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Graduate Centre

Information and services from A to Z

Information and services from A to Z

Here you will find useful information related to doctoral degrees, academic career development and professional development for doctoral candidates.

A

Alumni are former students and staff of a university. Note that ‘alumni’ is the plural form, a single former student is called an ‘alumnus’ (male form) or an ‘alumna’ (female form). FAU has a free alumni network for all students and alumni to forge contacts and keep in touch.

The FAU alumni network is a great way for graduates, former exchanges students and former guest researchers to stay in contact with the University.

More information on the activities and events organised for alumni by the Department of Marketing and Communications are available under alumni.

 

 

C

FAU’s Career Service is open to students, doctoral candidates and graduates of all faculties at the University. It offers a wide range of advisory services, events and information about applications and careers free of charge.

As a key point of contact for students and doctoral candidates, the Career Service aims to provide assistance for them when they are considering their future professions and to make the transition from study or doctoral research to work easier for graduates.

The services offered include:

  • individual careers advice for all students and doctoral candidates
  • checks of application documents in German and English
  • seminars on applications and soft skills
  • information day with presentations on starting a career
  • career talks between students, doctoral candidates and alumni from different subjects
  • networking events (faculty career day at the School of Law, phil.Forum)
  • online job portal with part-time jobs, internships and entry-level positions for all subjects
  • up-to-date information on company events, recruiting events and more on the Career Service blog
  • specialist library with literature on applications, core skills and career orientation

Detailed information on all services and events is available on the Career Service page.

The Career Service was established in 2009 as a central point of contact and continues to expand the range of events and services that it offers. It is financed through tuition fee compensation and is part of IBZ (Student Advice and Career Service at FAU).

A referat (office) at FAU. RIA offers help and advice in all non-disciplinary questions to international students and researchers. RIA also provides all kinds of information on other topics, including studying abroad, funding for studying abroad and international scholarship advice.

www.fau.eu/international

In German also colloquially referred to as ‘Imma’ from Immatrikulationsbescheinigung. Can be downloaded and,
if necessary, printed out, after enrolment or re-registration. It serves as proof that you are enrolled at the University.

www.fau.eu/application-and-enrolment

FAU offers computer pools at many locations where students and doctoral candidates can access the Internet free of charge. They are distributed across Erlangen and Nuremberg in all faculties, as well as branches of the library and RRZE. Since these pools were funded by the Computer Investment Programme (CIP), they are often referred to as ‘CIP Pools’.

Scanners and printers are also available. You will need a user account to use the computers. Instructions on how to activate and use your user account are available on the FAU website.

 

Application

Whether you’re looking for an internship, a student job or an entry opportunity after completing your degree or doctoral degree, you will generally have to submit a written application before being invited to an interview.

A typical application includes a cover letter, your CV and copies of relevant certificates. Most employers prefer applications to be submitted by e-mail or via an online application portal rather than by post. Employers will usually specify which form your application should take in the job advertisement; if not you can contact them by phone to check. You should always take great care when compiling your application documents and make sure you adapt your application specifically for the company to which you are applying. You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression.

Cover letter

The cover letter is an important part of all written applications. It is designed to attract the employer’s interest to your application and to explain why you are qualified for and interested in a job at the company. Your cover letter should be reader-friendly, informative and authentic, and should be adapted specifically to the company and the position.

It is important to note that your application should include a letterhead which contains your address, e-mail address and telephone number, as well as the employer’s address. Remember to include the date and a subject line. You should also make sure you use the correct salutation and include your signature at the end of the letter. For online applications you can scan your signature and copy it into the document.

It is advisable to structure your cover letter like an essay with an introduction, body and conclusion.  It should be no longer than a page. An informative cover letter includes details of your motivation, relevant qualifications and experience, as well as your personal skills. If requested, you should also include your expected salary and earliest possible starting date, ideally after the body of the letter and before the conclusion. When writing your cover letter, make sure you describe your experience and skills as specifically as you can, with reference to the job description if possible, and include examples. Avoid generic statements, over-complex sentences, justifications for lacks of skills or gaps in your CV, contradictory statements about your CV, and spelling and grammatical errors.

