This page is under construction.
Admission into doctoral studies
When considering your research topic and potential advisor, it is recommended to read through the individual websites of the various structured graduate programs and research groups of the Department of Chemistry and Pharmacy.
Further information as to how to begin working towards your doctoral degree can be found on the following webpage from the Graduate Centre: “Starting and completing your doctoral degree.”
Female doctoral and postdoctoral researchers at the Department of Chemistry and Pharmacy are ínvited to apply for the ARIADNETechNat mentorship program if they are interested in networking, career development, acquisition of soft-skills, and other necessary competencies that will help both during and after the qualification phase. More information can be found here.
Bavarian Research Alliance
The Bavarian Research Alliance (Bayerische Forschungsallianz or BayFOR) is an organization that centralizes a number of useful resources for young researchers who need help with funding international research, coordinating innovative research collaborations, and supporting young scientists who are interested in research, cooperating, and even going into business with international partners.
The International Office of the FAU works closely with the Bavarian Research Alliance in finding financial support for members of the FAU community interested in a research stay in Québec, Canada.
More information on the Bavarian Research Alliance and their affiliate organizations can be found at the following links:
BayAK, which stands for Arbeitskreis Nachwuchsförderung an bayerischen Universitäten or the Working Committee for the Support of Young Researchers at Bavarian Universities, aims to improve conditions associated with doctoral and postdoctoral studies, including internationalization, establishing and maintaining central graduate centers, quality assurance, and more.
They are also a good source for information on conferences, workshops, and other events that deal with supporting young scientists, university research, and science management.
You can find more information (in German) on their website.
Career paths after your doctoral studies
While many doctoral candidates may wish to continue their work in academia as a postdoctoral researcher or even aim towards a professorship, that may not be the path for you. For information on the different career paths available to you after completion of your doctoral studies, see the following links:
See Family Services.
Completing your doctoral studies
All the information you need on writing and submitting your dissertation, preparing for the presentation of your research and subsequent defense, and any other concerns are explained in detail in the Faculty of Sciences’ Doctoral Regulations as well as in the FAU’s General Doctoral Regulations. Both documents are in PDF format and available in English. Text versions of these documents are provided for accessibility purposes under the Doctoral Regulations and Faculty Doctoral Regulations sections of this page.
If you have any questions concerning the Doctoral Regulations, please contact any of the following persons / offices of the FAU:
Conferences and congresses
Attending conferences both in Germany and abroad can give doctoral candidates an opportunity to learn more about their fields of interest, get to know scientists doing similar work, and present their own research in a professional academic context.
The following sites provide information for upcoming conferences and congresses for chemists:
- Chemistry Conferences
- German Chemical Society (GDCh)’s list of conferences (German)
- German Research Foundation (DFG)’s list of conferences (German)
For information on how to finance your attendance at conferences and congresses, please see the funding options described by the FAU’s Graduate Centre.
Cooperative doctoral degrees
Cooperative doctoral degrees make it possible for members of technical universities or universities of applied sciences to complete a doctoral degree in cooperation with the FAU.
According to FAU’s Graduate Centre, cumulative theses are “a collection of articles which have been published in recognised scientific journals or accepted for publication and are submitted as an alternative to a monographic thesis.”
For more information, please visit their webpage.
Current Research Information System (CRIS)
FAU’s Current Research Information System or CRIS is a centralized database that provides details on all projects, inventions, and publications completed by researchers in the FAU community. While CRIS is a valuable resource, it cannot account for all of FAU’s research activities or output. Please see the CRIS homepage for more information.
Dealing with academic misconduct
Accusations of academic dishonesty, such as plagiarism or the fabrication of experimental results, are investigated by the FAU’s Commission for the Investigation of Scientific Misconduct.
For more information, including detailed definitions of what might constitute scientific misconduct, please see the Regulations for Safeguarding Good Scientific Practice and Dealing with Scientific Misconduct at Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg. A text version of this document is provided for accessibility purposes under the Regulations for Guarding Good Scientific Practice section of this page.
Dealing with conflict
It can be difficult to know what to do when you are met with conflict during your doctoral studies, whether with your doctoral advisor, your colleagues, or the students whose experiments you oversee. The following resources are available to you and may help you deal with conflicts more peacefully and effectively:
Your dissertation or doctoral thesis is the culmination of your hard work in research, and it can be difficult to know where to begin. The following resources may be helpful in the planning, composition, and publication of your dissertation:
In addition, you might consider taking a few relevant skills acquisition and enhancement courses offered by various offices of the FAU.
Doctoral Candidates’ Representatives
The Doctoral Candidates’ Representatives (also called the Doktorandenkonvent or the Promovierendenkonvent in German) represents the interests of all doctoral candidates. Two representatives from each faculty are elected each year, and every doctoral student who is registered in docDaten has the right to vote. For more information and to see the latest news from your representatives, please visit their blog.
The following text has been copied from the Doctoral Regulations of Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) PDF and is provided for purposes of accessibility. It can be found in its original version here.
These doctoral regulations have been worded carefully to be up to date; however, errors cannot be completely excluded. The official German text available at the Office of Doctoral Affairs is the version that is legally binding.
Doctoral Regulations of Friedrich-Alexander-Universität
Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) – RPromO –
Dated 21 January 2013
amended by statutes of
31 May 2016
10 October 2017
20 February 2019
With reference to Section 13 (1) in conjunction with Section 64 (1) of the Bavarian Higher Education Act (BayHSchG), FAU passes the following General Doctoral Regulations:
Table of contents:
I. General Provisions, page 2
Section 1: Scope, page 2
Section 2: Doctoral Degrees, page 2
Section 3: Doctoral Titles, page 2
Section 4: Doctoral Titles, page 2
Section 5: Reviewers and Supervisors, page 3
II. Admission to a Doctoral Degree, page 4
Section 6: Admission Requirements, page 4
Section 7: Qualifying Examination, page 4
Section 8: Admission to a Doctoral Degree, page 5
III. The Doctoral Procedure, page 6
Section 9: Initiation of the Doctoral Procedure, page 6
Section 10: Requirements for the Thesis, page 7
Section 11: Evaluation, Acceptance and Refusal of the Thesis, page 8
Section 12: Oral Examination, page 9
Section 12a: Use of Audiovisual Telecommunication Technology, page 10
Section 13: Resitting the Oral Examination, page 11
Section 14: Results of the Doctoral Procedure, Notification, page 11
Section 15: Publication of the Thesis and Submission of Mandatory Copies, page 11
Section 16: Completion of the Doctoral Degree, page 12
IV. Honorary Doctoral Degrees, page 13
Section 17: Honorary Doctoral Degree Certificates, page 13
V. Cooperation with Universities of Applied Sciences and Art Schools, page 13
Section 18: Cooperative Doctoral Degrees / Joint Doctoral Degrees, page 13
VI. Doctoral Degrees in Cooperation with Foreign Universities, page 13
Section 19: General, page 13
Section 20: Examination Procedure at FAU, page 14
Section 21: Examination Procedure at the Partner Institution, page 14
Section 22: Joint Doctoral Degree Certificate, page 15
VII. Invalidity and Revocation of Doctoral Degrees, page 15
Section 23: Invalidity of Doctoral Examinations, page 15
Section 24: Revocation of Doctoral Degrees, page 17
VIII. Concluding Provisions, page 17
Section 25: Legal Validity and Transitory Provisions, page 17
Appendix, page 18
I. General Provisions
Section 1: Scope
1These General Doctoral Regulations (RPromO) regulate the procedure for awarding doctoral degrees at FAU. 2The regulations are valid in conjunction with the Faculty Doctoral Regulations (FPromO). 3The relevant FPromO is specified by the subject of the doctoral degree.
Section 2: Doctoral Degrees
1A doctoral degree involves independent academic research which is significantly more detailed than the requirements of a Master’s examination or any other equivalent final examination. The doctoral degree is assessed by a written thesis (Section 10) as well as a formal examination procedure which assesses the academic quality of the written doctoral thesis and the academic qualifications of the candidate. 2The examination procedure consists of the assessment of the written thesis (Section 111) and the final oral examination (Section 122). 3Following successful completion of the doctoral procedure and the publication of the doctoral thesis (Section 15), the candidate shall be awarded a doctoral degree. 4The current version of the FAU regulations for safeguarding good scientific practice and dealing with scientific misconduct (hereinafter: GWP regulations) shall apply to the doctoral procedure.
Section 3: Doctoral Titles
1The faculties and schools entitled to award doctoral qualifications (hereinafter ‘Faculties’) can award the following doctoral degrees to FAU candidates.
1. Doktor der Philosophie (Dr. phil.) from the Faculty of Humanities, Social Sciences, and Theology – excluding the School of Theology
2. Doktor der Theologie (Dr. theol.) from the School of Theology of the Faculty of Humanities, Social Sciences, and Theology
3. Doktor der Rechte (Dr. jur) from the School of Law of the Faculty of Business, Economics, and Law
4. Doktor der Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaften (Dr. rer. pol.) from the School of Business and Economics at the Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences
5. Doktor der Medizin (Dr. med.), Doktor der Zahnheilkunde (Dr. med. dent.) and
Doktor der Humanbiologie (Dr. rer. biol. hum) from the Faculty of Medicine
6. Doktor der Naturwissenschaften (Dr. rer. nat.) from the Faculty of Sciences
7. Doktor der Ingenieurwissenschaften (Dr.-Ing.) from the Faculty of Engineering.
2The title can be awarded as Doktor or Doktorin. 3The abbreviated form remains the same. 4A doctoral degree may also be awarded as an honorary degree (Section 17); in this case it will be awarded with the abbreviation h.c. or another abbreviation specified in the FPromO.
Section 4: Doctoral Titles
(1) 1The appointment of the examining committee as well as other bodies responsible and their jurisdiction are specified in the FPromO. 2The decision according to Section 23 (1) shall be taken by the Faculty Council.
(2) 1Section 30 of the University Constitution shall apply to the affairs of the bodies responsible. 2The chairperson shall be entitled to take decisions that cannot be delayed in place of the bodies responsible. 3He or she must inform the other members of the bodies responsible immediately. 4The FPromO can stipulate that the bodies responsible can transfer individual tasks to the chairperson or individual members as well as revoke these responsibilities.
(3) Abstentions, ballot votes and delegation of votes shall not be permitted for examination decisions relating to the doctoral procedure, (2) shall therefore not apply in this respect.
(4)1The bodies responsible shall ensure that the doctoral procedure is conducted in an appropriate manner and not subject to delays. 2All decisions taken by the bodies responsible must be communicated to the candidate in writing. 3Decisions which result in disadvantages for the candidate must be justified and accompanied by information on legal remedy.
(5) 1The bodies responsible are supported by an Office of Doctoral Affairs which maintains records throughout the doctoral procedure. 2Procedural records include:
– Submitted documents,
– Formal decisions and notifications,
– Evaluation and examination report,
– One copy of the thesis according to Section 9 (2)(2)(3),
– A machine-readable copy of the thesis.
3All documents must be stored for at least five years by the records office responsible; permanent records must be stored in consultation with the University Archive.
Section 5: Reviewers and Supervisors
(1) 1A supervisor shall be appointed for each doctoral proposal. The supervisor shall agree upon the topic of the thesis with the candidate and supervise the doctoral research. 2To assess the submitted thesis, two or more reviewers shall be appointed. 3The FPromO determines whether the supervisor of the doctoral research can also act as a reviewer.
(2)1The following persons may be appointed as supervisors:
1. University lecturers (Section 2 (3)(1) Bavarian Law on Academic Personnel of Higher Education, BayHSchPG) employed on a full-time basis at FAU,
2. Professors on leave or retired professors who were primary or secondary members of the faculty administering the doctoral degree.
2The FPromO may restrict the appointment of supervisors of the doctoral research as specified in (1)(1) to primary and secondary members of the faculty. 3The FPromO may permit part-time lecturers and individuals with doctoral degrees (in particular heads of junior research groups at FAU) who are able to continually supervise the doctoral research due to their employment at FAU or an institution associated with FAU to be appointed as supervisors on an individual or general basis. 4If the supervisor’s membership at FAU is terminated or the supervisor no longer meets the requirements stipulated in sentence 3, the supervisor reserves the right to continue supervising any doctoral research admitted according to Section 88 (4) until completion. 5Section 18 shall remain
(3)1The following persons may be appointed as reviewers:
1. University lecturers at FAU,
2. Professors on leave or retired professors who were primary or secondary members of the faculty administering the doctoral degree,
3. Full-time university lecturers at another university permitted to award doctoral degrees,
4. Other university lecturers,
5. Other persons with a doctoral degree appointed as an examiner according to Section 4, HSchPrüferV.
2The FPromO may stipulate that the appointment of persons according to sentence 1 (4) and (5) are subject to additional provisions and specify restrictions on the combination of reviewers.
II. Admission to a Doctoral Degree
Section 6: Admission Requirements
(1)1The candidate must present proof of a degree specified in the FPromO.
2Additional subject-specific qualifications may be specified in the FPromO.
3The FPromO also regulates if and to what extent the bodies responsible can make exceptions to the prerequisites specified in sentences 1 and 2. 4If all other requirements stipulated in these doctoral regulations and the applicable FPromO are met, the respective bodies responsible may provisionally admit candidates with an outstanding undergraduate degree to a doctoral degree for a trial period provided the candidate can be proven to have considerable academic potential, for example from being involved in international doctoral degree programmes with an emphasis on excellence, or in collaborations focusing on research or
training and personal development. 5The FPromO may either stipulate further requirements for provisional admission or rule out the possibility of provisional admission entirely. 6Before the doctoral procedure is commenced, the respective bodies responsible shall come to a binding decision concerning the admission of the candidate, taking sentences 1 to 3, the requirements stipulated in these doctoral regulations and the applicable FPromO into consideration.
(2)1To determine the equivalence of degrees awarded by foreign universities, the equivalence agreements passed by the Standing Conference of the Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs and the German Rectors’ Conference shall apply. 2The Central Office for Foreign Education shall be consulted in matters of uncertainty. 3In cases to which sentence 2 applies and other cases in which equivalence has not yet been finally determined but in which a positive response from the Central Office for Foreign Education or the respective bodies responsible is to be expected, admission may be granted before the final decision regarding equivalence is passed, subject to the proviso that the degree
is recognised as equivalent. 4If the degree is not recognised as equivalent, the provisional notice of admission shall be withdrawn and shall cease to apply.
Section 7: Qualifying Examination
(1) 1The FPromO stipulates under which circumstances candidates who have not obtained a required degree according to Section 66 (1) in conjunction with the FPromO or whose degree is not considered as equivalent according to Section 66 (1)(3) in conjunction with the FPromO may be admitted to a doctoral degree if they have passed a qualifying examination. 2The FPromO may also stipulate that candidates with a degree in a different subject have to take a qualifying examination. 3The FPromO shall specify the type and scope of the qualifying examination.
(2) 1The application for admission to the qualifying examination shall be made in writing to the bodies responsible. 2The documents listed in Section 8 (2) shall be submitted with the application. 3The doctoral candidate shall declare in writing whether they have previously completed a qualifying examination in the same subject and the examination result. 4The FPromO may specify that additional documents or declarations must be submitted.
(3) 1The bodies responsible decide whether the candidate shall be admitted to the qualifying examination. 2Admission shall not be permitted if the candidate does not meet the admission requirements according to subsection 1 or the candidate has not submitted the documents and declarations in their entirety as required by subsection 2.
(4) If the candidate withdraws from the qualifying examination after admission, the qualifying examination shall be considered as failed, unless the bodies responsible accept valid and credible reasons submitted immediately in writing by the candidate for extenuating circumstances.
(5) If the candidate fails the qualifying examination, the candidate may resit the examination once.
Section 8: Admission to a Doctoral Degree
(1) A written application for admission to a doctoral degree must be submitted to the bodies responsible after registering online.
(2) 1The application must include the following documents and declarations:
1. A CV in German with details of the candidate’s educational background. The FPromO may permit submission of CVs in other languages;
2. Certificates of all previous university degrees;
3. Academic records such as diploma supplements, transcripts of records and certificates as proof of successfully completed studies;
4. Confirmation from the supervisor including details of the subject area and the proposed thesis title;
5. Declaration that the candidate has not previously failed the doctoral examination for the pursued doctoral degree at the final attempt;
6. Declaration whether the candidate has already passed a doctoral examination for the pursued doctoral degree;
7. Declaration that the current versions of the German Research Foundation recommendations on safeguarding good scientific practice and FAU guidelines on safeguarding good scientific practice have been read and understood and that the respective provisions will be complied with during the procedure;
8. Declaration of whether the doctoral proposal has been commissioned for a fee and by whom. Commissioned doctoral proposals must be accompanied by confirmation from the supervisor that supervision was agreed in awareness of the commission and that no payments or non-cash benefits were offered or accepted for the commission.
2The submission of additional documents may be stipulated by the FPromO. 3In the event that admission has already been granted provisionally, it is sufficient to submit the provisional offer of a place together with the missing or – in the case of any differences to the application for provisional admission – updated documents.
(3) If the candidate cannot submit the required documents according to subsection 2, the bodies responsible may permit certification to be submitted in another form.
(4) 1The bodies responsible shall admit the candidate to the doctoral degree if the admission requirements are fulfilled according to Section 6 or the candidate has passed the qualifying examination and there are no grounds for refusal. 2Admission shall be refused if:
1. The subject area of the doctoral proposal is not represented at the faculty applied to,
2. The documents submitted according to subsection 2 are incomplete and alternative certification according to subsection 3 cannot be provided,
3. The candidate has failed a doctoral examination for the pursued doctoral degree at the final attempt,
4. The criteria for revoking a doctoral degree according to Section 69 (1) BayHschG would be met.
3Admission may be made subject to conditions which shall be specified in the FPromO.
(5) Admission to a doctoral degree obtained for passing the qualifying examination is restricted to a specific subject.
