Not surprisingly, new doors open, others close once you obtain your doctoral degree. Therefore, a doctoral degree is a prerequisite to moving up an academic career towards a professorship and for a leadership role in some economic sectors. However, in some sectors, you will be considered overqualified with your doctorate.
Depending on the subject area, there is an entire gamut of opportunities beckoning both in and outside of research and teaching, with an exciting job that suits you: a career in academia is not the only option available. On that account, it is importantthat you know yourself well, that you are familiar with prospective 'target sectors' and that you are aware of the view these sectors take of you and your doctorate. The publication "Perspektiven nach der Promotion" (Prospects after obtaining a doctoral degree) authored by the German University Association for Graduate Training (GUAT) will show you how to make sure all sides are satisfied. It is available at: https://www.uniwind.org/publikationen/publikationsreihe.
Last but not least: A doctoral degree is more than a title. It provides you with a set of competencies that will prevent your career prospects from being reduced to just plan A or plan B!
Your doctoral studies end with a viva voce examination, an oral doctoral examination which takes the form of either an assessment interview or an expert interview. In Germany, this takes the form of either a Rigorosum or Disputation.
- oral examination about the content of the thesis and related areas
- sometimes includes fixed examination subjects (similar to an oral final exam)
- expert lecture about the thesis
- questions relating to the lecture, to related fields and technical aspects
- possibly, as an alternative, an expert lecture on another technical subject
Please check the doctoral degree regulation to find out which option is available at your faculty and how it is structured.
Students pursuing a doctorate are obliged to publish and disseminate their doctoral thesis. The detailed publication requirements are specified in the doctoral degree regulations of the individual faculties.
Generally, the following applies: the doctoral thesis must be published within the time period specified in the doctoral degree regulation. Prior to publication, permission to print must be obtained from the bodies and/people in charge (imprimatur). Please keep in mind that such permission must be obtained again if the doctoral thesis is no longer identical with the text submitted for review. Proof of publication must be provided by submitting specimen copies.
There are different options for publishing your doctoral thesis: all faculties allow doctoral students to publish their doctoral thesis either as a book for sale by booksellers or electronically via the University Library. In some faculties, students can print the doctoral thesis themselves or have it published in a journal and/or serial publication.
The University Library provides further information on thesis publication. Please note: Only the provisions of the relevant doctoral degree regulation are valid in law. Please make sure you talk to your supervisor before publishing your doctoral thesis or parts of it.
A publication may - depending on the medium of publication - incur costs. The printing subsidy is usually justified by the fact that the publication is very specific and the target group necessarily small. The authors are obliged to offset the expected low sales volumes with what is known as a printing subsidy. They can recover expenses by filing their tax returns (income related costs), using the registration and notification portal powered by VG WORT and/or applying for publication support from the Graduate Centre.
Free, public and unlimited online access to research publications is provided in Open Access. Open Access can be considered either as an alternative to traditional publication models or as an additional option to publishing previously printed material (postprint) or publications online that have yet to be printed (preprint). Publication via Open Access has its upsides (higher visibility and citation counts, shorter times to publication, lower production and distribution costs) but also its downsides (an open access publication in a given specialised field may not be considered 'up to standard' or may be frowned upon).
All members of the University of Passau can use the document server OPUS Passau to publish research papers under open access conditions.
The University Library is happy to provide any further information on Open Access and OPUS Passau and on the Open Access Publication Fund.
Please note: The information below is indicative only. Only the provisions of the relevant doctoral degree regulation are valid in law. Please make sure you talk to your supervisor before publishing your doctoral thesis or parts thereof.
If you have any questions about this topic, please contact the University Library.
Expenses incurred for a doctorate are tax-deductible because they qualify as income-related expenses.
Eligible items include
- semester contributions
- travel expenses
- PC hardware and software
- other materials (copy cards, paper)
- printing expenses.
To be able to prove such expenses to the tax office, you need to keep the relevant supporting documentation.
Where required, the Graduate Centre supports early career researchers in planning their individual careers. The purpose of the advice provided is to promote early career researchers in a targeted manner.
In light of the many different career paths in and outside of academia, the Graduate Centre wants to help you determine where you are in terms of your doctoral career and to support you when developing your career options. The advice given is meant to strengthen your ability to independently reflect on, and ultimately boost, your own employability. Learn more about what the Graduate Centre has to offer.
There are a number of relevant publications for postdoctoral students to support them in their career planning:
- Kauhaus, Hanna; Hochheim, Evelyn (ed.) (2017): Qualifizierung in der Postdoc-Phase. Available online.
- Kauhaus, Hanna et al. (ed.) (2018): Perspektiven nach der Promotion. Berufswege außerhalb der Wissenschaft. 2 volumes. Available online.
- Müller, Mirjam (2014): Promotion - Postdoc - Professur. Karriereplanung in der Wissenschaft. Frankfurt am Main, New York: Campus.
- Vurgun, Sibel (ed.) (2016): Kompetenzen von Nachwuchswissenschaftlerinnen und Nachwuchswissenschaftlern. Entwicklung eines Kompetenzmodells. Available online.
Doctoral students are automatically de-registered after six months. An informal application suffices to extend registration. Justification needs to be provided in the application. The informal application - once signed by you and your supervisor - must then be directly addressed to the Student Registration Office. The Student Registration Office will be happy to answer your questions.