Curriculum vitae

Your curriculum vitae (CV) should take the appropriate form, be informative, and present your key experience and skills. The following advice applies to German CVs; conventions may vary for other languages and countries. Your CV should include the following sections: a header with your personal details, the main body with your educational and professional history (school and university education, part-time jobs, etc.), additional information (e.g. volunteer work, professional training, language and IT skills). The date and your signature should be included at the end.

The individual sections of your CV should include important information about your knowledge and skills, therefore you should state, for example, your main tasks during an internship, your specialisation in your degree and, if applicable, doctoral degree, and the topic of your thesis.

The content is not the only important factor when employers judge your CV – its format is also very important. For this reason, you should take your time when writing it and apply the following basic principles.

  • Your CV should be reader-friendly, which means it should be arranged clearly and consistently.
  • Avoid too much running text and describe tasks, experience and skills in bullet points.
  • You can highlight particularly relevant points by putting them in bold, for example.
  • Make sure your spelling is correct, particularly for proper nouns such as the names of companies and institutions.
  • Your CV can be longer than one page. Doctoral candidates and graduates should usually find that 2 pages are sufficient.
  • Don’t forget to include the date and your signature at the end.

Certificates

Certificates are an important component of your application documents. Work references from previous employers are particularly important; for doctoral candidates and graduates these will usually be references from internships or part-time jobs. You should also include copies of university degrees in your application. You may also wish to include school leaving certificates, proof of professional training, language certificates or similar. When deciding which certificates to include, you should consider whether the qualifications are relevant for the employer. A certificate showing that your have completed a basic course in MS Word in 2005 is probably no longer relevant.

You should receive confirmation that your application has been received shortly after submitting it. If you have not received a response after around two weeks, it is advisable to contact the company to check whether your documents have been received and what the current status of your application is.

If you would like help compiling your application documents or have any questions about the application process, you can make use of the advice and support offered by the Career Service. Information on our services is available on the Career Service page.

When you apply for internships or jobs in anglophone countries, the two most important documents are the cover letter and the CV/résumé. There are some major formal differences compared to German applications.

You should not simply translate your German CV into English as there are different conventions for CVs (also called résumés in the USA) in English-speaking countries: photos are never included, and the focus should be on your relevant experience rather than you as a person.

FAU’s Career Service offers students, doctoral candidates and graduates an online checking service for English-language application documents. Simply send your CV and cover letter in Word format to career-service@fau.de. If you are responding to a specific job advertisement, please include this too. We can only check applications via e-mail.

Please note: we do not offer to prepare your application for you, we can only provide advice on improving your application. In our review we will check whether you have observed all formalities and that the language used is correct. We will also check whether both the formal and logical structure are in line with the appropriate conventions. We will give you feedback and, if required, point out what still needs improving. You can then give us your new version for another review.

D

Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst (German Academic Exchange Service). The DAAD closely cooperates with the International Offices of individual universities and promotes student mobility of both German students wanting to go abroad and foreign students coming to Germany.

www.daad.de/en

Students and doctoral candidates can de-register from the University themselves in order to change university or withdraw from their studies, and after completing their degree or doctoral degree.

The university will de-register you if you have missed the date for re-registration, if you have failed an examination at the final attempt or after the end of the semester in which you have successfully completed your degree.

You can apply for de-registration at the Student Records Office at any time throughout the year. In contrast to enrolment, there are no fixed deadlines for de-registration.

International students and doctoral candidates must de-register in person at the Student Records Office before leaving for their home country.

The contact person for disabled students who have questions on support related to their studies. At FAU, this position is held by Dr Jürgen Gündel.

Further information and Dr Gündel’s contact details: Students with disabilities

The doctoral regulations are available on the doctoral regulations website. Please note that they are only available in German.

E

Enrolment as a student. For more information on enrolment procedures, please see:

www.fau.eu/enrolment

F

The family services unit at the University of Erlangen-Nürnberg and Universitätsklinikum Erlangen provides support for families (including parents and family carers) with regard to family commitments and academic life. Students and staff of the University and Universitätsklinikum Erlangen benefit from comprehensive counselling on studying and working at the University with a child.

www.familienservice.fau.de (German only)

What’s my professor’s e-mail address? Which room is my seminar in? What’s on the menu today? In the free FAU app for iOS and Android you can find the answers to these and many more questions.

You can download the FAU app for free from the Apple app store or the Google Play store. Then you can add your lectures to the planer from UnivIS, create your own appointments and choose which cafeteria menus you would like access to. You can also use the settings to choose which functions you want to see in the app – sorted by faculty.