(6) 1If the doctoral proposal is withdrawn before initiation of the doctoral procedure according to Section 99, it will be considered as failed. 2All those involved in this specific doctoral proposal shall be informed accordingly in the event of a withdrawal.
III. The Doctoral Procedure
Section 9: Initiation of the Doctoral Procedure
(1) Initiation of the doctoral procedure is subject to prior admission according to Section 88 (44).
(2) 1The application for initiation of the doctoral procedure must be submitted in person to the Office of Doctoral Affairs. 2The following documents must be submitted with the application for initiation of the doctoral procedure:
1. Current CV according to Section 88 (2)(1)(1);
2. Agreement of the supervisor for initiation of the doctoral procedure;
3. Thesis pursuant to Section 1010 in the number of hard copies stipulated by the bodies responsible, but at least one hard copy and one machine-readable copy in the format prescribed by the bodies responsible;
4. Certificate of good conduct, no older than three months;
5. In the case of admission subject to conditions (according to Section 88 (4)(3)), proof of fulfillment of the conditions;
6. Completion and current list of all academic publications;
7. Declaration of whether the doctoral title should be awarded in the German masculine or feminine form.
3The candidate must confirm on submission of the application that the thesis and the academic achievements documented in it were produced independently and without unauthorised assistance and that the hard copy corresponds to the machine-readable version. 4The following declarations shall also be submitted in writing:
1. The thesis has not been presented to another examining body, neither in full nor partially.
2. The doctoral examination for the pursued doctoral degree has not been failed before at the final attempt.
3. All sources and materials as well as portions of text that were cited from other works verbatim or in paraphrased form are designated as such.
4. The thesis may be stored electronically and used in order to verify citations. Digital aids, in particular plagiarism-detection software, may be used to check for plagiarism.
5. The candidate is aware that the doctoral title may only be used after the certificate is received and that the rights gained shall be revoked if the required copies are not submitted on time.
5The FPromO may specify that additional documents or declarations must be submitted.
(3) 1The bodies responsible shall ensure that the doctoral procedure is conducted appropriately. 2A decision must be reached on the candidate’s application within one month. 3The initiation of the doctoral procedure shall be refused if the required documents according to subsection 2 are incomplete or if grounds for refusing admission according to Section 88 (4)(2) have become apparent.
(4)1The application for admission to initiation of the doctoral procedure may be withdrawn with due cause and with the permission of the bodies responsible, provided not all evaluations have been submitted. 2In such cases, the thesis shall be considered as not submitted.
Section 10: Requirements for the Thesis
(1) The written component of the doctoral degree generally comprises one independently written, academic monograph demonstrating the ability of the candidate to examine questions in scientific research in a methodologically sound manner, solve problems independently and present research in an appropriate form (thesis).
(2) 1The thesis must not be identical to an earlier final paper or any published essay but may expand upon existing research. 2Parts of the thesis may be pre-published, insofar as this is declared at the initiation of the doctoral procedure and noted in the thesis. 3Section 7 (3)(2) GWP regulations shall apply accordingly. 4In the event of a breach, the decision as to the consequences under examination law will lie with the appropriate bodies responsible; in particular, the thesis can be returned for revision. 5Repeated or serious breaches may be classed as equivalent to plagiarism and the thesis rejected as a result, irrespective of the evaluations submitted. 6Candidates shall be responsible for confirming that contractual agreements involving copyright do not prohibit publication during the doctoral procedure; the bodies responsible are entitled to request evidence that the candidate has performed this duty.
(3) 1The FPromO shall regulate whether and under which conditions a series of essays which have previously been published in reputable scientific journals or accepted for publication (cumulative thesis) can be accepted in the place of a thesis or whether another form of written doctoral research can be submitted. 2If co-authored contributions are included in a written thesis within the meaning of sentence 1, the candidate must clearly indicate which parts of the thesis constitute their own work. 3The candidate shall provide written confirmation of their authorship as well as the authorship of co-authors.
(4) The form of the thesis title page is specified in the Appendix.
(5) 1The thesis must be written in German unless agreed otherwise. 2The thesis must include a table of contents, a German title and a comprehensive abstract in German. 3Written confirmation is required from the supervisor for the thesis to be written in English. The thesis may be written in other languages with prior agreement from the bodies responsible, provided that the review can also be conducted in this language. 4A thesis written in a foreign language shall be provided with a table of contents, a title and an abstract written in the language admitted pursuant to sentence 3. In addition, the thesis must include a comprehensive abstract in German as well as a German translation of the title in the foreign language. 5The thesis shall be bound and submitted in a form ready for publication with page numbers. 6A complete bibliography and list of other resources must be submitted with the thesis.
Section 11: Evaluation, Acceptance and Refusal of the Thesis
(1) The bodies responsible shall appoint two reviewers according to Section 55 (3).
(2) 1The reviewers each produce a written evaluation of the thesis, award a grade according to the scale specified in the FPromO and recommend the acceptance or refusal of the thesis. 2The evaluations should be presented within three months. 3The FPromO can shorten the review deadline specified in sentence 2 and stipulate further conditions for the evaluations.
(3) 1The bodies responsible can appoint an additional reviewer from the persons named in Section 55 (3), if the grades awarded in the first and second evaluation differ by more than one grade level. 2The FPromO may include further provisions stipulating when further evaluation shall be deemed necessary.
(4) 1If all reviewers suggest that the thesis should be accepted, the thesis shall be displayed publicly within the faculty with all evaluations and documents according to Section 99 (2). 2All University lecturers who are full-time members of the faculty, all professors on leave and all retired professors who have been members of the faculty (eligible parties) are entitled to view the thesis on display; the FPromO may name other eligible parties. 3The eligible parties must be notified that the thesis has been displayed and for how long it will be available, the minimum display period being two weeks. 4The thesis may also be displayed electronically; in this instance, suitable measures shall be taken to protect the thesis and the other documents pursuant to sentence 1 from unauthorised access and transfer. 5Within the display period, the eligible parties are entitled to submit a statement evaluating the thesis to the bodies responsible; the reasons for this statement must be given in writing within two weeks. 6If a statement recommends refusal of a thesis according to sentence 5, the bodies responsible shall decide if the thesis is to be accepted, refused, or handed back to the author for revision. 7The bodies responsible can request an additional evaluation before making this decision. 8If a statement of rejection is not received within the period specified in sentence 3, the thesis shall be considered as accepted and the procedure shall continue. 9The bodies responsible may accept the thesis subject to conditions.
(5)1If all reviewers suggest that the thesis should be rejected, the bodies responsible shall decide whether the thesis is refused or handed back to the author for revision. 2If the bodies responsible decide to reject the thesis, the examination shall be considered as failed and the procedure is ended.
(6) 1In any circumstances other than those described in subsection 4(1) or subsection 5(1), the bodies responsible decide based on the reviews whether the thesis is handed back to the author for revision, refused, or whether the procedure of displaying the thesis according to subsection 4(2) et seq. should continue; subsection 4 (8) shall not apply in this case. 2The bodies responsible can request an additional evaluation before making this decision. 3If the bodies responsible decide to reject the thesis, the examination shall be considered as failed and the procedure is ended.
(7) 1If the thesis is returned to the author for revision, the candidate can submit their revised thesis within a period of one year. The revised thesis is generally evaluated by the same reviewers. 2Further revisions of the thesis shall not be permitted. 3If the thesis is not resubmitted by the deadline, the examination shall be considered as having been failed at the final attempt.
(8) The candidate can reapply for admission to the doctoral procedure with a thesis on a new subject once only within one year of the rejection of their thesis.
Section 12: Oral Examination
(1) 1If the thesis is accepted, the candidate is admitted to the oral examination. 2The candidate must be admitted to the oral examination at least one week before the examination date. 3The bodies responsible must appoint the members of the examining committee if not already specified in the FPromO and inform the candidate. 4If an oral examination covers several subject, an examiner shall be appointed for each subject.
(2) 1The FPromO shall specify the type and scope of the oral examination. 2The FPromO shall also regulate which part of the oral examination entitled parties of the Faculty (Section 111 (4)(2)) may attend as listeners, and may permit a wider audience.
(3) 1A transcript of the examination must be produced containing the topic and the results of the oral examination, listed by subject if necessary. 2If an oral examination is held using audiovisual telecommunication technology pursuant to Section 12a, this shall be referred to in the transcript.
(4) 1The oral examination is passed when the candidate has achieved the grade ‘rite’ or ‘sufficient’ in every part of the oral examination. 2The examination is failed if the candidate does not attend the examination on the examination date without due reason; the bodies responsible shall take this decision. 3The reasons according to sentence 2 shall be explained in writing and shown credibly to the bodies responsible without delay. 4If the reasons are accepted, a new date shall be set. 5In case of an inability to sit the examination occurring before or during the examination, the examining committee shall be notified immediately. 6In cases where the student is unable to sit an examination due to illness, the student shall be required to submit a doctor’s certificate; a certificate from an official medical examiner may be requested.
(5) 1After the oral examination, the chairperson of the examining committee informs the candidate of the grade achieved in the oral examination. 2If the candidate fails the examination or the examination is considered as failed, the bodies responsible shall inform the candidate in writing to this effect and provide details of the further procedure and deadline for resitting the examination if this is permitted.
(6) 1The oral examination shall be adjusted to take into account the nature and extent of a student’s physical disability proven with a doctor’s certificate or other suitable means of proof. 2The oral examination cannot be dispensed with, nor may the form of the examination be altered in such a way as to avoid the oral examination. 3The decision concerning any suitable compensation for disadvantages shall be taken by the chairperson of the examining committee. 4The decision shall be communicated to the candidate in good time before the oral examination.
Section 12a: Use of Audiovisual Telecommunication Technology
(1) 1The FPromO may stipulate that the oral examination is to be conducted using audiovisual telecommunication technology in accordance with the following paragraphs if agreed beforehand with the candidate. 2Agreement shall be obtained in good time before the oral examination and shall be granted in writing; this shall be included in the examination records.
(2) 1No more than one member of the examining committee, with the exception of the chairperson and under all circumstances the candidate, may participate in the oral examination using audiovisual telecommunication technology. 2The reasons for being unable to attend in person must be substantial and evidence must be provided to the chairperson of the examining committee if they are not self-evident. 3The chairperson of the examining committee shall decide whether the submitted reasons are to be accepted or not, the essence of the decision shall be included in the examination records. 4Before the oral examination commences, suitable measures shall be taken to confirm the identity of the member of the examining committee who cannot attend in person.
(3) 1Suitable technical measures shall be implemented to ensure that the chosen transmission method will guarantee audiovisual communication between everyone involved in the oral examination without interruption. In particular, it must be ensured that the member who is present at another location can immediately and directly see and hear the candidate and all other participants and be able to follow how the examination is progressing at all times. 2Transmission methods allowing a broadcast to a wider audience than that permitted in accordance with these RPromO or the FPromO are not allowed. 3The transmission shall be protected against unauthorised access using suitable technical procedures.
(4) 1Oral examinations in accordance with these regulations shall generally be held in the premises of FAU allocated for such purposes in order to ensure suitable infrastructure. 2The member of the examining committee attending from another location shall attend the premises of another university or other academic institute offering infrastructure which is at least equivalent to that available at FAU for the duration of the oral examination. 3The chairperson of the examining committee shall immediately raise an objection if the location which is chosen is not suitable for the occasion; if the situation can be remedied at short notice, the oral examination shall be interrupted, if not, the oral examination shall be continued with the substitute member pursuant to subsection 5.
(5) 1An additional member shall be appointed to the examining committee for oral examinations pursuant to this clause (substitute member). 2This member shall attend the examination from the beginning, but is not entitled to participate actively in the oral examination unless and until the case stipulated in sentence 3 arises. 3In the event that a connection cannot be made, the connection is terminated or interrupted for a considerableamount of time or the transmission is seriously interrupted for any other reason, the substitute member shall take the place of the originally intended member, assuming all rights and obligations, until the end of the examination after a decision to this effect is taken by the chairperson of the examining committee. 4If the connection is reinstated, the original member is not authorised to resume participation in the oral examination.
(6) The oral examination may not be recorded, saved or reproduced using audio or video recordings or in any other manner.
Section 13: Resitting the Oral Examination
(1) 1If the candidate has failed the oral examination or the examination is considered as failed, the candidate can apply to resit the examination once only and one month after the examination at the earliest. 2The resit examination must be taken within one year. 3If the candidate has not achieved the grade ‘rite’ (sufficient) in only one subject in an examination with several subjects, only the failed subject shall be repeated in the resit. 4The candidate can apply for the bodies responsible to reduce the resit period or extend the resit period if the candidate must resit the examination due to extenuating circumstances.
(2) 1If the candidate fails the resit of the oral examination or the examination is considered as failed, the doctoral procedure is considered failed. 2The oral examination shall not be repeated a second time.
Section 14: Results of the Doctoral Procedure, Notification
(1) 1The doctoral examinations are passed when the thesis has been accepted and the oral examination has been passed. 2The overall grade of the doctoral degree is defined by the bodies responsible from the grade scale in the FPromO taking the weighted individual grades and statements from entitled parties according to Section 11 (4)(5) into account.
(2) The bodies responsible may declare the doctoral examination failed if the candidate is involved in an act of deception or engages in significant misconduct during the oral examination.
(3) 1The candidate shall be notified of the results of the doctoral procedure including all individual grades. 2This notification does not entitle the candidate to assume a doctoral title.
Section 15: Publication of the Thesis and Submission of Mandatory Copies
(1) After passing the oral examination the candidate shall be obligated to have the version of the thesis as accepted by the bodies responsible printed or photocopied and distributed at their own expense and under observation of all conditions.
(2) The thesis must be marked as coming from FAU; the original title of the thesis shall be included at a suitable position if the thesis is published under a different title.
(3) 1Before publication, the candidate must submit the final version of the thesis in machine-readable form and the manuscript to the supervisor. 2The supervisor shall release the final version of the thesis for publication if all conditions in Section 111 (4)(9) are fulfilled.
(4) 1The final, approved version of the thesis shall be submitted to the University Library in one of the following publication forms:
1. Six copies if the thesis is published as a complete book by a commercial publisher as a book with an ISBN and the publisher confirms a minimum circulation of 150 copies if demand is sufficient, or
2. Six copies if the complete thesis is published by FAU University Press, in print or electronically, or
3. A machine-readable copy of the thesis in an electronic format specified by the University Library; if the thesis is submitted electronically, the candidate grants the University the right to copy, electronically transmit and convert the thesis into other formats within the scope of its official business.
2In the case of a cumulative thesis pursuant to Section 10 (3) in conjunction with the respective FPromO, the obligation to publish pursuant to sentence one does not apply to individual articles which have been accepted for publication and are currently in print and those which have already been published in electronic journals. 3The FPromO may stipulate that texts have to be provided as a framework to the individual articles in a cumulative thesis, providing an introduction, outlining the connection between the publications and / or explaining how the results should be seen in the context of the subject. If this is the case, it is sufficient for such texts to be published with a reference to the individual articles which have been published. 4FPromO WW may stipulate provisions deviating from sentences 1 to 3 for essay-based dissertations pursuant to Section 10 FPromO WW.
(5) 1The candidate must submit the mandatory copies within a year of passing the oral examination. 2The deadline of one year may be extended once only to a maximum of one additional year in extenuating circumstances by the candidate’s written request to the bodies responsible before the deadline is reached. The FPromO may permit further extensions of the deadline. 3If the candidate fails to meet the deadline, all rights and privileges granted by passing the examination shall be withdrawn.
(6) 1In the case of subsection 4 (3), the body responsible pursuant to the FPromO may also deem the requirements pursuant to subsection 1 to have been met if there is a delay in the thesis being made available to the public due to a pending patent application or to publication in a scientific journal. 2The prerequisite is that the submission requirements stated in subsection 4 are met entirely, the latest date of publication is clearly stated in the non-disclosure notice pursuant to subsection 7 and the thesis can be published independently by the University Library.
(7) 1Using a form issued by the University Library, the applicant and supervisor can apply to the body responsible pursuant to the FPromO for a non-disclosure period of up to one year and have it extended for a further year at a time in the same way. 2The notice of approval shall be submitted to the University Library together with the contract of publication.
Section 16: Completion of the Doctoral Degree
(1) 1The doctoral procedure is completed when all of the requirements are fulfilled and the candidate has been awarded a doctoral degree certificate. 2The graduate may only assume the doctoral title after receiving the doctoral degree certificate.
(2) 1The doctoral degree certificate confirms completion of the doctoral degree and includes the title of the thesis, the date of the oral examination and the overall grade. 2The doctoral degree certificate shall be signed by the President of FAU and a member of the faculty of study specified in the FPromO. 3The form and content of the certificate are specified in the FPromO.
(3) 1The doctoral degree certificate may be issued provisionally with the agreement of the bodies responsible before submission of the mandatory copies if Section 15 (4)(3) and (4)(4) apply and it is proven that the thesis will be published by a recognised academic publisher, the University Press or as part of a scientific collection or series. 2The deadline for submitting mandatory copies of the thesis according to Section 15 (5) shall remain unaffected.
IV. Honorary Doctoral Degrees
Section 17: Honorary Doctoral Degree Certificates
(1) 1The bodies responsible can award an honorary doctoral degree for worthy and extraordinary academic achievements. 2The FPromO governs this topic in more detail.
(2) 1The President of FAU, the dean of the faculty or the speaker of the school award honorary doctoral degrees to the recipients at an awards ceremony. 2The honorary doctoral degree certificate shall bear the extraordinary academic achievements of the individual.
V. Cooperation with Universities of Applied Sciences and Art Schools
Section 18: Cooperative Doctoral Degrees / Joint Doctoral Degrees
(1) 1Section 64 (1)(4) BayHschG permits the bodies responsible to appoint professors from a university of applied sciences (“Fachhochschule”) or art schools (“Kunsthochschule”) as a reviewer or supervisor within the context of a cooperative doctoral degree. 2Supervisors of doctoral research must be able to guarantee continuous academic supervision throughout.
