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FAQ for doctoral candidates and postdocs

about corona crisis
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We have compiled information for doctoral candidates and postdocs on how to deal with the corona crisis.

Information for employees can be found here. Information for teaching staff can be found here.

FAQ about the doctorate in general

Can I apply for admission as a doctoral candidate? Show content

You can apply for the admission as a doctoral candidate at your faculty in the Dean's office. Please submit all documents via post.

How can I enrol as a doctoral candidate? Show content

You can still enrol as a doctoral candidate. Please send the necessary documents via post (Johannisstr. 13, 07743 Jena) or use the mailbox behind the big green front door of the buildings "Zur Rosen".

Where can I validate my thoska? Show content

The validation/charging of the thoska is possible in the university main building. Access is possible Monday to Saturday from 7.00h to 22.00h exclusively via the entrance Schlossgasse.

How can I use the library? Show content

Since 11 May 2020 it is possible to borrow books and media after prior online ordering. Media borrowed before the ThULB closure, whose loan period have already been exceeded, has to be returned by Friday, 22.05.2020 at the latest. No reminder fees will be charged until then. This does not apply to fees that already existed before the library was closed. You can return your currently borrowed media via the media box next to the entrance door of the ThULB main building or in the Social Sciences Library.

The ThULB plans to re-open the reading areas and workplaces starting from 25. May 2020. In order to comply with the hygiene and safety regulations of the city and the state, it will be necessary to reduce the number of available workplaces. In order to avoid long waiting times, it will be possible to book the workplaces by using the Carrel booking system. The working time per person will be limited to a maximum of 4 hours per day. You can also use all digital offers of the library. They are available by using a Virtual Private Networkde.

Further information can be found here (in German).

Is the funding period for doctoral scholarships and project positions due to the corona crisis extendable? Show content

The measures to contain the spread of the corona virus can in some cases interfere with regular research activities. Whether this will lead to an extension of the funding period for doctoral scholarships and project positions depends on the respective funding agency.


The standard funding period for Landesgraduierten-Stipendien is three years. According to the Thuringian Higher Education Act § 63 (3), there is the possibility to apply for an extension of the scholarship for another year. Scholarship holders whose time schedule has been postponed due to current disruptions can apply for an extension of the scholarship period.

Positions in DFG Research Training Groups

The DFG allows for an uncomplicated extension of the standard duration of employment contracts of doctoral candidates in DFG Research Training Groups: it is possible to extend it cost-neutral from 36 to 48 months and at the end of the maximum funding period the research training group may apply for an additional funding of three months. Further information is available here (in German).

Research stays by DFG scholarship holders and fellows

There are flexible regulations for DFG scholarship holders and fellows to meet problems with entry and exit restrictions or closure of host institutions. Further information is available here (in German).

Organisations for the promotion of young talent (Begabtenförderungswerke)

If you have any questions about funding by the Organisations for the promotion of young talent, please check the pages of the respective organisation or get in touch with your contact person directly.

Other funding agencies

If you have any questions about other grants, please contact your respective grant or scholarship organisation directly.

How does corona affect the maximum employment period that is stated in the academic employment law (WissZeitVG)? Show content

According to the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, the academic employment law (WissZeitVG) will be supplemented by a temporary transitional regulation: The maximum employment period (generally 6 years until the doctorate and 12 years in total for budget funded positions) will be extended for the time in which pandemic-related restrictions hamper the academic research life. For all employment contracts with the aim of qualification that are in effect between 01 March and 30 September 2020, there will be the legal framework for an additional extension for six months, i.e. that the maximum time period in which you can be employed with a fixed-term contract at the university financed by „Haushaltsmittel“ can be extended to 6,5 years until the doctorate and to 12,5 years in total (with extensions for child care as usual). The Federal Ministry will give details shortly and we’ll inform you here.

If you are in a situation where your 6 years or 12 years are running out within the next couple of months, and you have problems finishing your PhD or other qualification work due to Corona, you can contact your boss or supervisor about this matter – or wait a little longer until the details from the Ministry are finalized. When the WissZVG is allowing an extra 6 months, the individual decision about this will be made by your superiors after consulting the Human Resources Department.

FAQ about academic procedures

Can I hand in my dissertation? Show content

Dissertations can only be submitted by post. Please clarify in advance with the dean's office of your faculty if you wish to submit your dissertation by post.

Do oral examinations in the context of dissertations and habilitations take place? Show content

Oral examinations in the context of doctoral and habilitation procedures (disputations, colloquia, scientific lectures and talks) may take place again after 4 May 2020.

Preferably, such events should be held as video conferences. It must be ensured that the doctoral candidate to be examined is visible during the entire conference. Alternatively, they can be organised as face-to-face events or mixed video and face-to-face events, provided that the hygiene requirements (in German) of the Friedrich Schiller University Jena respectively the University Hospital are observed. Protected video conferences are also preferable for the participation of the university public. Alternatively, the university public may be restricted or, if participation is only possible at disproportionate expense, excluded. If the university public is planned to be present, a correspondingly large room must be used to maintain the distance regulations.

For video conferencing, please refer to the information provided by the staff unit Digital Universityde (in German) as well as the information on data protection (Administrative Instruction E-Learning, 30.04.2020 [pdf 1MB] (in German)).

Can I submit my deposit copies to the ThULB? Show content

The submission of dissertations in the ThULB is still possible. Please refer to the notes on the ThULB website.

FAQ about offers and services of Graduate Academy

Do workshops of the qualification programme take place? Show content

The Graduate Academy continues its qualification programme by offering online workshops. You can find more information here.

How can I contact Graduate Academy? Show content

The Welcome and Service Desk for Doctoral Candidates and Postdocs will be closed for face-to-face contacts until further notice. Due to home office of staff, the phone is also not a good way to contact us. Please contact us via e-mail ( We will answer as soon as possible and, if necessary, are happy to phone you back. 

Please note that all members of staff of Graduate Academy can not be reached via phone on a regular basis during their office hours. Please contact them via e-mail. For advice and counselling, we are also happy to make an appointment for a telephone session.


If you have any questions regarding academic procedures, please contact the Dean's Office of your Faculty by e-mail. For general questions about the doctorate, you can contact the Welcome and Service Desk for doctoral candidates and postdocs by e-mail (

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