The School of Business and Economics launched a specially-designed FAU app at the beginning of the summer semester 2015. This pilot project was extended to the whole University at the end of the semester. This means that the School of Business and Economics already has its own navigation area and news services – with a newsfeed, blog and newsletter.

The FAUcard is a multifunction chip card that also acts as your student or doctoral candidate ID.

It combines the following functions: student or doctoral candidate ID, library card for the University Library, electronic purse and ID for electronic access control. The card will be sent to your German address approximately six weeks after you enrol at FAU.

Note that the FAUcard must be validated before it is used for the first time and at the beginning of each semester. You will need to use the validation stations at the University for this. If you want to use the payment function of the card, for example to pay for a meal at one of the University restaurants, you must add money to the card. You can use the cash-to-chip machines at the University for this.

More information on the FAUcard is available on the FAU website.

H

All students must have health insurance. You cannot enrol at FAU if you do not have health insurance.

If you are from Switzerland or another member state of the European Union (EU) including new member states, you can be issued with a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), which is also valid in Germany. Once you arrive in Germany, you must contact a local statutory health insurance provider to verify your card.

Students from Turkey should bring a confirmation form from their health insurance provider (e.g. form T/A 11 or A/T 11). If you are not covered by sufficient health insurance in your home country, you must take out insurance in Germany.

Non-EU citizens should note the following: not all foreign private health insurance policies will be recognised in Germany. Travel health insurance will not be accepted for enrolment or a residence permit. On your arrival, you can take out student health insurance for approximately 80 euros per month from a statutory health insurance provider. Student health insurance is valid from the start of the semester, i.e. from 1 October or 1 April.

The services offered to students by the statutory health insurance providers are mostly identical.

L

The Language Service can provide English translations of German documents, such as those needed for stays abroad, and supports graduates and postdoctoral researchers by offering proof-reading and translation services for publications. Please note that the translation services are subject to a fee.

Language Service for students

 

Student Services Erlangen-Nürnberg offer free legal advice for students. This includes practical advice for all legal difficulties related to your studies in Germany in the following areas: labour law, international law, tenancy law, examination law and contractual law.

Further information

 

N

Universities and private organisers host networking events to give students, doctoral candidates and graduates the opportunity to get in touch with interesting employers and find out about the internships, places for writing theses and entry opportunities available.

Every summer the School of Law organises its own careers day for law students, doctoral candidates and graduates in collaboration with the Career Service.

The regular networking events Bonding and CONTACT are aimed particularly at engineering students, doctoral candidates and graduates.

If you have any queries please contact the organiser.

Careers day at the School of Law

Organiser: a*jfe e. V. in collaboration with the Career Service
Website: www.jura.uni-erlangen.de/fachbereich/

Bonding at the Faculty of Engineering

Organiser: bonding Studenteninitiative e.V.
Website: www.erlangen.firmenkontaktmesse.de

CONTACT at the Faculty of Engineering

Organiser: ETG Kurzschluss e.V. and Studenten und Jungingenieure Erlangen
Website: www.contact-messe.de

O

Office of Equal Opportunitiesy is responsible for all issues related to equality at FAU and offers advice on discrimination and sexual harassment.

Further information: Office of Equal Opportunities (German)

Most employers prefer applications to be submitted online rather than by post. Applications are usually submitted by e-mail or via a company’s online application portal.

You should include the same content and adhere to the same conventions for online applications as you would for a paper application. In addition, you should note the following for online applications:

  1. Make sure you use a sensible e-mail address.
  2. Refer to the job advertisement in the subject of your e-mail.
  3. Use short, succinct file names for attachments.
  4. Only use common file formats, ideally pdf.
  5. Make sure your files are not too large; a single file should be no larger than 2 MB.
  6. If an attachment is too large it is better to split it into several documents.

When you apply for internships or jobs in anglophone countries, the two most important documents are the cover letter and the CV/résumé. There are some major formal differences compared to German applications.
The Career Service offers students, doctoral candidates and graduates an online checking service for English-language application documents.

Please note we do not offer to prepare your application for you, we can only provide advice on improving your application. In our review we will check whether you have observed all formalities and that the language used is correct. We will also check whether both the formal and logical structure are in line with the appropriate conventions. We will give you feedback and, if required, point out what still needs improving. You can then give us your new version for another review.

