Doctoral and postdoctoral studies

Doctoral and postdoctoral studies

Doctoral and postdoctoral study is a complex undertaking with a whole host of rules and deadlines. This section of the website aims to give you a guideline to answer the most pressing questions concerning your doctoral or postdoctoral studies.

Headings on this page:

Doctorates at Passau

All faculties of the University confer doctoral degrees. You may complete your research as an individually-supervised project (e.g. while working as a research or teaching assistant at one of the University's chairs), or as part of a structured doctoral programme (see postgraduate schools and research training groups).

Further information on doctorates:


Please address your enquiries about doctoral studies to the relevant Dean's office.

Postdoctoral studies ('habilitation')

All faculties provide the possibility to conduct postdoctoral studies, the objective of which is to determine the candidates' ability to teach an academic discipline at professorial level.

For details, see the habilitation regulations (German).

Please also note the regulations on the Fachmentorat (a committee of professors with a supervisory function for your postdoctoral studies). When applying for a scholarship or any sort of grant the donors might request a reference from the Fachmentorat.

Do not hesitate to consult the Dean's office if you have further questions concerning the relevant habilitation regulations.

Rules of good academic conduct

The basis of any academic work at the University of Passau are the acknowledged principles of scientificity, such as honesty, adherence to the rules of the relevant academic discipline, documentation of the results and testing of all outcomes with a sceptical mindset.

As an organisation with a statutory responsibility for the organisation of research, teaching and the promotion of early career researchers, the University of Passau has adopted a statute to safeguard good academic practice and outlining a process for dealing with academic misconduct (German).

Enquiries concerning good academic practice or reports of suspicion of academic misconduct should be addressed to the standing committee for the investigation of allegations of academic misconduct.

An amendment and update to the DFG recommendations for safeguarding good scientific practice was approved by the DFG's General Assembly on 3 July 2013. Please consult the German Research Foundation website for further information.

Theses in co-operation with external (e.g. industrial or business) organisations

If you receive funding and support from a company or an external institution in connection with your research, please:

  • check before starting your research whether you are able to meet all publishing requirements under the relevant (post-)doctoral degree regulation
  • contact your respective Board of Examiners or the Dean's office in advance
  • check whether you are gathering or working with confidential and proprietary data/information and to what extent you may publish the results
  • check your intellectual property rights and copyright. According to the German Copyright Act ('Urheberrechtsgesetz'), you as the author have all resultant rights of use, but keep in mind you may (accidentally or otherwise) assign these rights to third parties (e.g. by signing a contract stipulating an embargo period for any publications). 
  • Further information (in German)

Changes in the Higher Education Temporary Employment Act

Research positions on the basis of a fixed-term contract are a typical feature of academic careers. In Germany, these positions must comply with the Wissenschaftszeitvertragsgesetz (Higher Education Temporary Employment Act), which was last amended in March 2016.

Further details in German can be found on the Federal Ministry of Education and Research or the German Research Foundation websites.

External platforms for early career researchers

Citavi is a Windows-based research management and knowledge organisation software. Its vast range of features and simplicity of use make Citavi an ideal tool for keeping track of and documenting bibliographic references. The University offers its students, teaching staff in primary occupation and other staff a free Citavi Pro licence.

The project is a an online communication and information platform for early career researchers. aims to make the research landscape in Germany more transparent and navigable, providing fast and personal support and advice on funding opportunities. This project receives funding from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF)

THESIS is currently the largest Germany-wide cross-disciplinary network of doctoral and postdoctoral researchers. This organisation uses mailing lists and local sections to promote exchanges between members, as well as organising conferences and seminars and publishing invaluable guides and other publications in addition to its periodical, 'THESE'.

Thesius offers an online database and communication platform for early career researchers. Its data base includes two million already published theses. Moreover, thesis topics offered by companies can be found.

The VG Wort collecting agency (Verwertungsgesellschaft Wort) administers the royalties earned from textual works published or broadcast (by radio or television) in Germany. Authors, translators and publishers of a wide variety of texts (journalism, academic, fiction and drama) can register the publication of their works at VG Wort to receive payments.
VG Wort

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