(2) 1Subsection 1 shall apply accordingly for joint doctoral degrees. 2Further details are stipulated in a cooperation agreement.
(3) All decisions and measures to be taken within the framework of the above-mentioned procedure must reflect the importance of FAU as the institution entitled to award the doctoral degree.
VI. Doctoral Degrees in Cooperation with Foreign Universities
Section 19: General
(1) 1The doctoral degree can be jointly supervised in cooperation with an international university entitled to award a doctoral degree (partner institution). 2This requires that:
1. An agreement has been concluded concerning joint international supervision of the doctoral research, including a stay of at least six months in the partner institution and
2. The candidate is admitted to a doctoral agree according to Section 88 and is qualified under the relevant regulations of the partner institution for admission to a doctoral degree.
(2) 1The thesis can be submitted to FAU or the partner institution. 2The thesis shall be graded according to the regulations of the institution which the thesis has been submitted to. 3The partner institution shall award an equivalent grade as specified in their doctoral regulations.
(3) 1In the event of a cooperation project involving several international institutions, several partner institutions may share responsibility for supervising and conducting the doctoral procedure, provided the prerequisites stipulated in subsection 1 are met by all partner institutions. 2Subsection 2 and Sections 20 to 22 shall apply accordingly; in particular, the exact extent to which the individual institutions are involved in the procedure and the applicable provisions must be stipulated explicitly in the agreement pursuant to subsection 1(2). 3All involved institutions shall be included in the examination procedure.
Section 20: Examination Procedure at FAU
(1) 1If the thesis is submitted to FAU, it shall be examined by a supervisor according to Section 55 (2) and a qualified member of the partner institution. 2The full details of joint supervision are specified in the agreement according to Section 19 (1)(2)(1).
(2) If the thesis is accepted according to Section 111, the thesis shall be submitted to the partner institution for agreement on continuing the doctoral procedure. 2If the partner institution accepts the thesis, the oral examination shall take place according to Section 122. 3To this end the bodies responsible shall appoint to the examining committee at least one examiner qualified according to the regulations of the partner institution.
(3) If the thesis is accepted at FAU but rejected by the partner institution, the cooperation shall end and the doctoral procedure shall continue according to these regulations.
(4) Publication of the thesis and submission of the mandatory copies of the thesis are governed by Section 15 and specific agreements made according to Section 19 (1)(2)(1).
Section 21: Examination Procedure at the Partner Institution
(1) 1If the thesis is submitted to the partner institution, it shall be supervised by a qualified member of the partner institution and a supervisor according to Section 55 (2). 2The doctoral regulations of the partner institution shall apply to this procedure. 3The full details of joint supervision are specified in the agreement according to Section 19 (1)(2)(1).
(2) 1If the thesis is accepted by the partner institution, it shall be submitted to the bodies responsible at the FAU faculty in order to agree on the continuation of the procedure. 2If the bodies responsible agree to continue, the oral examination shall take place at the partner institution according to their doctoral regulations. 3The agreement according to Section 19 (1)(2)(1) must stipulate that the supervisor from FAU must belong to the examining committee for the oral examination. 4In certain exceptional cases, the provision in sentence 3 can be waived by stating that another person eligible to be an examiner pursuant to the provisions of the respective FPromO can be appointed an examiner instead of the supervisor.
(3) 1If the thesis is accepted by the partner institution but refused by the bodies responsible at FAU, the cooperation shall end. 2The doctoral procedure may continue according to the doctoral regulations of the partner institution.
(4) 1Publication of the thesis and submission of the mandatory copies are subject to the doctoral regulations of the partner institution. 2The agreement according to Section 19 (1)(2)(1) specifies how many mandatory copies shall be submitted to FAU. 3At least one copy of the thesis must be included with the examination records. 4The faculty reserves the right to only issue the doctoral degree certificate according to Section 22 once this copy has been presented.
Section 22: Joint Doctoral Degree Certificate
(1) 1After the joint doctoral procedure, the awarding faculty at FAU and the partner institution will issue a joint doctoral degree certificate certifying that the doctoral degree was awarded under joint supervision. 2The joint doctoral degree certificate shall bear the signatures and seals as specified in these doctoral regulations and the equivalent regulations of the partner institution.
(2) Individual certificates may be awarded by the awarding faculty at FAU and the partner institution instead of a joint certificate, providing that the individual certificates state that they are part of a joint doctoral degree certificate.
(3) The joint doctoral degree certificate shall state that the graduate is entitled to assume the doctoral title according to Section 3 (1) in Germany and assume the equivalent doctoral title in the foreign country.
(4) 1Further details on the format of the certificate are regulated by the agreement according to Section 19 (1)(2)(1). 2Equivalent grades are also defined in this agreement. 3The equivalent foreign grade shall be noted and indicated clearly on the joint doctoral degree certificate.
VII. Invalidity and Revocation of Doctoral Degrees
Section 23: Invalidity of Doctoral Examinations
(1) If it becomes apparent that the candidate did not fulfil the admission requirements after admission to a doctoral degree or that the candidate had unauthorised assistance, was involved in an act of deception or committed significant misconduct with respect to academic standards, the bodies responsible can declare the examination as having been failed and the doctoral degree invalid.
(2) 1If there is due reason to suspect scientific misconduct pursuant to (1) or Section 8 Regulations for Safeguarding Good Scientific Practice and Dealing with Scientific Misconduct (hereinafter GWP regulations), the bodies responsible will immediately call for an investigation as set forth in Section 14 GWP regulations (ombudsman proceedings). 2The bodies responsible and the Executive Board of the University shall be informed of the status of the proceedings (ombudsman proceedings, initial analysis, formal investigation pursuant to Sections 14, 15, 16 GWP regulations) and of the final outcome.
(3) 1If the Committee for the Investigation of Scientific Misconduct considers that scientific misconduct has been proven, the President shall forward the report including all recommendations (Section 16 (5)(1) and (2) GWP regulations) to the bodies responsible. The date the report is received shall be recorded. 2The bodies responsible shall recommend which decision should be taken. 3They are entitled to take suitable measures, in particular obtaining further reviews from university lecturers experienced in supervising doctoral research in a relevant subject. 4These reviews must include a recommendation for which decision should be taken. 5The reviewer is entitled to inspect examination records. 6Before starting their evaluation, reviewers shall declare that they will act with all due professional care and diligence, unless they have already submitted a declaration to this effect as an office holder or public servant.
(4) 1After being requested to do so or after the bodies responsible have completed investigations and are ready for a final decision to be made, the Faculty Council shall generally make a decision pursuant to subsection 1 within a period of three months. 2The Faculty Council is not bound to previous recommendations. Subsection 3 sentences 3 to 6 shall apply accordingly. 3The Committee for the Investigation of Scientific Misconduct shall be informed of the result.
(5) 1In exceptional cases, for example in the event of obvious breaches of recognised principles of good scientific practice or in cases in which the person concerned admits to the allegations, at the suggestion of the bodies responsible and with the approval of the President, the Faculty Council can make a decision pursuant to subsection 1 without waiting for the results from other people or committees involved in the investigation. 2In this instance, the Faculty Council shall obtain at least one evaluation from a University lecturer who is not a member of FAU. This requirement can only be waived if approved by the President. 3The Committee for the Investigation of Scientific Misconduct shall be informed of the choice of procedure according to this paragraph and the results of the investigation.
(6) 1The person concerned shall be notified in good time and given the opportunity to make a statement before a decision is taken pursuant to subsection 1. 2Before making the statement, he or she shall be given appropriate access to any evaluations which have been submitted. 3Before a decision is taken, the chairperson of the bodies responsible shall be given the opportunity to make a statement before the Faculty Council and on the evaluations. 4The chairperson of the Committee for the Investigation of Scientific Misconduct or individual members appointed by the Committee shall attend the meetings of the Faculty Council required under this provision in an advisory capacity.
(7) The President shall be responsible for informing the public about the investigation and the result and for answering any queries, in consultation with the respective Faculty, whilst complying with valid data protection provisions.
(8) If the decision pursuant to subsection 1 means that the examination has not been passed and the awarded doctoral degree is declared invalid, any doctoral degree certificate which has been awarded shall be returned immediately.
(9) 1The decision to revoke the doctoral degree shall be made within one year of the report from the Committee for the Investigation of Scientific Misconduct being submitted to the bodies responsible as set forth in subsection 3(1). 2This shall not apply if new facts or evidence arise at a later date which would justify a significantly different decision being taken if considered alone or in combination with the evidence collected earlier or if so required by the gravity of the breach or the complexity of the procedure, whilst taking the legitimate interests of the person concerned into consideration. 3The Faculty Council in consultation with the Executive Board of the University shall be responsible for deciding the legal consequences or making a decision to re-open the procedure or return the procedure to a previous status pursuant to these provisions.
Section 24: Revocation of Doctoral Degrees
The revocation of doctoral degrees shall be governed by Section 69 BayHSchG.
VIII. Concluding Provisions
Section 25: Legal Validity and Transitory Provisions
(1) 1These General Doctoral Regulations shall come into effect the day after their publication. 2The regulations shall be applied according to subsection 2 as soon as the relevant Faculty Doctoral Regulations come into effect.
(2) 1These doctoral regulations shall be valid according to subsection 1 in conjunction with the relevant FPromO for all doctoral proposals submitted according to Section 88 (1) after these RPromO have come into effect. 2The FPromO regulates under which conditions the existing doctoral regulations shall be applied to doctoral proposals which have already been submitted or if these proposals shall be subject to the new doctoral regulations. 3If the new General Doctoral Regulations and Faculty Doctoral Regulations cause unintended hardship, the bodies responsible can apply the existing doctoral regulations on request.
(3) Any changes to these General Doctoral Regulations require agreement from the Faculty Council of all Faculties.
(4) The General Doctoral Regulations and the Faculty Doctoral Regulations should be reviewed at appropriate intervals in light of actual experiences, subject-specific developments and academic standards and be revised according to any changes in legislation.
(5) 1The third amendment statute shall come into effect on the day after its publication. 2It shall apply to all doctoral proposals for which an application for admission is submitted pursuant to Section 8 (1) after the third amendment comes into effect. 3Candidates whose doctoral procedures have already been admitted but have not yet been initiated by the date the third amendment comes into effect may complete the doctoral procedure according to the previously valid version of the RPromO from 10 October 2017 if they inform the respective Office of Doctoral Affairs in writing by 30 June 2019 at the latest. 4Sentences 2 and 3 notwithstanding, the possibility to publish stipulated in the previous Section 15 (4) no. 1 (20 complete copies, printed or photocopied) for essay-based theses pursuant to Section 10 (3) in conjunction with Section 10 FPromO WW shall continue to apply until FPromO WW is amended within the meaning of Section 15 (4) sentence 4 (new), subject to the proviso that 10 copies have to be submitted. 5The continued validity pursuant to sentence 4 shall apply until 31 December 2021 at the latest.
Template for Thesis Title Page
X Faculty / X School
the doctoral degree Dr. …
(candidate’s full name)
born in (place of birth)
Thesis accepted by …
(Faculty) / (School)
Oral examination date:
Chair of examining committee: Prof. Dr.
Prof. Dr. *
Prof. Dr. *
*Only for the published version
When planning the start of your doctoral studies, it is important to carefully consider who you would like to ask to be your doctoral supervisor. To make sure your areas of interest are compatible with the respective supervisor’s areas of expertise, take time to read through the main research areas of the professors at the Department for Chemistry and Pharmacy.
The websites of the individual research groups may also be a good resource in finding out what kind of doctoral projects are already being done and where your research topic might fit best.
Duration of doctoral study
At the Department of Chemistry and Pharmacy, doctoral studies typically take between three or four years, plus or minus one year, but this can vary depending on many factors including the success of your research project, any outstanding contracts with your supervisor, or time-management concerns, to a name a few.
Structured doctoral programs might offer more concrete estimates of the duration of doctoral study; individual and other types of doctoral degrees are more variable. Your best resource in determining your estimated graduation is your doctoral supervisor. You might also visit the Graduate Centre for support in planning your timeline, or take one of their time-management courses for doctoral candidates.
Enrollment at the FAU
You are not required to enroll as a student if you are completing your doctoral studies at the FAU, but you may decide to do so if your residence permit or scholarship depends on your status as a student, or if you want to take advantage of certain benefits available to FAU students, such as the semester ticket or special rates on your health insurance.
Doctoral students are allowed to enroll as a student of the FAU for six semesters. If you decide to do so, you are obligated to follow the same enrollment requirements as all other students, including paying student fees and complying with re-enrollment deadlines. In addition, you should follow the instructions for students of “open-admission study programmes” (zulassungsfreie Fächer).
More information can be found at the homepage of the Student Administration.
Entrepreneurship & Innovation
If you are interested in entrepreneurship and innovation, including learning about patents and copyright law and preparing to start your own business, please visit the webpage of the Service for the Transfer of Technology and Scientific Knowledge (German).
You may further be interested in the legal aspects of research and development projects, available here in English. A text version of this document is provided for accessibility purposes under the General Terms & Conditions for Research and Development Projects section of this page.
ERC: Open Research Data and Data Management Plans
The following text has been copied from the ERC’s Open Research Data and Data Management Plans PDF and is provided for purposes of accessibility. It can be found in its original version here.
European Research Council
Established by the European Commission
Open Research Data and Data Management Plans
Information for ERC grantees
by the ERC Scientific Council
3 July 2019
This document will be regularly updated in order to take into account new developments in this rapidly evolving field. Comments, corrections and suggestions should be sent to the Secretariat of the ERC Scientific Council Working Group on Open Access, Research Data Management and Open
Science more broadly via the address firstname.lastname@example.org.
The table below summarizes the changes that this document has undergone.
HISTORY OF CHANGES
Open Research Data Management and Data Management Plans
Information for ERC grantees
The ERC has supported the cause of open science from its start in 2007, and continues to do so today. Open access to publications from ERC funded projects is mandatory. The next step in the development of open science is making research data publicly available when possible. This will benefit science by increasing the use of data and by promoting transparency and accountability.
The ERC embraces the so-called ‘FAIR data principles’: research data should be findable, accessible, interoperable and re-usable. This means that data should be:
- identified in a persistent manner using community conventions, and described using sufficiently rich metadata;
- stored in such a way that they can be accessed by humans and machines;
- structured in such a way that they can be combined with other data sets;
- licensed or have terms-of-use that spell out how they can be used by others.
The article by Wilkinson et al. on “The FAIR Guiding Principles for scientific data
management and stewardship”1 provides a detailed discussion of the FAIR principles. Not all data can be made fully open. Where data raise privacy or security concerns, controls and limits on data access will be required. In some cases, it will be appropriate for researchers to delay or limit access to data in order to secure intellectual property protection. Any such restrictions on access should be explicit and justified, and such data should still be managed in line with the FAIR principles. For researchers, the move to open data means that they have to think about what data their research will produce, how these data will be described, and how they can be made available in such a way as to benefit science and society in general. This means that they have to draw up a data management plan and find suitable data depositories.
Data Management Plans
All ERC projects funded under the Work programmes 2017 and later participate by default in the Horizon 2020 Open Research Data (ORD) pilot, with the possibility for grantees to opt out at any time. For projects funded under the Work programmes 2015 and 2016 grantees can opt into the pilot if they so wish.
ERC grantees of projects that take part in the ORD pilot are required to submit a data management plan (DMP) within six months after the start of their grant.
As practices with regard to data management, storage, and sharing differ widely across disciplines, the ERC uses a general set of requirements that DMPs should meet. A DMP should provide information on:
- Data set description: Grantees to provide a sufficiently detailed description, including the scientific focus and technical approach, to allow association of their data sets with specific research themes.
- Standards and metadata: Grantees to describe the protocols and standards used to structure their data (i.e. fully reference the metadata) so that other scientists can make an assessment and reproduce the dataset. If available, grantees to provide a reference to the community data standards with which their data conform and that make them interoperable with other data sets of similar type.
- Name and persistent identifier for the data sets: Grantees should plan to use depositories that will provide a unique and persistent identification (an identifier) of their data sets and a stable resolvable link to where their datasets can be directly accessed. Submission to a public depository normally provides this; many institutional depositories provide similar services.
- Curation and preservation methodology: Grantees to provide information on the standards that will be used to ensure the integrity of their data sets and the period during which they will be maintained, as well as how they will be preserved and kept accessible in the longer term. If available, to
provide a reference to the public data depository in which their data will reside.
- Data sharing methodology: Grantees to provide information on how their data sets can be accessed, including the terms-of-use or the licence under which they can be accessed and re-used, and information on any restrictions that may apply. It is also important to specify and justify the timing of data sharing. This could be, for example, as soon as possible after the data collection, or at the end of the project. For data that underlie publications it could be, for example, at the time of publication or pre-publication.
A DMP that provides adequate information on these five topics will meet the FAIR principles.
The ERC does not prescribe a specific format for the DMPs that its grantees need to submit, because practices and standards differ widely across disciplines. However, grantees are encouraged to use the ERC template that is available on the Horizon 2020 Participant Portal:
- ERC Data Management Plan Template: http://ec.europa.eu/research/participants/data/ref/h2020/gm/reporting/h2020-erc-tpl-oa-data-mgt-plan_en.odt
A very convenient on-line tool to formulate a DMP according to the requirements of the ERC (as laid down in the template) and of several other research funding organisations is provided by the Digital Curation Centre:
- DMPonline tool: https://dmponline.dcc.ac.uk/
Grantees should also keep in mind the following guidance document:
- Guidelines on Implementation of Open Access to Scientific Publications and Research Data in projects supported by the European Research Council under Horizon 2020: http://ec.europa.eu/research/participants/data/ref/h2020/other/hi/oa-pilot/h2020-hi-erc-oa-guide_en.pdf
Writing a DMP should not be regarded as a purely administrative exercise. Rather, it should provide a positive stimulus to thinking about how the data generated within a project will be stored, managed and safeguarded, and should be part of the research process from the outset. As a project progresses, the data generated may well change in type and volume. It is therefore useful to envisage a DMP as a dynamic framework, which should be maintained and modified as the research advances. Planning for submission early in the research cycle will facilitate the publication process. Good data management will save time, safeguard information and increase the visibility and impact of the research outcomes.
