Doctoral hat with working contract

Doctoral candidates with a university employment contract

Information on doing a doctorate as an academic employee of Jena University
Doctoral hat with working contract
Image: Graduierten-Akademie

We are pleased that you have been accepted for a position as a research employee at Jena University and that you will be doing your doctorate within the course of this employment! We wish you a good start at your institute and in the city of Jena!

Doing a doctorate as an academic employee shouldn't involve additional bureaucratic burdens for you. Still there are a few administrative formalities that you have to deal with. We would like to help you so that the steps to take don't seem like a "jungle" to cross. On the following pages, you will find information that will help to guide you.

Before arrival

  • Being accepted for a job

    The first step on your way to a doctorate as an academic employee is being accepted for a position by the university. If you are still looking for an open position, you will find information here on how to apply for positions as an academic employee.

  • Concluding a supervision agreement

    The next step on the way to your doctorate as an employee at Jena University is the written agreement on the supervision of your doctorate, the so-called Supervision Agreement. You conclude this agreement with the professor you will be working with.

    You can find further information here.

  • Preparing the employment contract

    If you have been selected for a position, the institute where you will be working will prepare a pre-employment form („Einstellantrag“). You must sign it and return it to the institute. The Institute will then submit the form to the Division for Human Resources of Jena University. They will then contact you and inform you which documents are required for your employment. You can sign the employment contract with the Division for Human Resources after your arrival in Jena.

  • Visa and entry (only doctoral candidates from non-EU countries)

    If you come from a country outside the EU, the EEA or Switzerland, you must apply for a visa at the German mission abroad in your home countryExternal link.

    If your stay is intended to conduct a research project, you can apply for a visa for the purpose of research. For this purpose you need a "Hosting Agreement". This will be drawn up by the Division for Human Resources after checking the requirements.

  • Health insurance (only doctoral candidates from non-EU countries)

    If you have an employment contract, you will be insured with a statutory health insurance provider via your employer. To do this, you may have to apply for membership of a statutory health insurance provider of your choice in advance (e.g. TKExternal link, AOKExternal link or BarmerExternal link), specifying your future employer. The health insurance provider will then send you a certificate which you submit to the Personnel Department when you sign your employment contract there.

    You can get an overview of statutory health insurance in Germany hereExternal link. For international researchers, EURAXESS offers further informationExternal link on health insurance and other social security schemes in Germany.

  • Finding accommodation

    Due to limited capacities, please make sure to find a room for your stay as early as possible. International doctoral candidates have the possibility of applying for a place in one of the three university guesthouses. Information about the guest houses can be found hereExternal link.

    Employed doctoral candidates can also enrol at university, if their working hours do not exceed 65% of a fulltime position. Enrolled doctoral candidates can apply for a room in student housingExternal link.

    You can find more information about "Accomodations in Jena" here.

  • Collecting important documents

    While preparing for your stay in Germany, please gather important personal documents, including the original. An overview of these documents can be found here.

After arrival

  • Registering your adress in Jena

    For stays in Germany that are longer than three months, you are required to register your address with the city administrationExternal link within 14 days upon arrival. You will need an identity document and a confirmation from your landlord ("Wohnungsgeberbescheinigung"), which you will receive from your landlord once you sign the renting contract. For registering your address, you will need to make an appointmentExternal link.

  • Opening a bank account (only doctoral candidates from abroad)

    If you work at Jena University, we advise you to open a German bank account. There are many different banks in Jena where you can open an account, each with different offers, services and account management fees. To open an account, you need an identity document and the registration certificate of the city (see „Registering your address in Jena“). Non-EU citizens also need a residence permit or visa.

  • Signing the employment contract

    Please contact the Division for Human Resources de and make an appointment to sign your employment contract and submit all documents needed. An overview and explanation of the documents to be submitted can be found here.

    During the process, you might have some ques­tions. Please do not hesitate to contact your per­sonnel officer to clarify those in order to prevent any mistakes or misunderstandings, and to enable you a trouble-free start.

    Please note: You cannot take up your employment if you have not signed your contract of employment at the Division for Human Resources yet. If not earlier, you should sign it at the day of the planned beginning of your employment. If you sign your contract of employ­ment later, the beginning of your employment must be postponed, too.

