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Representation of interests & Initiatives

Who represents the interests of doctoral candidates? Where can I get active?
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Who represents the interests of doctoral candidates?

There are several interest groups that serve as contact partners for matters relevant to doctoral candidates or employees of the university. As a PhD candidate, you can participate in the election for the Jena University Doctoral Council (DR. FSU). If you are a member of a structured PhD programme, you can also vote in the election for the Board of the Academy. As an employee of the university, you can additionally participate in elections of academic staff representatives and in the election for the Staff Council. You are also welcome to participate in the interest groups and actively run for election.

  • Doctoral council (DR.FSU)

    FSU Doctoral Council

    The Doctoral Council of Friedrich Schiller University Jena (DR.FSU) is elected to represent the interests of all doctoral candidates. The Council supports PhD candidates in all matters concerning their doctorate and represents their interests at all levels of the University. The Council aims to facilitate a lively professional and social exchange among doctoral candidates of all departments in a variety of events. Every doctoral candidate can be involved in the DR.FSU's work by providing ideas and suggestions or by putting themselves up for election into the Council.

    The members of the Doctoral Council are elected every year during the summer semester, at the same time as the elections for the Board of the Graduate Academy and the other bodies. The election is held as an online election. All eligible voters are contacted by email in good time before the election. All doctoral candidates have the right to run for election. The Council may consist of up to 17 members.

    For more information, please refer to the DR.FSU home pageExternal link.

    Other Doctoral Initiatives

  • Academic staff representation

    Doctoral candidates who are employed by Jena University are members of the academic employee group of voters, and elect their representatives in each of the bodies of the University every three years, i.e., the Senate, the Faculty Councils and the Equal Opportunities Committee.

    The elections are held in an online form. As a rule, all elections are held simultaneously at Jena University. For information on the current members of the Senate, click here de. Further information is available from the University of Jena's Electoral OfficeExternal link.

    In recent years, the representatives of academic staff in Jena have increasingly organised themselves. Elected academic staff representatives in the senate meet regularly in the "forum mittelbau"External link. The forum aims to open up and establish a space for the exchange of information about shared interests. This should be the starting point for an appropriate presence and effective representation of interests in university committees.

    The "Network for Decent Work in Academia"External link has been founded on a national level. It brings together the regional Mittelbau initiatives and organises nationwide events.

  • Staff council

    Friedrich Schiller University's Staff Council is the interest representation for the employees and civil servants who work at Jena University. The Staff Council's fundamental responsibilities are defined by the Thuringian Law on Employee RepresentationExternal link (in German). The Council provides assistance in all matters concerning the compliance with employee rights and employee protection. It takes on suggestions or complaints from members of staff, and it is its duty to insist that the employer take remedial action. Moreover, it has rights to be involved in certain decisions taken by the bodies of the University (participation and co-determination right). The Staff Council homepage provides answers to a number of frequently asked questions concerning work lifeExternal link (in German), such as:

    • Seeking medical advice during your working hours
    • Change of income group
    • Is it true that you do not have to provide a doctor's certificate if you are only off sick for up to three days?
    • Right to strike in public services
    • Thuringian Higher Education Act
    • When does an accident that occurs on your way to work count as an occupational injury?

    The Staff Council is elected every four years by the members of the University. The election is held as a ballot box vote. Eligible voters can cast their vote by post upon prior request. Eligible voters are informed by means of an announcement on notice boards. For more information, click here de (in German).

  • Board of the Academy

    The Board of the Academy decides on all fundamental matters concerning the Graduate Academy and elects the Executive Committee. It is responsible for the admission of new members. The doctoral candidates of the member institutions (doctoral schools and research training groups) are represented as an own status group in the Board of the Academy and may advocate their interests there.

    Further information on the board of the Graduate Academy can be found here.

How can I get involved beside my doctorate?

In addition to your doctorate, you can get involved in a variety of ways at Jena University: You can represent the interests of the doctoral candidates in the university committees, you can support international doctoral candidates on their arrival in Jena or offer workshops for other doctoral candidates.

  • Representation of interests

    If you want to support the interests of doctoral candidates, you can become active in all the above-mentioned committees:

    The Jena University Doctoral Council (DR.FSU) meets once a month – always on the first Wednesday of the month at 5 pm. Non-members are also very welcome. In addition, the DR.FSU organises a monthly meeting of doctoral candidates, the "DocTable", to which all doctoral candidates of the university can come.

    If you are a staff member of the university, you can be a candidate for the Senate, your Faculty Council and the Advisory Board for Equal Opportunities de. Elections take place once a year in June. The meetings of these bodies are held in German. If you wish to stand as a candidate, you must notify the university's election office by May. You can find further information here de.

    If you are doing your doctorate in a structured programme, you can also find out whether there is a doctoral candidate representation in your programme and, if so, get active.

  • Support international doctoral candidates

    If you want to support the integration of international doctoral candidates and thus contribute to an active welcome culture at the University of Jena, you can join the International Tutoring Service of the Graduate Academy. The Graduate Academy offers this free service to all newly arrived international doctoral candidates and postdocs. The tutors support and accompany them during their first steps in Jena. Further information can be found here.

  • Offer workshops

    The Graduate Academy is looking for doctoral candidates who have special skills and want to pass these on to other doctoral candidates, conducting their own workshop. The workshops will be part of the Qualification Programme of the Graduate Academy. You'll get an allowance for teaching the course. The language can be either German or English. In this way you can pass on your knowledge and skills and gain additional teaching experience.

    If you have an idea how to enrich our Qualification Programme, please send an email to ga-qualifizierung@uni-jena.de.

  • Other ways to be active

    You can also be active in other projects at Jena University: For example, with the student newspaperExternal link, the university radioExternal link or the International CentreExternal link. If you want to get involved outside the university, you can contact the BürgerstiftungExternal link.

Events for networking

Welcome Event
Welcome event for new doctoral candidates
The event "Welcome to the Doctorate" welcomes all new doctoral candidates of a year at the Friedrich Schiller University Jena