The ERC recognises that data annotation and deposition are time-consuming activities. ERC grant money can be specifically earmarked for this purpose, for example to contribute to the salary of a research assistant or to the costs of a commercial provider.
The ERC is convinced of the importance of data and their value to the scientific community. Data deposition can be complementary to publication, but data can also be deposited without an associated publication. The ERC considers data as an important scientific output; therefore data deposition should always be accompanied by a reference to the ERC grant number.
Publications present the pertinent data underlying conclusions made in a research paper and publishers increasingly require that all relevant data should be made available to the community. The ERC expects data underlying publications by ERC grantees to be available. Researchers often generate additional data, not directly linked to publications, which shape the way their projects develop, and these also can constitute a valuable resource. Funders
and indeed the public in general are anxious that all valid data be made available in order to promote scientific progress; the European Commission has adopted a policy of open data for all research that they finance. Data dumping is of course to be avoided and it is important that data be of sufficient technical and scientific quality as well as being sufficiently annotated and structured to be useful to the community. Ultimately, it is for the individual investigator to decide which data merit conservation and/or sharing. Where the scientific content is concerned, it is necessary to bear in mind that what seems of little interest in the
context of a particular project may be relevant to other lines of investigation and therefore of potential interest to the research community. So-called negative results may also be of potential value.
When looking for a depository for research data, first check whether there is a
thematic/community database where the data could be archived. Irrespective of the depository you choose, you should always check whether it is sustainable in the longer term and:
- stores the data in safe way;
- makes sure that the data will remain findable (via the use of a persistent identifier), as well as accessible and re-usable;
- describes the data in a standard way, using accepted metadata standards;
- and specifies a license governing access and re-usability of the data.
There are a number of organisations that carry out a certification of data depositories. The following links may be useful:
- Core Trust Seal (this list includes depositories certified by the Data Seal of Approval and/or the World Data System): https://www.coretrustseal.org/why-certification/certified-repositories/
- Nestor seal (DIN-Norm 31644): http://www.dnb.de/Subsites/nestor/EN/Siegel/siegel.html
- ISO 16363 certified depositories: http://www.iso16363.org/iso-certification/certified-clients/
General depositories for research data
The following depositories are of interest to researchers in all domains:
- Zenodo (not-for-profit, hosted by CERN): https://zenodo.org/
- Dryad (not-for-profit membership organisation): http://www.datadryad.org/
- Figshare (free service provided by private company): https://figshare.com/
- Open Science Framework (not-for-profit, developed and maintained by the Center for Open Science2): https://osf.io/
- Harvard Dataverse (not-for-profit, hosted by the Institute for Quantitative Social Studies IQSS at Harvard University): https://dataverse.harvard.edu/
While some of these depositories, such as Zenodo, are supported by public money, some others, such as Dryad, may charge a fee. Some degree of data curation may be provided but this is often not the case. Figshare is a commercial company that provides data management services to individuals and will advise about data curation and data deposition through a cloud provider. The company also works with institutions to enable them to curate their academic research outputs and host their data on their own machines.
For an extensive overview of data depositories across all disciplines, see:
- Registry of Research Data Repositories (re3data.org): https://www.re3data.org/
At the European level, EUDAT bundles a large number of general and discipline-specific depositories:
- EUDAT Collaborative Data Infrastructure (CDI): https://eudat.eu/eudat-cdi
A growing number of universities and research institutes host a depository for use by their research staff. Most of these institutional depositories are originally set up for storing (open access) publications, but dedicated research data depositories also occur. In order for an institutional depository to be acceptable as a trusted archive, it is essential that the university/institute has a data policy guaranteeing the support for data storage and sharing into the future.
Individual researchers may also set up their own focussed database. There are many such initiatives, which may be open to the community and can play a useful role. However most often, in contrast to public data depositories, these are not deposition databases, and as long as they depend on a single individual and/or funding source, long-term sustainability is challenging. In addition to the major problem of perennity, curation of the data may not always be adequate, with problems of quality, correct annotation, renewal (whether the database is up to date) etc. This can complicate access and also compromises re-use.
Many journal websites contain lists of depositories. In addition, there are an increasing number of commercial publishers that offer authors opportunities to store the research data underlying their publications.
If in doubt about how to deposit data, in what format etc., it is recommended to consult the depository directly.
Metadata and data preparation
In order to make stored data findable, accessible, interoperable and reusable (FAIR), it is not enough to store ‘raw data’; they need to be properly documented and described using informative metadata.
Defining appropriate metadata depends on the discipline and/or the methodology that was used to produce the data. Discipline-specific depositories often have detailed requirements for describing data that are stored in that depository.
A generally accepted minimum standard for describing information on the web, including research data, is Dublin Core. Further information on this metadata standard is available at:
- Dublin core: http://dublincore.org/
For more information on disciplinary metadata standards see also
- Digital Curation Centre: http://www.dcc.ac.uk/resources/metadata-standards
and the Metadata Directory that has been set up under the auspices of the Research Data Alliance:
- RDA Metadata Directory: http://rd-alliance.github.io/metadata-directory/
A curated resource on data and metadata standards, inter-related to databases and data policies can be found at
- FAIRsharing: https://www.fairsharing.org/
From its first incarnation, BioSharing.org – which focused on the life sciences – FAIRsharing has evolved into a resource that serves users across all disciplines.3
Policies of other funding organsiations
As the movement towards open data progresses, various national funding agencies have formulated policies and specified requirements for DMPs that might be informative when drawing up a DMP, for example:
- Austrian Science Fund (FWF): “Research Data Management”: https://www.fwf.ac.at/en/research-funding/open-access-policy/research-data-management/
- Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO): “Open (FAIR) Data”: http://www.nwo.nl/en/policies/open+science/data+management
- German Research Foundation (DFG): “DFG Guidelines on the Handling of Research Data”: http://www.dfg.de/en/research_funding/proposal_review_decision/applicants/research_data/index.html
- Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF): “Open Research Data”: http://www.snf.ch/en/theSNSF/research-policies/open_research_data/Pages/default.aspx
- The Research Council of Norway (RCN): “Open Access to Research Data”: https://www.forskningsradet.no/en/Article/Open_access_to_research_data/1240958527698
- UK Arts and Humanities Resaerch Council (AHRC): “Data Management Plan”: https://ahrc.ukri.org/documents/guides/research-funding-guide1/ (Funding Guide: “4. Application Guidance of the Funding Guide”; see also “5. Assessment Criteria and Peer Review”)
The following document by DG Research of the European Commission is also instructive:
- “Guidelines on FAIR Data Management in Horizon 2020”: http://ec.europa.eu/research/participants/data/ref/h2020/grants_manual/hi/oa_pilot/h2020-hi-oa-data-mgt_en.pdf
In November 2018 Science Europe published its
- “Practical Guide to the International Alignment of Research Data Management”: https://www.scienceeurope.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/SE_RDM_Practical_Guide_Final.pdf
Developed by experts from Science Europe member organisations and in consultation with the broader research stakeholder community, the guide presents core requirements for DMPs and criteria for the selection of trustworthy repositories, as well as some guidance to organisations on how to put these into practice.
In what follows more specific information is given for ERC grantees in the Life Sciences and in the Physical Sciences and Engineering, and for those working in the Social Sciences and Humanities. This will include references to specialised depositories for specific disciplines where such are available, and more general information in other cases. Note that this information is provided ‘as is’, i.e. it does not reflect any particular preference on part of the ERC as to which depositories, protocols, metadata or sharing methodologies an ERC grantee chooses to use.
Open research data and data deposition in the Life Sciences domain
The Life Sciences have a long tradition of open access data depositories. Submission of datasets to an established public depository is considered good scientific practice and is often also a condition for publication. The public depositories ensure that data are correctly curated, accessible and maintained in the long term. Data publication through such a depository will make your data FAIR. In addition, several publishers are implementing formal data citation in the reference list of papers, which will provide a mechanism to attribute credit to datasets. In this context see the paper “A Data Citation Roadmap for Scientific
Publishers” by Cousijn et al..4
Established public depositories
ELIXIR, the ESFRI research infrastructure for life science data, has compiled a list of recommended depositories:
- ELIXIR Deposition Databases for Biomolecular Data: https://www.elixir-europe.org/platforms/data/elixir-deposition-databases
Many of these are based at the EMBL-EBI (European Bioinformatics Institute; for advice on data deposition see http://www.ebi.ac.uk/submission/) with established partner databases in other parts of the world. The
- NCBI resource site: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/guide/sitemap/
also provides a list of data depositories, although many do not take public submissions.
In the rapidly developing area of microscopy and bioimage data, solutions for public archiving of data sets are currently being built. There is already an electron microscopy public image archive:
- Electron Microscopy Public Image Archive (EMPIAR): https://www.ebi.ac.uk/pdbe/emdb/empiar/
The new European research infrastructure Euro-BioImaging covers a wide range of imaging approaches:
- European Research Infrastructure for Imaging Technologies in Biological and Biomedical Sciences (Euro-BioImaging): http://www.eurobioimaging.eu/
Euro-BioImaging is actively promoting the development of a public bioimage archive in strategic collaboration with the EMBL-EBI and ELIXIR.5 A pilot service, the Image Data Repository (IDR), already accepts several types of light microscopy data, with a special emphasis on cell and tissue imaging (https://idr.openmicroscopy.org/about/). A general bioimage archive service is expected to become available in 2019.
Health sciences and clinical data
Many community databases exist in this area. Different ‘clinical speciality’ related databases are available, such as:
- National Database for Autism Research (NDAR): https://ndar.nih.gov/
Clinical research outputs tend to be handled nationally because of varying national regulations about confidentiality, where data from individuals are concerned. Personal data poses additional ‘consent’ challenges and the development of public databases requires ‘controlled access’ for data protection. This is a rapidly evolving area where community standards and depositories will be established in the coming years. As standards emerge, the
ERC will adopt best practice as recommended by each research community. However, for information, all clinical trials should normally be registered, at the outset, in one of the publicly accessible registries identified by the World Health Organisation:
- International Clinical Trials Registry Platform (ICTRP): http://www.who.int/ictrp/en/
Other types of depositories
In a number of research areas, the research community has generated specific archives. These may be depositories that aggregate data from multiple underlying depositories, so that they can be easily found and used by the community. This is the case for organismbased research with examples such as:
- FlyBase – A Database of Drosophila Genes & Genomes: http://flybase.org/
- WormBase: http://www.wormbase.org/
- The Zebrafish Information Network (ZFIN): https://zfin.org/
National and international research consortia may also create databases. This is exemplified by a number of databases in the domain of biodiversity, such as:
- Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF): https://www.gbif.org/
- Ocean Biogeographic Information (OBIS): https://obis.org/
Incorporating data into these resources can be very valuable for promoting research within the community, but additional deposition of the data into an established public data-typefocussed depository is highly recommended to ensure long-term curation, preservation and findability.
Data management in domains where established databases are not available
Many institutions have data storage facilities for unstructured data for which there is no existing dedicated community depository. This category includes data generated by functional studies where, for example, a cell component is removed and then complemented by another molecule or where behavioural studies are carried out to test brain function in an animal model. Unstructured data are accepted by depositories such as:
- Dryad Digital Repository: https://datadryad.org/
- Zenodo: https://zenodo.org/
- Figshare: https://figshare.com/
In the case that the data behind a study is archived in multiple resources or locations, the ERC encourages grantees to deposit the study metadata, including links to the data location(s), in a recognised resource such as BioStudies (https://www.ebi.ac.uk/biostudies/). This also allows life science data for which there is no thematic depository to be deposited. This includes image data, until the bioimage archive is fully operational. Often a BioStudies record corresponds to the data behind a paper and so can be used to provide a simple link from the paper to the data behind the study via the accession number.
In the life sciences, the key community deposition databases have strict metadata standards that are required for deposition of data to make them FAIR. Therefore, much of the thinking of what metadata should be supplied is provided and managed in this way.
Activities surrounding standardisation of metadata (such as cross-data resource identifier mapping, mapping of textual metadata labels to ontology and standard vocabulary terms, standardisation of computational workflows and application programming interfaces (APIs), and schematic mark-up of the data) can be facilitated by reusing existing mature interoperability resources. The section on ‘Interoperability’ on the ELIXIR website (https://elixir-europe.org/platforms/interoperability) recommends interoperability tools for
the purpose of making the data FAIR via the following resources:
- The ELIXIR Recommended Interoperability Resources (RIRs): https://www.elixir-europe.org/platforms/interoperability/rirs
- Bioschemas: http://bioschemas.org/
- Common Workflow Language: https://www.commonwl.org/
Additionally, the ‘Tools’ section on the ELIXIR website (https://elixireurope.org/platforms/tools) provides links and guidance on good practice for open source software development in the life sciences.6
Open research data and data deposition in the Social Sciences and
The situation with regard to open data in the SH domain, both in terms of infrastructure (depositories) as well as protocols and standards, is rapidly evolving. There are many initiatives, at the national and supra-national levels, that aim to provide researchers with the necessary tools and information.
Characteristic feature of the disciplines that together make up the ERC’s SH domain is their variety, in terms of topics, epistemologies, and methodologies. This is reflected also in the data that SH projects produce: quantitative data sets; experimental data; observational data; interviews; archival data; human artefacts; medical and genetic data; and so forth. In addition, the various kinds of data crosscut the disciplinary divisions, as several disciplines produce different kinds of data, depending on the methodologies used.
Also, particular restrictions may apply to making data open depending on the discipline. Data may include copyrighted material, such as literary texts or images, or archival materials to which access is restricted. In other cases, data may include privacy-sensitive material, such as video recordings of parent-child interactions or interviews.
For this reason, it is not possible to provide a single set of guidelines for the entire SH domain. Therefore, this document aims to provide some general and some discipline-specific references that ERC grantees can use to draw up DMPs that are adequate for their discipline and their specific project, and that meet the FAIR principles.
In what follows more information is given on:
- general depositories
- discipline-specific depositories
- metadata and data preparation
There are many options available for SH scholars, both general as well as discipline-specific, not-for-profit as well as commercial. The list below mentions a number of well-known depositories for use by social sciences and humanities disciplines, but it is certainly not exhaustive.
An important selection of depositories for SH scholars is provided by CESSDA:
- Consortium of European Social Science Data Archives (CESSDA): http://cessda.net/
CESSDA is a so-called ‘ERIC’, a European Research Infrastructure Consortium
(http://ec.europa.eu/research/infrastructures/index_en.cfm?pg=eric), i.e., an international entity established by the European Commission that has national governments or consortia as its members. Currently, CESSDA has 18 members, all of them national agencies that operate on a not-for-profit basis. Many of the CESSDA depositories also cover (some of) the humanities in addition to the
The geographical coverage of CESSDA is growing. Among the EU countries, missing at the time of writing are some Southern European Countries (Italy, Spain) and most EU-13 countries. Another prominent absentee is Ireland.
Also of interest to researchers in the SH domain is ICPSR:
- Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR): http://www.icpsr.umich.edu/
ICPSR is a not-for-profit membership organisation that maintains a data archive in the social and behavioural sciences:
- openICPSR: https://www.openicpsr.org/openicpsr/
Currently ICPSR has a membership of more than 770 universities, government agencies, and other institutions.
There are a number of depositories that are discipline-specific, and that are usually maintained by discipline-specific organisations or consortia.
- Linguistics Linked Open Data (LLOD): http://linguistic-lod.org/
LLOD is maintained by the Open Knowledge Foundation’s Working Group on Open Data in Linguistics (https://linguistics.okfn.org).
- European Research Infrastructure for Language Resources and Technology (CLARIN): https://www.clarin.eu/
- Depositing Services offered by CLARIN Centres: https://www.clarin.eu/content/depositing-services
CLARIN is an ERIC, like CESSDA. Its geographical coverage is wide, with currently 20 national consortia as full members and four consortia as observers. Among the EU countries, Spain, Ireland, Luxembourg and several EU-13 countries are currently not (yet) represented among the CLARIN membership.
Depositories for the historical sciences are mostly at the institutional or national level. A number of CESSDA archives also accept historical data sets.
There are only few depositories dedicated to archaeology. Most of these have a national focus, such as:
- Archaeological Data Service (ADS) in the UK: http://archaeologydataservice.ac.uk/
- e-Depot for Dutch Archaeology (EDNA): https://dans.knaw.nl/en/about/services/easy/edna
EDNA was established by the Data Archiving and Networked Services (DANS) and the Cultural Heritage Agency (RCE) to archive digital research data of Dutch archaeologists in a sustainable manner and make them available. The data are stored in EASY (https://easy.dans.knaw.nl/), the online archiving system of DANS.
Arts and humanities
- Digital Research Infrastructure for the Arts and Humanities (DARIAH): http://www.dariah.eu/
DARIAH is another ERIC. It is a pan-European infrastructure for arts and humanities scholars working with computational methods. It has seventeen members and several cooperating partners in eight non-member countries. Among the EU countries, missing at the time of writing are Spain and a number of EU-13 countries.
Note that several CESSDA archives also accept humanities data sets.
The Leibniz Institute for Psychology Information (ZPID; https://www.zpid.de) has developed a data-sharing platform specialized for psychology research:
- PsychData: https://www.psychdata.de/
For an extensive overview of data depositories in psychology, see the article “Finding a Home for Your Science” by DeSoto.7
Of interest for researchers working in the psychology subdomain of cognitive neuroscience is the platform
- Open Neuro: https://openneuro.org/
which allows the sharing of MRI, MEG, EEG, iEEG, and ECoG data.