Please send us both documents (cover letter, CV) as Word documents to career-service@fau.de. If you are responding to a specific job advertisement, please include this too. We can only check applications via e-mail.
The processing time is one week on average.

P

FAU students can apply for parking permits for the University car parks located at the School of Business and Economics in Nuremberg subject to a fee. Information: www.wiso.fau.de/parken

Note that you must apply and pay for parking permits before lectures begin — make sure that you do this in good time.

The following regulations apply to private use of software for doctoral candidates:

  • Doctoral candidates who are enrolled may use FAU software for private purposes like enrolled students.
  • Doctoral candidates who are FAU employees and external doctoral candidates may only also use software for private purposes if they have a work computer at the University and a valid license for the software.
  • If there is a valid RRZE software use contract (subject to a fee) for the desired software for your work computer at FAU, please ask the contact person at your institute to obtain confirmation of this by sending an e-mail to software@fau.de. We will then activate your fauXpas access.

The FAU semester ticket covers the entire VGN network and was launched in the winter semester 2015/16. It allows students to use all forms of transport in the network.

More information is available on the VGN website.

R

Many large companies host regular recruiting events. They usually last one or two days and are aimed a specific target audience from a particular discipline. For example, there are events aimed specifically at engineering or business graduates. These events come in many different forms. In addition to the more traditional plant tours, discussion groups and workshops, some companies organise activities such as sailing or geocaching. You usually have to register to participate in recruiting events by submitting a cover letter and CV.

Information on upcoming recruiting events is published regularly on the Career Service blog (in German).

At the start of the semester you must enrol in person at the Student Records Office at FAU.

  • Student Records Office at FAU, Halbmondstr. 6, Room 0.034 91054 Erlangen, Office hours: Mon–Fri 8:30 a.m.–12 p.m., studentenkanzlei@fau.de

You must bring the following documents to enrolment:

  • admissions letter
  • identity card or passport with valid visa
  • proof of residence (Meldebescheinigung) (only required for international students)
  • proof of health insurance or an exemption certificate for privately insured students or EU students (Befreiungsbescheinigung)
  • passport photo
  • original secondary education certificates and any degree certificates

All students must pay a social contribution to Student Services (Studentenwerksbeitrag). Please make this payment as soon as possible, preferably as soon as you open a German bank account.

More information on enrolment for international students is available under information for international applicants.

Information for all other prospective students is available at www.fau.de/studium/vor-dem-studium.

 

 

RRZE provide IT services and support at FAU. Abbreviation for ‘Regionales Rechenzentrum Erlangen’ (Regional Computer Centre Erlangen) at FAU. RRZE is FAU’s internal IT service and manages free student user accounts and official e-mail addresses which are used by the University to contact students. RRZE also offers programming and other IT courses (software training) for students. Many of them are free of charge and even count as core skills which means that you can gain credits which count towards your degree.

www.rrze.fau.de (German only)

S

In collaboration with the local transport network (VGN), Student Services Erlangen-Nürnberg is introducing a semester ticket for the winter semester 2015/16 and the summer semester 2016. All students must pay the fee for the basic ticket and may choose whether they also wish to purchase the additional ticket.

Further information and prices.

FAU does not tolerate sexual harassment. It has implemented guidelines for dealing with sexual harassment to provide all members of the University with information about this subject and to ensure their protection. If you have any questions or require support, please contact the Office of Equal Opportunities.

Student Services provides social counselling on issues such as financial difficulties, studying with children, and studying with disabilities or chronic illnesses.

Further information: Sozialberatung des Studentenwerks

 

University life is easier with the right IT skills. RRZE offers software training for students and staff at FAU at reasonable prices. Training sessions are available in Erlangen and Nuremberg. For the complete course programme and further information on signing up for a course, please see:

www.kurse.rrze.fau.de (German only)

The Career Service provides interested students and graduates with literature on careers, finding a job, applications and core skills in its specialist library.

