own copies. We cannot make copies for you.

Questions on initiating the doctoral procedure

The General Doctoral Regulations do not stipulate a limit on the duration of doctoral study for doctoral candidates who are not enrolled as a student. This is different for those who do enrol as a student. Further information is found under the question ‘De-registered after three years – what happens now?’.

At the Faculty of Humanities, Social Sciences, and Theology, the candidate and the supervisor have to submit an informal application to the Doctoral Affairs Committee. If external experts or examiners are used, their address must be included with the doctoral thesis when it is submitted.

At the Faculty of Sciences, the supervisor needs to submit a request to the Faculty Council for an examiner from another subject (at FAU) to be allowed. If the examiner is from another university, the supervisor has to make an informal application to the Doctoral Affairs Committee.

At the Faculty of Medicine, an examiner from another subject must be included in procedures for the degree of Dr. rer. biol. hum. This person is nominated by the supervisor. For the degree of Dr. med./Dr. med. dent., examiners from another subject are not permitted.

Examiners from another subject have to satisfy the criteria set out in Section 5 of the General Doctoral Regulations and the Faculty Doctoral Regulations.

Your certificate of good conduct may not be older than three months at the time you file your application.

Questions on the doctoral thesis

A specimen title page is included as an appendix to the General Doctoral Regulations.

All the information relating to mandatory copies can be found in the respective doctoral regulations and in Section 15 of the General Doctoral Regulations.

Questions on other matters

If you enrol as a doctoral student for your doctoral degree, Section 49 (3) Bavarian Higher Education Act (Bayerisches Hochschulgesetz, BayHSchG) stipulates that you will be de-registered after three years at the latest.

Please do not confuse enrolment with registration in our database docDaten or with admission to the doctoral degree.

In justified exceptional circumstances, candidates may remain enrolled at the University for more than three years if a request for an extension is submitted by the doctoral candidate or their supervisor. Reasons for an extension may be:

  • Funding for the doctoral research depends on the candidate having student status
  • Student status is an essential prerequisite for the residence permit of non-EU nationals
  • Admission to the doctoral degree is linked to conditions which can only be met if the candidate has student status

In addition, supervisors have to submit a document stating that the project is nearing completion and will be completed in one or two semesters.

You can contact either your Office of Doctoral Affairs, the chairperson of the corresponding doctoral committee or the person in your faculty administration responsible for doctoral matters.

In addition, staff at the FAU Graduate Centre will be happy to help you if you have any questions (graduiertenzentrum@fau.de, +49 9131 8520724). Doctoral candidates of the School of Business and Economics should contact the Graduate Centre for the Faculty of Business, Economics, and Law directly.

You can find all key information and the texts of the doctoral regulations on our website.

As a rule, a Master’s degree or comparable university degree (Diplom, M.A., Staatsexamen) is required in the subject in which you are planning to take a doctorate. Some faculty doctoral regulations, such as those for the Dr. rer. nat.(Natural Sciences) and Dr. rer. pol. (Business and Economics) provide for the acceptance of particularly talented candidates with a Bachelor’s degree.

Under certain circumstances, admission to a doctoral degree may be approved on the basis of a degree obtained in another subject. Sometimes a qualifying examination may be necessary for admission to a doctoral degree programme. You can find more details in Section 6 of the Doctoral Regulations.

Master’s degrees from universities of applied sciences are deemed to be equivalent to Master’s degrees from universities. Under certain circumstances, very good graduates from universities of applied sciences with a Diplom may be accepted provided they pass the qualifying examination for the doctoral degree programme.

Degrees from non-German universities have to be examined by the bodies responsible. This is undertaken after you have successfully registered in docDaten and submitted your application to be admitted to a doctoral degree programme. It can take several months to determine the equivalence of non-German degrees.

The German Academic Exchange Service – Deutsche Akademische Austauschdienst (DAAD) provides scholarships for periods of research abroad. The Alexander-von-Humboldt Foundation, for example, offers options for those in the postdoctoral phase.

In addition, the Central Office for International Affairs at FAU has compiled a list of other sponsorship organisations that fund periods abroad.

You can also do some research yourself and check our website with its various funding databases.

If you are already a doctoral candidate and receive basic funding for your project at FAU, you can also ask your sponsor whether they also provide additional funding for periods of research abroad. Some organisations that promote young academic talents also offer this.