- Data Sharing for Demographic Research (DSDR): http://www.icpsr.umich.edu/icpsrweb/DSDR/
DSDR is housed within the Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR) mentioned earlier.
CESSDA archives will normally also accept demographic data sets.
Metadata and data preparation
A general overview of SH metadata standards can be found on the SH-specific pages of the DCC:
- Digital Curation Centre (DCC): http://www.dcc.ac.uk/resources/subject-areas/social-science-humanities
The DCC website lists metadata standards for, among others, archaeology, social and policy studies, economics, heritage studies.
For metadata and data preparation in the social sciences, see the following guide on the website of the Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR):
- Guide to Social Science Data Preparation and Archiving: http://www.icpsr.umich.edu/icpsrweb/content/deposit/guide/
For metadata and data preparation in linguistics, see:
- Section on ‘Standards and Formats’, CLARIN website: https://www.clarin.eu/content/standards-and-formats
Open research data and data deposition in the Physical sciences and Engineering domain
The PE domain has a large number of data depositories. In the following section a number of areas are addressed in some detail. This list should by no means be considered as an exhaustive one, rather as a collection of representative examples in a rapidly evolving landscape.
The Strasbourg astronomical Data Center is dedicated to the collection and worldwide distribution of astronomical data and related information:
- Strasbourg astronomical Data Center (CDS): https://cdsweb.u-strasbg.fr/
It hosts a variety of repositories of multi-wavelength data and provides useful interfaces, e.g. the SIMBAD astronomical database (http://simbad.u-strasbg.fr/simbad/), the world reference database for the identification of astronomical objects; VizieR (http://vizier.ustrasbg.fr/viz-bin/VizieR), the catalogue service for the CDS reference collection of astronomical catalogues and tables published in academic journals; and the Aladin interactive software sky atlas for access, visualization and analysis of astronomical images, surveys, catalogues, databases and related data (http://aladin.u-strasbg.fr/aladin.gml).
The use of public depositories and databases in chemistry is still developing, with the majority of the progress happening in the area of structural chemistry. The
- Worldwide Protein Data Bank: http://www.wwpdb.org/
manages the archives of the Protein Data Bank, which provides a repository of information about the 3D structures of proteins, nucleic acids, and complex assemblies.
Another key resource in use in this area is the
- Cambridge Crystallographic Data Centre: https://www.ccdc.cam.ac.uk/
for small molecule crystallography data.
- UniProt: https://www.uniprot.org/
covers direct sequencing data for proteins, and both
- ProteomeXchange: http://www.proteomexchange.org/
- PRIDE Archive – proteomics data repository: https://www.ebi.ac.uk/pride/archive/
deal with mass spectrometry proteomics data.
A network of repositories for open access Computational Chemistry research results is
- ioChem-BD: https://www.iochem-bd.org/
A free chemical structure database providing fast text and structure search access to over 67 million structures from hundreds of data sources is
- ChemSpider: http://www.chemspider.com/
Maintained by the Royal Society of Chemistry, it also encourages researchers to upload their own data.
Earth system science
Digital seismic waveform data in standardized format are available via the International Federation of Digital Seismograph Networks (FDSN, formed in 1985), which provides a huge amount of accessible data via the various on-line data centres, all accessible via the FDSN website:
- Federation of Digital Seismograph Networks (FDSN): http://www.fdsn.org/webservices/datacenters/
The Data Management Center of IRIS – Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology (http://www.iris.edu/) in the US is one of the hubs for seismology that serves the international FDSN community, also archiving historical data from pre-digital sources:
- UNAVCO: https://www.unavco.org/
archives and distributes geodetic data (GPS/GNSS, InSAR) for research purposes.
Geochemists also have on-line databases, for example a relational database of peerreviewed summary data on the geochemistry of all reservoirs in the earth
(https://earthref.org/GERM/). Data from geomagnetic observatories around the world can be obtained through the ‘Intermagnet’ program (http://www.intermagnet.org/). The
- European Plate Observing System (EPOS): https://www.epos-ip.org/
is a collaborative framework where many diverse communities of geoscientists and engineers aim at providing open access to geophysical, geochemical and geological data as well as visualization and modelling tools. At present, EPOS includes ~300 research institutions from 25 European countries. In October 2018, the European Commission granted EPOS the legal status of an ERIC (European Research Infrastructure Consortium), which is currently joined by ten countries: Belgium, Denmark, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia and the United Kingdom. Greece, Iceland and Switzerland will initially participate as observers.
The Crystallography Open Database contains the crystalline structures of a large number of systems. Researchers can contribute with their own results:
- Crystallography Open Database (COD): http://www.crystallography.net/cod/
RefractiveIndex.INFO (https://refractiveindex.info) contains the dielectric functions of various materials.
Scattering data providing mostly documentation of published results (data points from plots and tables) are deposited at the
- Durham High Energy Physics Database (HEPData): https://hepdata.net/.
In computer science (but also physics, astronomy etc.) one research output is the development of code.
- Github: https://github.com
is an extremely popular platform to publish such output, and while behind Github is a commercial company, public projects can be stored for free.
A library of test instances for Survivable fixed telecommunication Network Design is provided by
- SNDlib: http://sndlib.zib.de/home.action.
It contains realistic network design test instances available to the research community and serves as a standardized benchmark for testing, evaluating, and comparing network design models and algorithms. Every user can contribute by submitting new test instances, new solutions or dual bounds for existing test instances.
- Video Quality Experts Group (VQEG): https://www.its.bldrdoc.gov/vqeg/video-datasets-and-organizations.aspx
collects websites containing video content, including video test sequences. The
- Consumer Digital Video Library (CDVL): http://www.cdvl.org/
provides a repository of video content that is suitable for determining the effectiveness of consumer video processing applications and quality measurement algorithms. Users can share and download high-quality uncompressed video clips, which can be filtered using a clip descriptor and recommended usage guidance.
- QUALINET Databases: http://dbq.multimediatech.cz
accepts and shares numerous datasets used in the field of Quality of Experience research in multimedia systems.
In the situation where there is no public or community database for a data type, the ERC encourages grantees to deposit the metadata, including links to the data location, in a recognised resource.
A good example where standards for metadata have been established is given by the Virtual Observatory (VO) with the vision that astronomical datasets and other resources should work as a seamless whole. Many projects and astronomical data centres worldwide are working towards this goal via the International Virtual Observatory Alliance (IVOA – http://ivoa.net). The IVOA debates and agrees the technical standards that are needed to make the VO possible. It also acts as a focus for VO aspirations, a framework for discussing
and sharing VO ideas and technology, and body for promoting and publicising the VO.
1Wilkinson, M. D. et al. (2016). The FAIR Guiding Principles for scientific data management and stewardship. Scientific Data 3:160018 (https://doi.org/10.1038/sdata.2016.18)
3Sansone, S.-A. et al. (2019). FAIRsharing as a community approach to standards, repositories and policies. Nature Biotechnology, volume 37, pages 358-367. (https://doi.org/10.1038/s41587-019-0080-8)
4Cousijn, H. et al. (2018). A Data Citation Roadmap for Scientific Publishers. Scientific Data 5, 180259 (https://doi.org/10.1038/sdata.2018.259)
5Ellenberg, J. (2018). A call for public archives for biological image data. Nature Methods 15, 849-854 (https://doi.org/10.1038/s41592-018-0195-8)
6Jiménez, R.C., Kuzak, M., Alhamdoosh, M. et al. (2017). Four simple recommendations to encourage best practices in research software [version 1; referees: 3 approved]. F1000Research 6:876 (https://doi.org/10.12688/f1000research.11407.1)
7DeSoto, K. A. (2016). Finding a Home for Your Science. Observer, Volume 29, Issue 5 (https://www.psychologicalscience.org/observer/finding-a-home-for-your-science)
The Department for Chemistry and Pharmacy offers a number of events, lectures, and colloquia which may interest you, as well as the final presentations of doctoral candidates at the end of their studies. Please view the calendar for more information.
University-wide events can be found on the calendar of the FAU homepage (in German).
External doctoral degrees
External doctoral candidates fund and plan their research largely independently, relying on the FAU solely for academic supervision and for the final award of the doctoral degree. More information can be found on the homepage of the Graduate Centre or in this informational guide for topic allocation in external degrees (in German).
Faculty Doctoral Regulations
The following text has been copied from the Faculty of Sciences’ Doctoral Regulations PDF and is provided for purposes of accessibility. It can be found in its original version here.
These doctoral regulations have been worded carefully to be up to date; however, errors cannot be completely excluded. The official German text available at the Office of Doctoral Affairs is the version that is legally binding.
Faculty doctoral regulations
for the Faculty of Sciences at
Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU)
Dated 21 January 2013
amended by the statutes
dated 19 June 2017
Table of Contents:
I. General Conditions, page 2
Section 1: Scope, page 2
Section 2: Doctoral Degrees, page 2
Section 3: Doctoral Titles, page 2
Section 4: Bodies Responsible and Procedural Regulations, page 2
Section 5: Reviewers and Supervisors, page 2
II. Admission to a Doctorate, page 3
Section 6: Admission Requirements, page 3
Section 7: Qualifying Examination, page 3
Section 8: Admission to a Doctorate, page 4
III. The Doctorate Procedure
Section 9: Initiation of the Doctorate Procedure, page 4
Section 10: Requirements for the Thesis, page 4
Section 11: Evaluation, Acceptance and Refusal of the Thesis, page 5
Section 12: Oral examination, page 5
Section 13: Resitting the Oral Examination, page 6
Section 14: Results of the Doctoral Procedure, Notification, page 6
Section 15: Publication of the Thesis and Submission of the Mandatory Copies, page 6
Section 16: Completion of the Doctoral Degree, page 6
IV. Honorary Doctoral Degrees, page 6
Section 17: Honorary Doctoral Degree Certificates, page 6
V. Cooperative Doctoral Degrees / Joint Doctoral Degrees, page 7
Section 18: Cooperative Doctoral Degrees / Joint Doctoral Degrees, page 7
VI. Doctoral Degrees in Cooperation with Foreign Universities, page 7
Section 19: General, page 7
Section 20: Examination Procedure at FAU, page 7
Section 21: Examination Procedure at the Partner Institution, page 7
Section 22: Joint Doctoral Degree Certificate, page 7
VII. Invalidity and Revocation of Doctoral Degrees, page 7
Section 23: Invalidity of Doctoral Examinations, page 7
Section 24: Revocation of Doctoral Degrees, page 7
VIII. Concluding Provisions, page 7
Section 25: Legal Validity and Transitory Provisions, page 7
I. General Conditions
Section 1: Scope
1These doctoral regulations (FPromO Nat) supplement the General Doctoral Regulations of Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (RPromO) and are thus structured in a similar manner. 2Therefore some sections do not contain further provisions.
Section 2: Doctoral Degrees
Section 3: Doctoral Titles
Section 4: Bodies Responsible and Procedural Regulations
(1) The bodies responsible are the Doctoral Affairs Committee and the examining committee.
(2) 1The members of the Doctoral Affairs Committee of the Faculty of Sciences are appointed by the Faculty Council for a duration of four years. 2The Doctoral Affairs Committee consists of five professors from the Faculty of Sciences who each represent one of the existing departments and a professor appointed by the Faculty of Medicine for supervising theses in molecular medicine. 3A representative is appointed for each member of the committee.
(3) The Doctoral Affairs Committee shall appoint a chairperson and a representative from its members of the Faculty of Sciences for a duration of two years.
(4) 1The examining committee are appointed by the chairperson of the Doctoral Affairs Committee. 2The examining committee consists of a professor from the Faculty of Sciences as a chairperson (chair of examinations), one or both reviewers and a further authorised examiner from the Faculty of Sciences or in exceptional cases another FAU faculty who agrees to be appointed by the chairperson of the Doctoral Affairs Committee according to the suggestion of the supervisor. 3In individual cases, a professor from another university may be appointed to the examining committee, if they specialise in the subject. In these cases, the committee member shall be appointed as an examiner by the chairperson of the Doctoral Affairs Committee. 4The thesis and the evaluations
shall be submitted to the additional member of the examining committee for their information. 5The chairperson shall not be permitted to act as a reviewer in the same procedure. 6If the examining committee is not complete due to the absence of the authorised examiners in sentence 2, the chairperson of the Doctoral Affairs Committee can appoint another examiner under exceptional circumstances at the request of the candidate. The chairperson may also appoint an external examiner. 7The candidate has the right to propose members for the examining committee.
(5) 1Further provisions govern how these rules are carried out. 2These further provisions shall be established by the departments of the Faculty of Sciences by mutual agreement.
Section 5: Reviewers and Supervisors
(1) 1The thesis shall generally be supervised by a member of FAU’s Faculty of Sciences. 2Professors and university lecturers from the Faculty of Sciences are entitled to become supervisors. 3The Doctoral Affairs Committee can also appoint professors who regularly hold courses in a scientific discipline of the English or German molecular medicine degree programmes or other science degree programmes offered by FAU. The appointment may be made for a fixed period of time. 4Part-time lecturers and other outstanding young researchers who are able to continually supervise the doctoral research due to their employment at FAU or an institution associated with FAU can be appointed as supervisors according to Section 5 (2)(3) RPromO on an individual basis.
5Outstanding young researchers within the meaning of sentence 4 are individuals with doctoral degrees with a strong background in practical research, in particular heads of junior research groups as part of the Emmy Noether Programme run by the German Research Foundation or comparable programmes.
(2) 1In exceptional cases which must be approved by the Doctoral Affairs Committee, a university lecturer from another FAU faculty can be appointed as a supervisor if they were involved in planning the doctoral thesis. 2This supervisor shall have the same rights throughout the doctorate procedure as the group of individuals specified in (1).
(3) The supervisor of the doctoral research is usually also appointed as a reviewer.
(4) At least one reviewer must be a professor and another reviewer must be a full-time member of the Faculty of Science of FAU.
II. Admission to a Doctorate
Section 6: Admission Requirements
To be admitted to a doctorate, the candidate must present proof of one of the following examinations:
1. Diplom examination or Master’s examination in a degree programme related to natural sciences.
2. Second part of the State Examination in Pharmacy (Zweiter Prüfungsabschnitt der Pharmazeutischen Prüfung).
3. First State Examination for state-certified food chemists (Erste Staatsprüfung
für staatlich geprüfte Lebensmittelchemiker).
4. First State Examination for teaching secondary education with natural sciences (Erste Staatsprüfung für das Lehramt an Gymnasien mit einem naturwissenschaftlichen Fach).
5. Master’s examination in natural sciences at a university of applied sciences.
6. Diplom examination or Master’s examination in molecular medicine according
to the examination regulations for molecular medicine at FAU in its most current
Section 7: Qualifying Examination
(1) The following candidates shall be admitted to the doctoral qualification examination on application:
1. Candidates with a pass in the first State Examination for teaching primary and
secondary education (in Grundschule, Hauptschule and Realschule) with a total
of 95 ECTS credits in the relevant core subject including the transfer of existing
subject knowledge modules.
2. Candidates with a university Bachelor’s degree or a Diplom examination at a
university of applied sciences in a relevant degree programme with the overall
assessment of ‘mit Auszeichnung bestanden’ (passed with distinction) or ‘sehr
gut bestanden’ (passed with merit) and at least two semesters of postgraduate
study (Diplom Hauptstudium) or a Master’s degree in a relevant subject at FAU
a) if candidates have studied courses from the Master’s degree programme
they must have obtained 60 ECTS credits from the core areas (core modules, compulsory modules, compulsory elective modules, elective modules) in a relevant degree programme.
b) In the case of the Diplom Hauptstudium the candidate must have passed
courses equivalent to the relevant Master’s degree programmes.
(2) 1The Dean shall take the decisions regarding the qualifying examination if there are no other relevant provisions. 2In consultation with the relevant department, the Dean shall appoint the examiners and the chairperson of the examining committee from the authorised persons according to Section 5. 3The examining committee shall be selected to represent a broad range of subject expertise according to (3). 4The candidate shall be notified of the oral examination at least one week in advance.
(3) 1The qualifying examination consists of an oral examination lasting 60 minutes in front of a committee of three examiners. 2The candidate must demonstrate in the oral examination that they have sufficient knowledge and skills in the subject of the pursued doctoral degree. 3The examination is based on the contents of the core modules, elective modules, compulsory elective modules and compulsory modules of the Master’s degree programme.
(4) 1The candidate’s performance in the qualifying examination shall be graded as ‘bestanden’ (pass) or ‘nicht bestanden’ (fail). 2The qualifying examination is failed if one of the examiners grades the candidate’s performance with ‘nicht bestanden’
Section 8: Admission to a Doctorate
III. The Doctoral Procedure
Section 9: Initiation of the Doctorate Procedure
Section 10: Requirements for the Thesis
(1) The thesis must contain new scientific research.
(2) 1The Doctoral Affairs Committee can admit research which has been published entirely or partially as a thesis if it has particular scientific significance. 2If a thesis which has already been published is accepted, the candidate can provide the appropriate number of published copies instead of the copies ready for publication. 3Section 10 (3)(3) shall apply accordingly.
(3) 1If the supervisor agrees, the candidate may submit a collection of articles which have already been published in recognised scientific journals or articles which have been accepted for publication (cumulative dissertation). 2The candidate must be the sole or leading author of at least one of the publications. 3If publications are co-authored, the candidate must clearly indicate which parts of the thesis constitute their own work. 4The candidate and co-authors shall provide written confirmation of the authorship of individual contributions. 5Cumulative theses shall include a summary of approximately 25 pages which illustrates the contextual links between the published articles and relates their content to broader knowledge of the subject.
