Good scientific practice

High quality research

The University is legally obliged to ensure good scientific practice in its teaching and research.

FAU has therefore developed regulations (in German) based on the recommendations of the German Research Foundation (in German). They provide guidance on good scientific practice for researchers from all disciplines.

To ensure that doctoral degrees are completed successfully it is important that doctoral candidates and their supervisors are aware of their rights, obligations and responsibilities. The check list Checklist for carrying out and supervising doctoral degrees is used as a guideline. It provides the basis for the initial meeting between the doctoral candidate and their supervisor that must be held at the start of the process.

We strongly recommend that the doctoral candidate and their supervisor sign a supervision agreement, and many areas within FAU have accepted this as common practice. The benefits of signing an agreement such as this are clear. It helps both parties in the supervision relationship clarify their rights, obligations and expectations and agree on the details which should apply in each individual case. This helps avoid misunderstandings and forms the basis for a fruitful cooperation.

We offer a proposed supervision agreement, which we would recommend using in combination with the relevant check list for the initial meeting between doctoral candidates and their supervisor. This ensures that the supervision agreement provides structured documentation of the agreements reached during this meeting.

After completing your doctoral degree, you will generally receive a new employment contract with the University when you begin the postdoctoral phase. An overview of the most important topics that you should discuss with your future manager with regard to your contract is provided in the Check list for discussion after completing a doctoral degree (in German).  You and your future manager can use this check list as a guideline when discussing a new contract or extending an existing contract.

Added: According to the Regulations for safeguarding good scientific practice and dealing with scientific misconduct at Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU), individual and third-party preparatory work must be fully and correctly cited (Section 6). This of course also applies to results, content or figures from the individual’s own preparatory work/publications which are used in doctoral theses. In principle, these should be referenced or cited in just the same way as work from other scientists or scholars in accordance with the standards applicable to the subject in question. Helpful information about avoiding self-plagiarism can be found in the information sheet form the Graduate Centre.

We have documented some of our events on good scientific practice for you. Although they were held some time ago, the information is still highly relevant.