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Doctoral studies

Documents

1 As required by § 20 (3), the new regulation of doctoral studies from 2020 applies to all doctoral students who have not completed their doctoral examination procedure yet and who apply for opening after 2 March 2021.

Doctoral program in Mathematics (Promotionsstudiengang)

The Faculty of Mathematics offers a doctoral program in Mathematics (Promotionsstudiengang). In order to complete the program, doctoral students are required to gain 30 credit points in the following four categories:

  • Subject-specific qualification
  • Interdisciplinary qualification
  • Transferable skills
  • Presentation

A detailed description can be found on the website of the BGTS.

Doctoral students can choose from a number of lectures and seminars at Bielefeld University (see ekVV). Moreover, they can gain credit points for teaching tutorials, giving talks, for the participation in soft skill workshops and conferences, and for the organization of scientific events.

Doctoral students in the program commit themselves to a quality control measure after one year of the doctoral studies. The doctoral students and their supervisors agree on the form of this quality control (e.g., a talk in a seminar, an examination, a publication) which is fixed in the supervision agreement.

Supervision

As soon as a doctoral student has found a supervisor and a topic has been fixed, the student and the supervisor conclude a supervison agreement (or supervision agreement for students enrolled in the doctoral program).

Enrolment

In general, the enrolment as doctoral student is possible at any time (in contrast to other degree programs). However, it is recommended to enrol as soon as possible at the beginning of the doctoral studies.

  • The supervision agreement and the application of acceptance as doctoral student (see documents above) need to to be submitted to the examination office of the faculty.
  • After having been accepted as doctoral student by the faculty, the student is required to enrol at the Student Office (Studierendensekretariat) by submitting a confirmation about the acceptance. Detailed information can be found on the website of the Student Office.

Opening of the doctoral examination procedure

After completion of the doctoral thesis, doctoral students apply for the opening of the doctoral examination procedure (see document above).

  • In order to apply for the opening of the doctoral examination procedure, doctoral students have to submit their doctoral thesis (five copies2 plus digital copy) together with several other documents to the examination office.
  • After the application for opening of the doctoral examination procedure has been approved by the faculty's doctoral examination board (Promotionsausschuss), an examination committee (Prüfungskommission) will be designated in cooperation with the supervisor.
  • Usually, the examination committee consists of two referees3 as well as at least two further examiners for the oral examination.

2 According to a decision of the examination committee of 8 April 2021, in the summer semester 2021, doctoral students need to hand in five (instead of eight) copies of the doctoral thesis together with a digital copy.

3 Exception: In order to award the grade "summa cum lade", at least three reports are required. At least one of these reports needs to be authored by a referee who is not a member of Bielefeld University. In addition, all reports need to consistently grade the doctoral thesis with "summa cum laude".

 

Reports and defense

After all reports have been submitted, there is a public inspection period of two weeks. After this period, the reports will be made available to the doctoral student for acknowledgement and to provide a statement if desired. The statement will be available for another two weeks of public inspection.

  • If no objections have been made within the two weeks period and if all referees recommend to accept the doctoral thesis, the doctoral student may waive to make a statement and the defense may take place immediately.
  • The defense takes place in form of a colloquium (60 minutes in total). Usually, it consists of a presentation of the most important results of the doctoral thesis (20 minutes talk) and an ensuing scientific discussion.
  • After a successful defense, the examination committee fixes the overall grade. This is the result of the grade of the doctoral thesis and the grade of the defense.

Publishing the thesis and doctoral degree certificate

  • The doctoral student is obligated to make the doctoral thesis available to the scientific public. One way to do this is to provide copies and a digital version of the doctoral thesis to the university library.

  • After the thesis has been published, the doctoral student receives a doctoral degree certificate and a doctoral examination certificate. The degree certificate confirms the doctoral degree. The examination certificate includes the title of the doctoral thesis, the grade of the thesis, the grade of the defense and the overall grade.

 


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