Section 11: Evaluation, Acceptance and Refusal of the Thesis
(1) 1Each of the reviewers makes a recommendation to the Doctoral Affairs Committee of whether the thesis should be accepted or refused. 2If the thesis is accepted, the reviewers shall propose one of the following grades:
1 = ‘sehr gut’ for an outstanding achievement
2 = ‘gut’ for a commendable achievement
3 = ‘genügend’ for an acceptable achievement.
3Grade ‘1’ may be awarded with the assessment ‘ausgezeichnet’ for exceptional
achievements; in this case, a third evaluation is required and at least one of the three reviewers must be an external reviewer. The relevant department has the right to propose external reviewers. 4Evaluations shall usually be presented within four weeks. 5The overall thesis grade is based on the arithmetic average of the evaluation grades. 6The average shall be calculated from the individual grades up to two decimal places. 7If the thesis is graded with grade 1 ‘ausgezeichnet’ by all reviewers, the overall grade for the thesis shall be grade 1 ‘ausgezeichnet’.
(2) As soon as the evaluations have been submitted, the thesis and all documents shall be inspected by the authorised examiners of the subject by way of circulation or displayed in the relevant department with the notification of the display period of four weeks.
Section 12: Oral examination
(1) 1If the thesis is accepted, an approximately 90-minute oral examination shall be held of which the chairperson of the Doctoral Affairs Committee shall notify the candidate and name the members of the examining committee at least eight days beforehand. 2The notification deadline for the oral examination may be shortened with the candidate’s agreement. 3The oral examination shall be open to the public.
(2) 1The oral examination includes a public presentation and a discussion of the subject of the thesis as well as a generally non-public oral examination (Rigorosum) to demonstrate that the candidate is proficient in the subject matter of the thesis, subjects closely related to the thesis and current developments in the subject. 2The presentation shall last for no longer than 30 minutes, followed by approximately 15 minutes of discussion. The Rigorosum lasts for 45 minutes. 3The candidate can apply to the chairperson of the examining committee for the oral examination to be conducted in English. 4Members of the Faculty of Sciences who are authorised to examine doctoral degrees may take part in the non-public part of the examination. 5If the candidate and the examining
committee are in agreement, the Rigorosum may also be held in public.
(3) 1The oral examination is led by the chairperson of the examining committee. 2During the presentation, all present may ask questions; only the members of the examining committee may ask questions during the Rigorosum. 3The chairperson can declare questions as inadmissible.
(4) 1A member of the examining committee shall be appointed by the chair of examinations to submit a report on the proceedings of the oral examination. 2The report shall contain details of the following:
1. The date and duration of the oral examination
2. The name of the chair and the examiners
3. The name of the candidate
4. The subject of the examination
5. The individual grades and the overall grade of the oral examination.
3The report must be signed by the chairperson and the examiners.
(5) 1The oral examination shall be graded 1 (sehr gut), 2 (gut), 3 (genügend) or 4 (ungenügend) individually by each member of the examining committee. 2The overall grade of the oral examination is calculated from the arithmetic average of the individual grades to one decimal place. 3The examiners may award Grade 1 with the assessment ‘ausgezeichnet’ for exceptional achievements. 4The public shall not be permitted to attend the determination of the examination result or the announcement of the examination result to the candidate.
(6) The oral examination is not passed if:
1. The arithmetic average of the grades awarded by the examiners is less than 3.0 according to (5)(2)
2. At least two examiners from the examining committee have graded the candidate’s performance as ‘ungenügend’.
Section 13: Resitting the Oral Examination
Section 14: Results of the Doctorate Procedure, Notification
1The grade of the thesis shall be specified by the Doctoral Affairs Committee according to Section 11. The grade for the oral examination will be determined after the examination by the examining committee according to Section 12. 2The overall grade of the doctoral degree shall be determined by the Doctoral Affairs Committee. 3The overall grade is calculated from the arithmetic average based on the grades of the thesis (multiplied by six) and the arithmetic average of the individual grades of the oral examination (multiplied by four). 4Section 11 (2)(6) shall apply accordingly. 5The assessment of the doctoral degree is as follows:
‘magna cum laude’ (sehr gut) from 1.00 to 1.50
‘cum laude’ (gut) from 1.51 to 2.50
‘rite’ (genügend) from 2.51 to 3.00.
6If all of the individual grades from the thesis and the oral examination are 1 = ‘ausgezeichnet’, the assessment of the doctoral degree is ‘summa cum laude’ (ausgezeichnet).
Section 15: Publication of the Thesis and Submission of the Mandatory Copies
Section 16: Completion of the Doctoral Degree
1The doctoral degree certificate shall be issued in German and confirms successful completion of a doctoral degree, stating the thesis title and the grades for both the thesis and the oral examination. 2The assessment shall also be displayed on the certificate according to Section 14. 3The doctoral degree certificate shall be signed by the chairperson of the Doctoral Affairs Committee of the Faculty of Sciences.
IV. Honorary Doctoral Degrees
Section 17: Honorary Doctoral Degree Certificates
(1) Honorary doctoral degrees may only be awarded based on a justified application from at least three professors of the Faculty of Sciences at FAU.
(2) 1The Doctoral Affairs Committee appoints an individual on the suggestion of the Faculty Council from the persons named in Section 5 (2) RPromO for assessing the academic achievements of the nominee. 2The Doctoral Affairs Committee shall also commission an independent assessment of the nominee’s academic achievements from an external advisor. 3The authorised examiners of the Faculty of Sciences shall be notified of the nomination and the assessment by way of circulation. 4The authorised examiners may make a written statement within one month.
(3) 1The Doctoral Affairs Committee takes the final decision on the nomination in consideration of any objections. 2The nomination will be accepted if a majority is reached.
V. Cooperative Doctoral Degrees / Joint Doctoral Degrees
Section 18: Cooperative Doctoral Degrees / Joint Doctoral Degrees
VI. Doctoral Degrees in Cooperation with Foreign Universities
Section 19: General
Section 20: Examination Procedure at FAU
Section 21: Examination Procedure at the Partner Institution
Section 22: Joint Doctoral Degree Certificate
VII. Invalidity and Revocation of Doctoral Degrees
Section 23: Invalidity of Doctoral Examinations
Section 24: Revocation of Doctoral Degrees
VIII. Concluding Provisions
Section 25: Legal Validity and Transitory Provisions
1These regulations shall come into effect on the day after their publication. 2After the RPromO and FPromO come into effect, all of the doctorate procedures which have already been initiated shall be governed by the existing doctoral regulations from 15 August 2009. All doctorate procedures which have been admitted but not initiated shall be governed by the new doctoral regulations.
The FAU Familienservice (in German) can be a good resource for students and doctoral candidates with children or other care responsibilities. Please feel free to reach out to them if you have questions or concerns about babysitting and childcare services, parental leave, childcare facilities on campus, networking with other parents, and more.
Financing your doctoral studies
Detailed and extensive information on financing your doctoral studies can be found on the homepage of the Graduate Centre.
The site includes information on working a doctoral position, applying for third-party funding, scholarships, and more. The Graduate Centre also offers classes on putting together effective applications for third-party funding. More information is available here.
Forms & downloads
The following selection of forms and downloads have been issued by the given offices of the FAU, and have been collected here for your convenience. In case a form you need is not listed here, please consult the website of the office in question.
- Checklist for carrying out and supervising doctoral degrees
- Checklist for good practice for supervising and completing work on postdoctoral qualifications
- Checklist for the initial meeting between doctoral candidates and their supervisor
- Description of the Cotutelle Program for Binational Doctoral Degrees
- DFG Memorandum on Safeguarding Good Scientific Practice
- Doctoral Regulations of Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) (RPromO)
- Faculty doctoral regulations for the Faculty of Sciences at Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) (FPromO Nat)
- Proposed supervision agreement
Office for Gender and Diversity:
- Checklist for the Letter of Support
- Checklist for Reviews for Applications for Bavarian Sponsorship “Realization of Equal Opportunities for Women in Research and Teaching” (FFL)
- Dealing with Sexual Harassment at FAU
- Funding Guidelines for the Visiting Scholarship Target Agreement Programme
- General Information on Visiting Scholarships
- Guidelines for Awarding Funding for Travel Costs as Part of the Target Agreements between the Executive Board and the Faculty of Sciences at Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) for Increasing the Number of Women in Research, 2018-2022
- Guidelines for the Use of Funds from the Programme “Promotion of Equal Opportunities for Women in Research and Teaching” (FFL)
- Informational brochure: Funding for participation in conferences
- Informational brochure: Quality assurance in appointment procedures
- Informational brochure: Visiting Scholarships at the Faculty of Science
- Checklist for a Software Management Plan
- Criteria for Determining Predatory Open-Access Publishers
- DFG Guidelines on the Handling of Research Data
- DFG Proposal Preparation Instructions
- DFG Proposal Template for the Establishment of a Collaborative Research Centre
- EDP Sciences – List of Journals
- Informational Brochure: arXiv
- Publication Agreement
Forum for Young Chemists
The Forum for Young Chemists (JungChemikerForum or JCF) is the Germany-wide student network of the German Chemical Society (Gesellschaft Deutscher Chemiker or GDCh). They offer a wide variety of opportunities for young chemists to improve their academic skill set and expand their professional network, including visits to companies and research facilities, informational events, and workshops. Please visit their website (in German) for more information.
In addition to your doctoral studies, you might want to spend some time learning a new language, acquiring proficiency in some useful software, or improving your soft skills in preparation for your future career. Please visit the page for further trainings on the Department of Chemistry and Pharmacy website, or check out the online presence of the various offices at the FAU that offer such courses, such as the Language Centre, the Regional Computer Centre, or the Graduate Centre.
Gender and diversity
For questions about gender mainstreaming, equal opportunities, family services, and more, please visit the homepage of the Office of Gender and Diversity.
General Terms & Conditions for Research and Development Projects
The following text has been copied from the “General Terms and Conditions of the Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) for Research and Development Projects, Expert Opinions and other Services” PDF and is provided for purposes of accessibility. It can be found in its original version here.
Translation from the German language
General Terms and Conditions Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg
Last updated March 2018
General Terms and Conditions of the
Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg (FAU)
for Research and Development Projects, Expert Opinions and other Services
Section 1: Sphere of Application
1.1 These General Terms and Conditions apply to research and development projects, expert opinions and other engineering services (below referred to as “projects”) carried out and provided by the Friedrich-Alexander Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (below referred to as University Erlangen-Nuremberg).
1.2 The Freistaat Bayern (Free State of Bavaria) represented by the University Erlangen-Nuremberg, Schlossplatz 4, 91054 Erlangen, is the Contractor.
1.3 A binding offer of the Contractor and the written order of the Customer are required for the project to come into existence. Contractor and Customer are referred to as “party” severally or as “parties” collectively below.
1.4 The Contractor is entitled to subcontract with third parties.
1.5 Deviations from these General Terms and Conditions are only valid, if they are stipulated explicitly in writing; in this event a contractor has to be made on these deviations, which is subject to the Contractor’s written consent. The Customer’s deviating Terms and Conditions do not apply in any event, even if the Contractor does not object to them explicitly.
Section 2: Execution of the Project
2.1 The project is carried out in accordance with the state of the art and by observing the scientific rules.
2.2 The project-related workload is described by the offer and a time schedule is added, if required. Where it is not exactly foreseeable at the time of entering into the contract, which course the project will take, the project’s description may be updated with regard to its content within the stipulated scope and by mutual agreement of both parties’ heads of the project while the project is carried out. Possible deadlines for performance extend reasonably, if the Customer does not fulfill his duties of cooperation in time. The same is deemed to apply, if the Contractor is prevented to perform properly due to circumstances for which the Contractor is not responsible.
2.3 The project’s description (offer) may provide for interim reports.
2.4 After completing the work, the Customer will receive a final or an examination report showing the result of the project in a comprehensible way and containing documents and calculation software that may have been created in the course of the work.
Section 3: Remuneration
3.1 Remuneration is to be paid as a lump sum. It will be displayed explicitly in writing in the offer as the stipulated net amount of the project means. The statutory turnover tax will be charged additionally. Amendments are subject to the Contractor’s consent.
3.2 Possible additional expenses for freight, customs, additional import taxes and packaging may be charged additionally.
3.3 The Contractor is entitled to invoice the Customer for reasonable advance payments on remuneration and expenses. Receivables will become due for payment without deductions within 14 days from the invoice date. Interest in the amount of the statutory interest rate of 8 percent over the base rate of the ECB valid at the time will be charged for any violation of the stipulated date for payment.
3.4 On receipt of payment an infrastructure contribution (overhead) in the amount of 20% will be retained of the stipulated net amount of the project means. Exceptions are subject to the prior consent of the University’s Drittmittelverwaltung (approx. Administration of External Funding).
3.5 The Customer agrees that the executive professor may be awarded a research allowance in the amount of 20% from the stipulated net amount of the project means after receipt of the payment, in accordance with the conditions laid down in the Bayerische Hochschulleistungsbezügeverordnung (approx. Bavarian Provisions on Emoluments of Senior University Employees).
3.6 Where the offer does not contain any other provision, the Customer will be invoiced separately for expenses actually arising for business travel and other expenses incurred on the Customer’s initiative with regard to processing the order.
Section 4: Confidentiality, Publications
4.1 Each party will maintain confidentiality on the other party’s confidential information, which becomes known to her and her employees due to carrying out the project. In particular, such confidential information will be used by the receiving party for the purpose of carrying out the project only, will not be given to third parties and will be safeguarded against unauthorized access by third parties.
4.2 “Confidential information” in the sense of this Section 4 is only such information that is explicitly marked as confidential. The duties to maintain confidentiality do not apply to information, which verifiably (a) was already known to the receiving party prior to the notification, (b) was already publicly known or generally accessible prior to notification, (c) became publicly known or generally accessible after notification without participation or fault of the receiving party, (d) was disclosed or made accessible to the receiving party by an authorized third party, or (e) was developed by the receiving party or which the receiving party had developed without assistance independently of having knowledge of the information.
4.3 The above-mentioned obligations expire at the end of two years following termination of the project.
4.4 Regarding research projects, the Customer acknowledges the Contractor’s fundamental obligation to publish kind, object and result of the research carried out in-house. Publications on the object of the research project, which are made over the project duration and within a period of time of up to one year following termination of the project will be coordinated with the Customer beforehand. The Customer will not refuse consent of the publication without cause. Should the Customer not object to a publication, which was submitted to him as original text, within six weeks following receipt of the full documentation, consent is deemed to have been granted.
Section 5: Results of the Project
5.1 All knowledge, documents, computer programs, data bases, prototypes etc. that will be gained or created by carrying out the stipulated project in the stipulated field of research and development are the results of the project.
5.2 Subject to the following paragraphs, all rights to the results of the project as well as the ownership of the results, which have been delivered in physical form, are assigned to the Customer on full payment of the stipulated remuneration.
5.3 With regard to the works, data base works and know-how protected by copyright, the Customer is granted the right unlimited as to time or place, which can be assigned by the Customer only, to use these in unchanged or changed form for all kinds of use as he sees fit, in particular to copy them, have them copied and to process them and grant rights of use to third parties for all kinds of use.
5.4 Where the results consist of software, the following is deemed to apply as a deviation from the previous paragraph: On delivery, the Customer is granted the right, which is non-exclusive and cannot be sublicensed, to use the software (object code) created by the Contractor for his own purposes. Disclosure to third parties is subject to the Contractor’s consent. Should the software created be subject to contractual obligations to third parties (e.g. when using software in accordance with an open-source-license), these have priority and do also apply to the Customer.
5.5 For their own purposes in research and teaching the Contractor and his employees concerned, in any event will retain a right of use of the research results, which is non-exclusive, non-assignable, royalty-free, unlimited as to time or place.
Section 6: Inventions, Property Rights
6.1 The Contractor is entitled to the rights to inventions eligible for patent or utility model protection, which are made by the Contractor’s employees while carrying out the project. The Contractor notifies the Customer without undue delay of inventions brought to his attention. The Contractor alone is entitled to make the decision, whether to use an invention and apply for a property right.
6.2 With regard to all these inventions and intellectual property rights resulting from them, the Contractor gives the Customer an option to enter into a user agreement on market-standard conditions. In accordance with the parties’ agreement, this can be an exclusive or non-exclusive license or an acquisition of a property right. The option has to be exercised within two months from the Customer being notified of the invention. In the event of an exclusive use Section 5.5 applies accordingly for the property rights resulting from the invention.
6.3 With inventions made by the Contractor’s and the Customer’s employees collectively, the parties will agree on the way to proceed in the individual case. Unless otherwise agreed by the parties, each of them is entitled to use these inventions for their own purposes and grant non-exclusive licenses to these inventions to third parties. An application for a property right may only be filed by mutual agreement.
6.4 The Contractor notifies the Customer without undue delay, if he gains knowledge of third parties’ property rights that may prevent use of the results. The Contractor is not obliged to conduct a search of property rights.
Section 7: Liability
7.1 When carrying out the stipulated work, the Contractor is responsible for applying scientific care and for observing the recognized standards of good practice, but not for actually achieving an intended research and development result. Also, no liability will be assumed for the results being suitable for economic exploitation and free of third parties’ property rights.
7.2 The contractual and tortious liability of the parties and the persons performing their obligations to the other party for damage not caused by injuring life, body or health, is limited to intention and gross negligence. As to the amount, the liability is limited to the total amount of remuneration to be paid according to the contract, in case of breach of primary contractual duties, it does not exceed the triple of the total amount. Liability for production downtime, business interruption, lost profit and other consequential damage is excluded, where they are not caused by intention.
Section 8: Premature Termination of the Project
8.1 A termination of the project by termination notice will only be possible, if this was specifically permitted in the project’s description.
8.2 Each party is entitled to terminate all or part of the project for cause with immediate effect subject to the conditions of Section 314 BGB (German Civil Code). In particular, separation of the academic head of the department or of the head of the project from the University is deemed to be cause.