Opening times: the specialist library is located in room 0.021 at the Student Advice and Career Service (IBZ) at Halbmondstraße 6 and is open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

More information and a list of the literature available can be found on the Career Service page under specialist library (in German)

Students and staff at FAU may participate in the University sports programme (Allgemeiner Hochschulsport). The University sports centre offers a broad programme at both Erlangen and Nuremberg. The programme is divided into sports classes and competitive sports with regular participation in university championships. Important note for all sports classes: please sign up online at an early point in time.

www.sport.fau.eu/university-sports.shtml

The student ID card provides evidence that you are enrolled as a student to the University and external organisations. In museums, theatres, cinemas, etc. you will often get tickets at a reduced price when you show your student ID. However, the FAUcard, FAU’s student ID, is a multifunction chip card and offers a lot more. The FAUcard can also be used for payment in the University restaurants and cafeterias, as a library card, a copy card and for electronic access control. In addition, you can obtain an International Student ID card (ISIC) for a fee at one of the student travel agencies or at Student Services Erlangen-Nürnberg. To do so, you need a passport photo and your student ID card. With the ISIC, you can also benefit from discounts abroad.

www.fau.eu/faucard

 

 

On enrolment, each student receives their personal registration number. This number will accompany you throughout your entire studies at the University. You have to enter your registration number on many forms, which is why you should memorise it as soon as possible. Your student ID card will help you to remember it.

If all your applications are rejected or you have no idea what to do after you finish your degree, you may feel worried and anxious. If these feelings get too much for you to deal with on your own you can contact Student Services’ counselling service.

Student Services Erlangen-Nürnberg offers all FAU students psychological counselling and psychotherapy in individual sessions, with partners and family members, and in therapy groups at two locations in Erlangen and Nuremberg.

Further information, contact details and opening times are available on the counselling service web page.

U

Academic work also includes reading other academic texts. The necessary media to do so (books, journals, etc.) can be found in the University Library (abbreviated as UB or Uni-Bib in German) and all branch libraries.

For further information visit the university library’s homepage.

The University Sports programme is open to students, doctoral candidates and staff and runs a wide range of low-cost sports courses in Erlangen and Nuremberg. The programme is divided into sports classes and competitive sports with regular participation in university championships. Important note for all sports classes: please sign up online at an early point in time.

More information is available on the FAU website.

UnivIS is short for University Information System. As the name already indicates, it is FAU’s central information system. Via UnivIS, you have access to the electronic course catalogue and can compile a list of the classes you are taking. UnivIS also contains a directory of all people and institutions at FAU, a publication database and information on current job offers. Via the integrated search function, you can locate all rooms at FAU and get the contact details of staff and lecturers.

 

W

To protect employees, German employment law only permits fixed-term contracts under certain conditions. Fixed-term contracts in research and academia are governed by the Wissenschaftszeitvertragsgesetz (WissZeitVG, Fixed-Term Research Contracts Act), a special regulation which allows for a limited amount of flexibility in fixed-term contracts. The Act was amended in March 2016.

Detailed information is available in the DFG notice (German) and FAU’s human resources handbook (German).

Do you have a fixed-term contract based on the Fixed-Term Research Contracts Act (Wissenschaftszeitvertragsgesetz, WissZeitVG) and do you also have children? WissZeitVG includes regulations to ensure that periods of leave spent caring for children are considered when calculating the length of fixed-term contracts.
A summary is available on the website of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (German).

The women’s representative is supported by the Office of Equal Opportunities.

The Office of Equal Opportunities is committed to the promotion of gender mainstreaming and diversity at FAU. Sex, nationality, age, religion, sexual orientation and disabilities should be no obstacle during your studies or doctoral degree or in your professional life. At present, the office co-ordinates several projects and activities.

More information is available on the Office of Equal Opportunities website.

Many graduates are interested in working abroad after completing their degrees. There are many different ways of finding a permanent job abroad, but there are also numerous questions and difficulties that arise in this context. Zentrale Auslands- und Fachvermittlung (ZAV) offers advice in this area. In addition to information and consultation on working abroad, ZAV also provides an international recruitment service and puts job seekers in touch with employers around the world. Information is available at: http://www.ba-auslandsvermittlung.de (in German)

There are many ways to find permanent and temporary jobs in other countries. For example, you can use international job websites. Another option is to join a German company that also operates abroad. In this case, you should check for international job openings on individual companies’ websites. Graduates can also spend a period abroad through work and travel initiatives or volunteer projects.

If you would like help compiling English-language application documents for a position in another country, you can make use of the Career Service’s online checking service.