  • Application for a residence permit (only doctoral candidates from non-EU countries)

    International doctoral candidates who do not come from the EU, the European Economic Area or Switzerland must apply for a residence permit at the Foreigners' Registration Office („Ausländerbehörde“). If possible, you should submit the application 12 weeks before your visa expires. The application can be submitted by email or by post. Information on the application process and contact details can be found on the homepage of the Foreigners' Registration OfficeExternal link.

  • Applying for admission as a doctoral candidate

    You will receive the status "doctoral candidate" by admission through one of the faculties of Jena University. To do so, you must first register in the online registration portal doc-inExternal link. There you will find the form "Application for admission as doctoral candidate" with the information on necessary documents to hand in with the application. Please submit the application to the dean's office of your faculty. You can find further information here.

  • Enrolment (optional)

    As an employee, you can also enrol as a doctoral candidate. Enrolment is not compulsory, but it offers some advantages. However, it is only possible if you have an employment contract with paid working time of no more than 26 hours per week (65%).

    You can find further information here.

  • IT-Service

    All employees of Jena University can have an account with the university computer centre. This account contains:

    This account can be activated by the university's IT service after you have signed your employment contract. Therefore, please send an e-mail to with your name and date of birth and ask for activation of your account.

  • Thoska / Campus card

    The Thuringian university identity card, or thoska, is a multifunction campus card, which allows you to identify yourself as an employee of Jena University, use the library, photocopy or scan documents, and pay by card in the canteens and cafeterias.

    You can receive the thoska from the Thoska office after signing your employment contract.

  • Family / Child care

    There are several childcare options for Jena University employees with children: daycare centres, child minders, the flexible childcare centre on campusExternal link, or babysitters. If you need more information about child care in Jena, do not hesitate to contact the University's Family Office.

  • Qualification offers

    As a doctoral candidate, you will have the opportunity to take part in qualification workshops and classes on various topics like writing and publishing, project management, or good scientific practise. You may find all offered workshops of Graduate Academy and other university institutions hereExternal link.

International Tutoring Service for Doctoral Candidates and Postdocs

The Graduate Academy offers international doctoral candidates and postdocs a free peer-to-peer support service to help you organising your stay in Jena.

  • What are the issues the tutoring service can help me with?
    • questions about entry and stay (visa issues, citizens' service, immigration office)
    • orientation in the city and at the university (search for the right contact person)
    • procedures at Jena University (admission as a doctoral candidate, enrolment, multimedia centre, computer centre, library)
    • doctorate and family (finding childcare, kindergarten, school)
    • issues and problems of everyday life (finding accomodation, bank accounts, insurances)
  • Who are the tutors?
    Group photograph of the Tutoring Service
    Group photograph of the Tutoring Service
    Image: Christoph Worsch (University of Jena)

    The tutors of Graduate Academy are pursueing their doctorate at Friedrich Schiller University Jena. They speak English, German, and some other languages.

  • How can I contact the tutoring service?

    Please write an e-mail with your issue to Your contact person is Dr. Alexander Schwarzkopf.


Advise at Welcome and Service Desk for Doctoral Candidates and Postdocs
Advise at Welcome and Service Desk for Doctoral Candidates and Postdocs
Image: Jan-Peter Kasper (University of Jena)

For all questions concerning your employment contract, please contact the Personnel Department de of Jena University.

For all other questions, please contact the Welcome and Service Desk for Doctoral Candidates and Postdocs. For example, you can contact us with questions on the following topics:

  • first steps and the course of your doctorate,
  • orientation at the university and in the city,
  • contact to the International Tutoring Service,
  • service offers of the university.

You can find us on the ground floor in the House for Young Researchers, Johnannisstraße 13 (vis-à-vis to the cafeteria).

Welcome and Service Desk for Doctoral Candidates and Postdocs

House for Young Researchers "Zur Rosen", Room Ground floor
Johannisstraße 13
07743 Jena

Opening hours:
Monday, Wednesday:
10.00h – 12.00h

Tuesday, Thursday:
10.00h – 12.00h, 14.00h – 16.00h