8.3 In any event, the termination must be in writing.
8.4 In case of premature termination, the Contractor will deliver to the Customer the documents available and results achieved by this time to the extent given in Section 4. After the date of premature termination of the project, the Customer will continue to reimburse the Contractor for these expenses, which have to be incurred yet in consideration of the project and for meeting legal obligations, unless the Contractor fails to meet his obligation to ensure termination of the legal obligations in time. With premature termination, the expenses to be reimbursed to the Contractor after the termination date must not exceed the total remuneration stipulated.
Section 9: Final Provisions
9.1 The Contract entered into on the basis of these General Terms and Conditions is governed by German Law, excluding the provisions concerning conflicts of law and the UN Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods.
9.2 Erlangen is the place of performance. If the Customer has merchant status, is a legal entity under public law or a special fund under public law or does not have a general jurisdiction within the country, Erlangen is stipulated to be the general jurisdiction for all disputes arising from and relating to the contract. This does not apply, where an exclusive jurisdiction is provided for by law.
9.3 Amendments and additions to these General Terms and Conditions have to be made in writing. This does also apply to waiving this written form requirement.
9.4 Should a provision of the General Terms and Conditions be or become invalid, the validity of the other provisions is not affected thereby. Instead of the expired provision, the parties will agree on a provision in this case, which comes closest to the economic content of the expired provision and satisfies both parties’ interests to the same extent. The same applies, if these General Terms and Conditions contain an omission.
Erlangen, dated 2018-03-19
On behalf of the Friedrich-Alexander University of Erlangen-Nürnberg:
German Chemical Society
The German Chemical Society (Gesellschaft Deutscher Chemiker or GDCh) is an organization that unites chemists in an effort to promote education, scientific advancement, and sustainability. The German Chemical Society also offers information on job opportunities, conferences and events in the field of chemistry, and even presents a number of awards for outstanding, innovative research.
More information can be found on their website.
German Research Foundation
The German Research Foundation (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft or DFG) is the primary research foundation in Germany, providing financial support for projects through a variety of funding structures, including graduate schools, collaborative research centers, and clusters of excellence. In addition, the German Research Foundation is a reliable source of information on standards of scientific practice, international research collaborations, upcoming conferences, and more. Their website is a good place to begin searching for funding during your doctoral and / or postdoctoral studies.
Good Scientific Practice
The FAU is committed to ensuring good scientific practice in all of its research and educational endeavors. You may find the following resources useful in maintaining scientific integrity in your doctoral research.
- ALLEA: The European Code of Conduct for Research Integrity
- DFG: Memorandum on Safeguarding Good Scientific Practice
- DFG: Proposals for Safeguarding Good Scientific Practice – Recommendations of the Commission on Professional Self-Regulation in Science
- FAU: Regulations for safeguarding good scientific practice and dealing with scientific misconduct
The Graduate Centre is the central administrative resource for all doctoral students of the FAU, as well as postdoctoral researchers, habilitation candidates, and doctoral advisors. They provide a wide range of services, including soft-skills seminars and networking opportunities; for more information, visit their homepage.
Helmholtz Institute Erlangen-Nürnberg
The Helmholtz Institute Erlangen-Nürnberg (HI ERN) for Renewable Energy Production is a research network whose mission is to promote and expand research on renewable energy sources as well as advocating for energy reform in national and international politics.
The FAU’s southern campus houses its HI ERN branch, specifically as part of the Cluster of Excellence “Engineering of Advanced Materials.” For more information, please visit the homepage of the Helmholtz Institute Erlangen-Nürnberg.
Individual doctoral study
Individual doctoral study or Individualpromotion simply means that you are completing your doctoral degree independently rather than as part of a structured program. You would seek out your doctoral supervisor on your own, manage your own timeline, and work largely independently towards completing your research and writing your dissertation. Individual doctoral degrees typically take from three to five years to complete, but the actual timeline depends on your own planning and any contract you might have with your supervisor.
If this type of doctoral study interests you, please take a look at the Graduate Centre’s information on getting started, and then at the research profiles of the professors in the Department of Chemistry and Pharmacy.
Intellectual Property Law
For many doctoral candidates, the process of achieving a doctoral degree presents the first opportunities to publish their work. In addition to maintaining good scientific and research practice as well as avoiding academic misconduct, it is important for doctoral candidates to understand the role of intellectual property law in publishing scientific works. More information can be found at the following links:
- EURAXESS: Intellectual Property Rights (IPR)
- Your Europe: Intellectual Property
- FAU: Information on Intellectual Property Law in Teaching (German)
- FAU University Library: Intellectual Property Law (FAQ) (German)
For specific questions regarding the intellectual property concerns of your own research, your doctoral supervisor is your best resource.
International doctoral candidates
Doctoral studies are often, if not always, difficult, but completing a doctoral degree in a foreign country can be even more stressful. The following resources are available to help deal with questions and problems that are unique to international university members:
- Central Office for International Affairs: for information and support for exchange and degree-program students from abroad, including orientation courses and help in navigating the important first steps to life in Germany
- Language Centre: for German courses and proficiency certificates
- Welcome Centre for International Researchers: for advice, information, and support during guest research and doctoral studies at FAU
The Regional Computer Centre, also called the Rechenzentrum or RRZE, is the central resource for all aspects of information technology. You may visit their site to acquire hardware or software necessary for your research, set up a virtual private network (VPN) or WLAN connection, or to take classes in specific software or programming languages.
Please visit their homepage for more information. This site is only available in German at this time.
Key qualifications (Schlüsselqualifikationen) is a term which refers to interdisciplinary soft skills which are necessary in many, if not most, professions.
Key qualifications cover six basic areas:
- information technology
- interpersonal competency
- learning and performance skills
- problem-solving skills
For key-qualification classes, please see the homepage of the Centre for Applied Philosophy of Science and Key Qualifications (Zentralinstitut für Wissenschaftsreflexion und Schlüsselqualifikationen or ZiWiS) of the FAU. Similar courses are also offered by the Graduate Centre.
Language classes for doctoral candidates
During the course of their degree programs, many doctoral candidates choose to learn a new language or to improve the language skills they already have, for example, by taking higher-level English courses. The Language Centre of the FAU offers a wide variety of language courses, and even makes materials available for those who prefer to study independently.
Please see their homepage for more information. This site is only available in German at this time.
Main research areas
See Research focus areas.
Management of research data
In addition to learning how to maintain good scientific and research practice, it is important to learn how to manage research data effectively in order to keep a clear overview of your doctoral research and to facilitate the composition of your dissertation. The following resources may be helpful for you:
- DFG: Guidelines on the Handling of Research Data
- ERC: Data Management Plan Template
- ERC: Open Research Data and Data Management Plans
- FAU University Library: Research Data Management
- TU Berlin: Guidance for Creating a Data Management Plan in Horizon 2020 Projects
See ARIADNE Mentorship.
Monographic and cumulative theses
Information on submitting a monographic or cumulative doctoral thesis is available on the homepage of FAU’s Graduate Center, including some more detailed advice on monographic and cumulative theses in the Faculty of Sciences.
If you are unsure, your doctoral advisor is a good resource in helping to determine what kind of thesis is right for you and your field of study.
Networking with other doctoral candidates
Networking is not just for business students – getting to know other doctoral candidates can lead to interesting research collaborations, not to mention help you to build up a network of social support during this often stressful phase in life.
For more information on upcoming networking events, please see the program schedule available on the homepage of the Graduate Center.
You might also try the networking opportunities at the following links:
Offices of Doctoral Affairs
The Offices of Doctoral Affairs (Promotionsbüro) help manage the administrative aspects of the doctoral degree process for each faculty. You may need to contact the Office of Doctoral Affairs when it’s time to formally register as a doctoral candidate, when dealing with international equivalencies, or when administrative difficulties arise in the course of your doctoral studies.
You can contact the Office of Doctoral Affairs for the Faculty of Sciences here.
Process of doctoral study
The process of your doctoral studies may vary depending on your topic, employment contract, or the type of degree program. Individual doctoral degrees might take longer and might require different steps when compared with a structured degree program, for example. Your doctoral supervisor is the best resource for figuring out this process, but you might also find the Graduate Centre helpful for more information and support.
See Further Trainings.
Psychological and psychotherapeutic counseling
Working towards a doctoral degree can be stressful, and it is common for doctoral candidates to experience depression, anxiety, and other psychological symptoms as a result. If you are struggling and need help, consider making an appointment with the Studentenwerk’s psychological and psychotherapeutic counseling service.
In case you need to talk to someone outside of normal operating hours (evenings, weekends, and holidays), consider contacting Erlangen’s 24-hour counselling hotline or the crisis service of Central Franconia.
All links given above are only available in German at this time.
Publishing your work
Publishing your findings is an important part of establishing yourself in a professional, academic context. The following resources may be helpful to you as you consider when and where to publish your work:
- GDCh: Publishing Workshop
- Graduate Centre: Publications
- Learning Lab’s Writing Centre
- University Library: Writing & Publishing
Your doctoral supervisor is another valuable resource in publishing – don’t be afraid to ask for help!
Qualifying for a doctoral degree program
In general, it is necessary to have a Master’s degree or similar qualification (such as a Diplom or Staatsexamen) in the subject to qualify for a doctoral degree program. For more information, please see the FAQ page of the Graduate Center as well as Section 6 of the Faculty Doctoral Regulations (“Admission Requirements”). A text version of this PDF is provided for accessibility purposes under the Faculty Doctoral Regulations section of this page.
Regional Computer Center
See IT Support.
Registration via docDaten
All doctoral candidates of the FAU are required to register via the online portal docDaten. Following registration, submit all required documents to the Office of Doctoral Affairs (Promotionsbüro); these documents are available for download from docDaten.
More information can be found on the homepage of the Graduate Center.
Regulations for Safeguarding Good Scientific Practice
The following text has been copied from the Regulations for safeguarding good scientific practice and dealing with scientific misconduct at Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) PDF and is provided for purposes of accessibility. It can be found in its original version here.
Please note that ONLY the German version of this document is legally binding. The English translation only serves the purpose of providing information on the contents of the corresponding German text.
Regulations for safeguarding good scientific practice and dealing with
scientific misconduct at Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg
Dated 10 October 2017
With reference to Section 13 (1)(2) in conjunction with Sections 6 (1)(3)(2) of the Bavarian Higher Education Act (BayHSchG), FAU passes the following regulations:
Table of contents:
Part I, page 1
Purpose and scope, page 1
Section 1: Purpose, page 1
Section 2: Scope, page 2
Part II, page 2
Good scientific practice, page 2
Section 3: General rules for good scientific practice, page 2
Section 4: Supervising young researchers, page 3
Section 5: Dealing with primary data, page 3
Section 6: Authorship, page 3
Section 7: Responsible reviewing, page 4
Part III, page 4
Scientific misconduct, page 4
Section 8: Scientific misconduct, page 4
Part IV, page 6
Quality management and internal monitoring, page 6
Section 9: Internal University bodies for monitoring scientific misconduct, page 6
Section 10: Ombudsperson, page 6
Section 11: Committee for the investigation of scientific misconduct, page 7
Part V, page 7
Procedure in event of suspected scientific misconduct, page 7
Section 12: Duty of clarification, page 7
Section 13: Procedural principles, page 7
Section 14: Ombudsman proceedings, page 8
Section 15: Initial investigation, page 9
Section 16: Formal investigation, page 9
Part VI, page 10
Final provisions, page 10
Section 17: Legal validity, transitory provisions, page 10
Appendix: Possible consequences of scientific misconduct, page 12
Part I: Purpose and scope
Section 1: Purpose
1Within the context of its legal mandate, FAU is responsible for safeguarding good scientific practice in research and teaching, as well as when supporting young researchers. 2Those involved in research at FAU are committed to academic integrity, see Section 6 (1)(3) of the Bavarian Higher Education Act (BayHSchG). 3These regulations are intended to promote good scientific practice and stipulate how scientific misconduct is to be dealt with.
Section 2: Scope
(1) 1These regulations shall apply to all FAU members involved in academic work. 2This includes students and administrative employees involved in research, as well as academic staff. 3These regulations shall also apply to people pursuing a doctoral degree or a habilitation supervised by an FAU professor, even if they are not members of FAU.
(2) The regulations shall also apply to former members, former doctoral candidates and former habilitation candidates at FAU if they are accused of scientific misconduct concerning their activities at FAU.
(3) If the accusation of scientific misconduct concerns a time at which the person was not yet a member of FAU, FAU can either demand that the affected institution carries out an investigation into the allegation or carry out an investigation pursuant to these regulations itself.
Part II: Good scientific practice
Section 3: General rules for good scientific practice
(1) 1The members of FAU are obliged to comply with rules of good scientific practice. 2These rules comprise in particular
- General principles of academic work such as
- working in accordance with professional standards
- documenting findings
- consistently questioning the validity of all results
- being strictly honest in view of all contributions from partners, competitors and predecessors
- joint responsibility of authors and exclusion of honorary authorship
- Abiding by special rules for individual disciplines.
(2) 1Good scientific practice is only possible if all members of FAU commit to it. 2Each individual scientist and academic is responsible for complying with and communicating the current rules of good scientific practice. 3The faculties shall ensure that standards of good scientific practice are communicated at all times in all degree programmes and when supervising doctoral candidates. 4Whilst faculties are responsible in the last instance, those in charge of work areas or working groups must take appropriate organisational measures to ensure that managerial, supervisory and quality control tasks, including the clarification of standards of good scientific practice, are assigned to specific individuals and that these duties are fulfilled.
Section 4: Supervising young researchers
(1) 1Individuals with doctoral degrees, doctoral candidates, graduates and students involved in research projects are entitled to regular academic advice and support from supervisors or those in charge of working groups. 2They are obliged to work responsibly and cooperate well with colleagues. 3The extent to which each individual is involved in the entire academic project shall be documented.
(2) 1The duty to supervise young researchers includes actively contributing to the timely completion of the work required for the respective qualification level. 2It is recommended that supervision agreements are concluded defining the specific conditions and the rights and duties of supervisors and doctoral or habilitation candidates.
(3) The faculties shall ensure that the standards for good scientific practice are an integral component in the training of young researchers.
Section 5: Dealing with primary data
(1) Primary data on which publications are based shall be kept by the authors in the academic institution in which the data were created for at least ten years from the date of publication on permanent and secure storage media, provided the data has to be kept available for checking at a later date and storing the data does not infringe any legal provisions.
(2) 1If an employee leaves the department, the original data shall remain at the original location and FAU shall take precautions to ensure that the primary data are forwarded appropriately and access rights clarified. 2Primary data shall be saved in an appropriate manner and protected from unauthorised access. The individuals entitled to access the data shall be named. 3If there are no data protection rules to the contrary, authors shall be given the opportunity to create a copy of the data before leaving the department.
Section 6: Authorship
(1) 1Only those individuals who have made a considerable contribution to an academic publication shall be considered (co)authors. 2Only those individuals who have made a considerable contribution to drafting the research or experiments, to creating, analysing and interpreting the data, or to wording the draft of the publication and have agreed to publication, accepting responsibility for the same, shall be considered the author(s) of an original academic publication. 3(Co)authorship cannot be claimed merely on the basis of a person’s position as the current or former head of an academic working group or as a supervisor. 4Honorary authorship is not permitted.
(2) The following contributions, seen individually, are not sufficient to claim (co)authorship:
- Purely organisational responsibility for acquiring funding
- Providing standard material for investigation
- Instructing staff in standard methods
- Purely technical assistance in collecting data
- Purely technical support, for example merely providing equipment and animals for testing
- Merely providing data on a regular basis
- Merely reading over the draft publication without making a substantial contribution to the contents
- Heading an institution or organisation in which the publication is written.
(3) 1Authors of an original academic publication must report on findings which contradict their findings and hypotheses to the same extent as those which support them. 2Previous research by the author or other individuals and relevant publications from other authors on which the work is based directly must be cited and attributed completely and correctly.
(4) The above provisions shall apply accordingly to publishers of academic editions.
Section 7: Responsible reviewing
(1) 1Information or ideas which a reviewer learns of before others thanks to their position as a reviewer shall be treated confidentially and may not be used to obtain a competitive advantage. 2The reviewer shall disclose any conflicts of interest arising from being in competition with, cooperating with or being related in any other way to authors of a submitted publication, those submitting a proposal for a project or applicants for academic positions.
(2) 1Publications can be assessed on the basis of their impact factor as an additional consideration, but this shall not replace the requirement to assess the contents. 2The quality of the contents must be assessed if academics are to be judged in comparison with one another.
Part III: Scientific misconduct
Section 8: Scientific misconduct
(1) 1Scientific misconduct is when there has been a (wilful or grossly negligent) breach of standards of good scientific practice. 2There is considered to have been a breach in particular if, in a context of academic importance, incorrect statements have been made, intellectual property rights of other parties have been infringed or research of third parties has been damaged to a considerable extent either wilfully or grossly negligently. 3Each case shall be assessed on the basis of the individual circumstances.
(2) The following is a non-exhaustive list of instances of scientific misconduct:
- Giving incorrect information:
- Fabricating data, sources, evidence, illustrations, texts or research findings,
- Falsification of any of the above, e.g.
- by failing to mention data, sources, evidence, illustrations, texts or research findings relevant to the issues being investigated
- by manipulating data, sources, evidence, illustrations, texts or reserach findings
- by selecting and rejecting undesirable research findings without disclosing that this has been done
- Giving inaccurate information in a letter of application or application for funding (including incorrect statements regarding scientific journals and publications currently in print)
- Giving inaccurate information on the academic performance of applicants in a selection or review committee
- Failing to disclose any conflicts of interest
- Infringing intellectual property rights:
- Relating to a work protected by copyright which has been created by another person or to essential academic findings, hypotheses, teachings or research approaches originating from others
- using such works without authorisation and while claiming to be the author of the same (plagiarism)
- using or exploiting research approaches and/or ideas without authorisation, in particular as a reviewer (theft of ideas)
- assuming or accepting without reason authorship or coauthorship or publication or joint publication rights to an academic work
- falsification or fabrication of contents
- publishing and/or making contents available to third parties without authorisation before the work, the findings, the hypothesis, the theory or the research approach has been published
- Claiming (joint) authorship or (joint) publication rights to an academic work from another person without first obtaining their permission
- Relating to a work protected by copyright which has been created by another person or to essential academic findings, hypotheses, teachings or research approaches originating from others
- Jeopardizing the research of others:
- Sabotaging research (including by damaging, destroying or manipulating the design for an experiment, equipment, documentation, hardware, software, chemicals or other materials required by another person to conduct the experiment)
- Removing primary data if doing so constitutes a breach of legal provisions or recognized principles of scientific practice relating to the discipline in question
- Refusing to participate in or deliberaly delaying the efforts to clarify any instances of scientific misconduct, e.g. within the framework of ombudsman proceedings within the meaning of Section 14 or a formal investigation within the meaning of Section 16.
(3)1Anyone who shares responsibility for breaches committed by others shall also be considered to have breached standards of good scientific practice. 2A person may in particular be considered to share responsibility if they:
- actively contributed to the scientific misconduct of others
- are proven to have been aware of forgery or falsification committed by others
- are co-authors of publications suspected of forgery or falsification
- have neglected their duty to supervise
Part IV: Quality management and internal monitoring
Section 9: Internal University bodies for monitoring scientific misconduct
(1) In order to investigate claims of scientific misconduct, FAU shall appoint the following internal University bodies for monitoring scientific misconduct:
- Ombudsperson and deputy
- Standing committee for the investigation of scientific misconduct
(2) 1The ombudsperson and the committee shall prepare the findings submitted by the responsible committees of the University and advise the Executive Board of the University and FAU researchers in questions relating to the safeguarding of good scientific practice. 2The ombudsperson, their deputy and the members of the committee shall carry out their duties independently and are not bound by instructions.
(3) A Vice President or a Dean may not accept the office of ombudsperson or be appointed a member of the committee.
Section 10: Ombudsperson
1The ombudsperson and their deputy shall be active professors and shall be appointed by the Senate for a period of five years at the suggestion of the President.
2They may be reappointed for one further term of office.
Section 11: Committee for the investigation of scientific misconduct
(1) The committee for the investigation of scientific misconduct shall consist of three professors with significant research experience.
(2) 1The members of the committee shall be appointed by the Senate for a period of three years at the suggestion of the President. 2They may be reappointed for one further term of office.
(3) 1The committee shall appoint one of their members to the position of chairperson. 2The chairperson shall be elected on an annual basis. 3They may be reappointed for one further term of office.
(4) The ombudsperson and their deputy shall have an advisory role in the committee.
(5) 1The members of the committee together with the ombudsperson and their deputy are intended to represent the faculties of FAU. 2One of the members should be entitled to exercise the office of a judge.
Part V: Procedure in event of suspected scientific misconduct
Section 12: Duty of clarification
(1) FAU shall investigate all instances when there are specific grounds to suspect scientific misconduct, no matter the standing of the person involved.
(2) The relevant examining committees of the faculties shall be solely responsible for investigating misconduct relating to examination achievements which count towards degrees.
(3) If an investigation confirms that scientific misconduct has taken place, measures appropriate for the individual case shall be taken in accordance with available legal remedies (see Appendix: Possible consequences of scientific misconduct).
Section 13: Procedural principles
(1) 1In order to protect the persons reporting the suspected misconduct, those affected by the allegations and the reviewers responsible for investigating the case, all proceedings concerning suspected scientific misconduct at FAU shall be conducted in utmost confidentiality. All affected parties shall continue to maintain strict confidentiality concerning the matter even after the case has been closed, subject to statutory rights to inspect files. 2Notwithstanding the above, if there is good reason to suspect scientific misconduct has been committed, those affected by the allegations may be reported to the President and the relevant committees at FAU in order to avoid any damage to FAU.
(2) 1In the event of a specific reason to suspect scientific misconduct, the person making the allegation (whistleblower) shall not incur any disadvantages for their own academic and professional progression. 2The affected academic institution is responsible for ensuring that this is the case.
(3) The formal investigation pursuant to Section 16 shall be governed by the provisions of the Bavarian Administrative Procedures Act (BayVwVfG) and Section 30 of the University Constitution, unless stipulated otherwise in these regulations.
(4) The provisions of the Bavarian Administrative Procedures Act governing possible partiality shall apply to the ombudsperson and their deputy and the members of the committee for the investigation of scientific misconduct.
Section 14: Ombudsman proceedings
(1) 1The ombudsman proceedings are aimed at settling disputes informally and objectively. 2The ombudsperson shall advise those who report a specific instance of suspected scientific misconduct in confidence and follow up on specific leads brought to their attention, possibly by third parties.
(2) In the first instance, the ombudsperson shall check whether it is plausible that any allegations of scientific misconduct supported by sufficient evidence are accurate, specific and significant, as well as looking into any reasons the person reporting the scientific misconduct may have to report the misconduct other than purely scientific reasons.
(3) Whilst protecting the interests of the affected parties, the ombudsperson shall be entitled to gather all information and statements required in order to clarify the issue and to approach experts from the relevant subject area if so required in any individual case.
(4) 1After checking all information and statements submitted, the ombudsperson may give their recommendation for resolving the conflict. 2This shall be put in writing as a written agreement including a deadline for implementation. 3This shall also apply if initial inquiries uncover a suspected incident of scientific misconduct within the meaning of Section 8 of these regulations which can be resolved by a recommendation given by the ombudsperson. 4In the event that the agreement is not implemented and in all other instances when there is due reason to suspect scientific misconduct, the ombudsperson shall call on the committee for the investigation of scientific misconduct to take action.
Section 15: Initial investigation
(1) If the ombudsperson determines that there are reasonable grounds to suspect scientific misconduct, an initial investigation shall be launched by the committee upon request.
(2) 1The committee shall give the person accused of scientific misconduct the opportunity to submit a written statement. 2The statement shall be submitted within a period of two weeks. The deadline may be extended if necessary. 3The name of the person making the allegation shall not be disclosed during this phase without their consent.
(3) 1After receiving the statement from the accused or after the deadline has expired, the committee shall come to a decision within a period of four weeks about whether the preliminary investigation should be closed as there are no specific grounds to suspect scientific misconduct or if allegations of misconduct prove to have been entirely unfounded. 2If the failure to comply with good scientific practice was unintentional, a written reprimand may be issued and the preliminary investigation closed. 3A formal investigation shall be initiated in all other instances where there is specific reason to suspect scientific misconduct. 4The affected person, the person making the allegation and the President shall be informed in writing of the decision and the reasons for it.
Section 16: Formal investigation
(1) 1The academic accused of scientific misconduct shall be given another opportunity to state their version of the facts in an appropriate manner once the formal investigation has been started. 2The statement shall be submitted within a period of two weeks. The deadline may be extended if necessary. 3The academic accused of scientific misconduct shall be given the opportunity to have an oral hearing, if so requested. 4They shall be entitled to seek assistance from a person they trust. 5The committee may prevent anyone accused of scientific misconduct from providing assistance.
(2) 1The committee shall conduct an oral hearing not open to the public. 2It shall freely appraise all evidence to determine whether or not scientific misconduct has been committed. 3It may extend the ongoing formal investigation if further allegations of scientific misconduct are raised against the academic in question. 4The committee may at its own discretion consult reviewers specialising in the subject area which is to be investigated and/or experts in dealing with cases of scientific misconduct, either including them in the committee in an advisory capacity or asking them to share their expert knowledge. 5In addition, the committee may invite a research associate who holds a doctoral degree and has experience in research to attend their consultations.
(3) 1The committee shall come to a decision within a period of six months. 2If the committee believes that scientific misconduct has indeed taken place, they shall submit the draft report to the affected person and shall give them the opportunity to submit a written statement within a period of two weeks. 3If new facts are submitted which are of considerable relevance to the decision, the committee shall examine those parts of the report which are affected.
(4) 1If the committee does not believe that there is proof of scientific misconduct, the case shall be closed. 2The decision to close the case may not be appealed. 3The President shall be informed in writing of the decision to close the case.
(5) 1If the committee believes that scientific misconduct has been proven, it shall submit a report to the President stating the essential reasons and recommending how to proceed. 2The President shall examine the recommendations made by the committee, submit the case to the relevant university committees or institutions and shall take steps to ensure that the appropriate measures are taken (see Appendix: Possible consequences of scientific misconduct). 3The Executive Board of the University shall decide whether all or part of the report and recommendations should be published.
(6) 1The relevant committees of the faculties, in particular the doctoral affairs committees, shall come to a decision once the formal investigation by the committee for the investigation of scientific misconduct has been completed. Section 23 RPromO shall not be affected. 2The relevant committees shall consult the committee for the investigation of scientific misconduct or individual members thereof when coming to a decision.
(7) 1The files relating to the preliminary investigation and the formal investigation shall be kept by FAU for 30 years after the case has been closed. 2The files may only be accessed in this period by members of the committee for the investigation of scientific misconduct unless other rights of access are stipulated by law. 3The committee shall make a unanimous decision concerning the transfer of information.
Part IV: Final provisions
Section 17: Legal validity and transitory provisions
(1) 1These regulations shall come into effect on the day after their publication. 2At the same time, the FAU Guidelines on Good Scientific Practice dated 13 May 2002 shall cease to apply.
(2) The members of the standing committee for the investigation of alleged scientific misconduct and the ombudsperson and their deputy appointed in accordance with the guidelines on good scientific practice in office at the time these regulations come into effect shall remain in office until the end of their regular term of office.
(3) Any investigations into allegations of scientific misconduct not yet completed at the time these regulations come into effect shall be conducted in accordance with the terms of these regulations.
Appendix: Possible consequences of scientific misconduct
The following is a non-exhaustive overview of possible consequences or penalties incurred for scientific misconduct. The following may be considered:
- Disciplinary action under employment law
- For civil servants: disciplinary measures
- For employees: warning, termination with notice, termination without notice, rescinding the employment contract
- Academic consequences: Academic consequences such as revoking academic titles may only be enforced by FAU if the title was awarded to the accused by FAU. If the academic title was awarded by another university, this university shall be informed of the scientific misconduct if it had any bearing on the awarding of an academic qualification. In particular, a person guilty of scientific misconduct may have their doctoral title revoked pursuant to Section 23 RPromO or lose their authorisation to teach.
- Possible consequences under civil law:
- A ban on entering the premises may be issued
- An action may be brought to recover property, for example any scientific samples or the like which has been taken
- Claims for removal and injunction based on copyright law, personality rights, patent law or competition law
- Repayment claims, e.g. for scholarships, third party funding or the like
- Claims for compensation for any damages suffered by FAU or third parties relating to personal injury, material damage or the like
- Possible consequences under criminal law: Consequences under criminal law shall always be considered when it is suspected that scientific misconduct simultaneously constitutes a crime under the German Penal Code (Strafgesetzbuch, StGB) or pursuant to other criminal provisions or administrative offences The President shall be responsible for forwarding the case to the investigative authorities.
- Withdrawing academic publications: Academic publications containing errors as a result of scientific misconduct shall be withdrawn if they have not yet been published and corrected if they have been published (withdrawal or correction/erratum). If applicable, cooperation partners shall be informed in a suitable manner. As a rule, the author and publisher involved are obliged to ensure that the above steps are taken. If they fail to do so, the President shall initiate suitable measures available to him or her. The President shall inform other affected research, funding or academic institutions or organisations in the event of scientific misconduct.
Professional associations may also be informed in particularly justified cases. The President may be obliged to inform affected third parties and the public if necessary either in the general public interest or in order to protect third parties, safeguard trust in academic integrity and prevent subsequent damage.
Published according to the resolution of the University Senate on 27 September 2017 and the President’s authorisation on 10 October 2017.
Erlangen, 10 October 2017
Prof. Dr.-Ing. Joachim Hornegger, President
These regulations were established on 10 October 2017 at Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg and displayed for public inspection on 10 October 2017. The date of publication is 10 October 2017.
Research focus areas
Informational publications are available which describe the main areas of interest for professors of the Department of Chemistry and Pharmacy. Reading through the research focus areas of the professors can be a good place to start when deciding who you would like to request to be your doctoral supervisor. These informational profiles are available for download here.
Research groups (Arbeitskreise), also called working groups, bring doctoral and postdoctoral researchers together with habilitation candidates and professors to research towards a common goal or within an established framework of a certain discipline, methodology, or area of study.
The working groups of the Department of Chemistry and Pharmacy can be found here.
Research prizes at the FAU
The FAU recognizes innovative and outstanding research by awarding a number of prizes which provide financial support as well as public recognition of excellent young scientists. More information on the prizes and awards conferred by the FAU can be found on the university’s homepage.
You may decide, during the course of your doctoral studies, to complete some of your research abroad, either as an opportunity to improve your language skills or as part of an international collaboration or both.
For more information on researching abroad, please contact the Department of Research Services and Research Development and/or the Central Office for International Affairs (RIA).
Resources for advice and counseling
The following offices of the FAU offer advice and counselling in their respective areas:
- Career Service: personal consultations, checking application documents, practice interviews, etc.
- Central Office for International Affairs (RIA): the central point of contact for international students, doctoral candidates, and researchers; this office offers information on exchange opportunities in education and research as well as help for international university members who need help integrated into life in Germany, and much more
- Commission for Research Conflict Management: for help in dealing with conflicts in academic workplaces, whether with your supervisor, fellow doctoral candidates, or other colleagues
- Disability Support: doctoral candidates with disabilities are encouraged to contact the Disability Representative (Schwerbehindertenbeauftragte) for employees for support (site in German); for more information in Engilsh, please visit the webpage for “students with disabilities or chronic illnesses”.
- Family Service: here, doctoral candidates with children or other familial care obligations can find helpful resources, support, and information on balancing their family responsibilities with their academic and professional goals
- Graduate Centre: the central resource for information and support for all doctoral candidates of the FAU; the Graduate Center also offers seminars, events, and networking opportunities
- Office of Gender and Diversity: gender consulting, counselling in instances of sexual harassment, support for university members with children or other familial responsibilities
- Board for Doctoral Affairs Representatives: for questions, concerns, and support in issues related to your doctoral studies, including personal conflicts with university members
- Studentenwerk: legal advice, social and psychotherapeutic counselling, help in finding accommodations, etc.
- Writing Centre: an offering of the Learning Lab open to all members of the FAU community who need support writing, both in English and in German for native and non-native speakers.
Safety in the laboratory
FAU and the Department of Chemistry and Pharmacy are committed to ensuring all university members use the laboratory facilities in a safe and responsible manner to prevent accidents, personal injury, and damage to university property.
While most doctoral candidates likely already know the basics of laboratory safety, it might be helpful to read through the following resources, especially if you are, for example, working with hazardous materials for the first time.
- ECHA: Guidance on Information Requirements and Chemical Safety Assessment of the European Chemicals Agency
- ECHA: Hazard Class Table and Guidance Materials
- ERC: Ethics Self-Assessment
- GHS: Column Model for the Assessment of Hazardous Substances
- DGUV: Safety in University Chemistry Labs: An Introduction for Students (German)
- FAU: General Guidelines for Safety in the Laboratory (German)
- UBA: The New Classification and Identification System for Hazardous Chemicals by the Federal Environmental Agency (German)
More detailed information on specific safety concerns in the laboratory may be found on the individual webpages of the various chairs and working groups.
Services for researchers
As part of the University Administration, the Department of Research Services and Research Development can be a valuable resource in applying for third-party funding, publishing, project proposals and management, and more. Please see their homepage for more information.
See Further Trainings.
See Further Trainings.
The FAU is active in a number of social networks, and welcomes members of the university community to take this opportunity to connect with others about current events, research collaborations, opportunities to socialize, and more. FAU’s social media universe is summarized here.
In addition to the sites listed, ResearchGate provides an opportunity for young scientists to begin establishing a professional network, and WhatsApp is popular among doctoral and postdoctoral researchers for communication within research groups.
See Key qualifications.
Structured doctoral programs
During your doctoral studies, it is important that both you and your supervisor are aware of your rights, responsibilities, and expectations towards one another to ensure a harmonious professional relationship. The Graduate Center of the FAU strongly recommends constructing a supervision agreement at the start of your doctoral degree program in order to minimize avoidable conflicts before they begin to interfere with your research and education.
The Graduate Center provides more information on the necessity and benefits of supervision agreements, including a proposed template for supervision agreement and a checklist for the initial meeting between doctoral candidates and their supervisor, on their website.
Support for women
The FAU and the Department of Chemistry and Pharmacy are committed to ensuring equal opportunities for all university members, and this includes special funding and support opportunities for women, as women continue to be significantly underrepresented in the natural sciences. More information on support for female researchers can be found at the following links:
- FAU Office for Gender and Diversity
- Gender and Diversity at the Department of Chemistry and Pharmacy
- Graduate Centre: Funding for Women
- Women’s Representatives at the Department of Chemistry and Pharmacy
- Women for Women
- Faculty Women’s Prize (German)
- CRC1452-Equal Opportunity Fellowship (CLINT scholarship for female Master’s students from winter term 2021/22)
Transfer of knowledge and technology
See Entrepreneurship & Innovation and Intellectual Property Law.
UniWind / GUAT stands for Der Universitätsverband zur Qualifizierung des wissenschaftlichen Nachwuchses in Deutschland e.V. / the German University Association of Advanced Graduate Training.
It is a collective of universities that aims to support young researchers and their academic and professional goals. They offer opportunities to network and communicate with other scientists and educators with the goals of improving the quality of academic education, improving the conditions for doctoral and postdoctoral researchers, and increasing career opportunities for scientists both within academia and in private industry.
More information can be found on their website.
See Research groups.