PhD Thesis Submission / Abgabe der Dissertation
Writing the thesis
- The thesis can be written either in German or English. Duplex printing should be considered.
- The first two pages of your thesis should look like this: English version or German version.
- Carefully consider issues relating to plagiarism; find more on the Official Statement Concerning Plagiarism, and see the Graduate Academy’s course program for courses in "Good Scientific Practice" (GSP).
- Please make sure that you submit your thesis with the required documents to the PhD Office not later than 8 weeks before your oral examination, together with the confirmed date of your defense. When the PhD Office is closed (closure times ), you have to add these periods to the 8 week advance submission requirement; however you can schedule your defense examination during these times.
- Calculation: Defense in calendar week "X" --> thesis submission in calendar week "X" - 8, either on Tuesday or on Thursday. If the PhD office is closed in this period for e.g. 2 weeks, the submission has to take place 2 weeks earlier ( "X" - 10).
Submitting the thesis
- Fill in and sign the form "Application Defense".
- In addition to your registered 1st and 2nd reviewers (Erstgutachter, Zweitgutachter) find a third and fourth examiner from the List of Examiners. Let your first and second examiner (reviewers) sign the Zusatzblatt zur Prüfungskommission (Examination Commission Form). Please note as well that only examiners mentioned on the list as 'Vorsitz' can be chairperson of your examination committee. Arrange a date for the thesis defense in accordance with the Faculty's regulations.
- Carefully read How to Defense (PDF) to see which documents you have to submit to the PhD Office. Use the checklist at the end, to make sure you have all the required documents.
- When you have registered for the defense of your thesis, you will receive a confirmation letter in German. Our international PhD students may find the English translation of this letter here. This translation is for information purposes only.
Defending the thesis
- Normally, the format of the defense consists of 15 - 20 minutes presentation, about 20 minutes thesis related questions and approx. 20 minutes discussion and general questioning. You can choose the media for your presentation. If you do a computer presentation (PowerPoint or presentation programs), you have to take care of the technical aspects such as availability of a beamer, compatibility of programs etc. Remember that technical equipment tends to break down in the least expected moment.
- You should present your own work - do not give a review of the field. You should use your own figures from your thesis, scans from books or papers are not allowed, and the use of material from the Internet is equally discouraged.
- After having successfully defended your thesis, you must publish your thesis (§13) in order to conclude the PhD process. If you don't publish within two years of your exam, you will forfeit your PhD degree altogether.
- Fill in, sign and let your first supervisor (if differing, also your direct supervisor) sign the Veröffentlichungsnachweis (Proof of Publication Form). You need to pick up the "Original" issue of your thesis at the PhD Office, submit it to the library and get the "Veröffentlichungsnachweis" signed and stamped there. Finally you return the "Veröffentlichungsnachweis" to the PhD Office.
- You may publish your thesis either in printed form, or online through the university's library document service https://archiv.ub.uni-heidelberg.de/volltextserver/help/ext_howto.html (see information about online publishing provided by heiDOK), or by first-author publication in a peer-reviewed scientific journal.
- An application for an embargo on publication can be directed to the library. This is possible when the dissertation is connected to a patent application or a journal publication. More details and the relevant forms can be found on the page FAQ.
- Information about opting in/out from the PhD Celebration is here.
Forms and Information for PhD thesis and Defense Examination
- Model for the first two pages of your thesis, in English or in German.
- Information Sheet for successfully submitting your thesis (Merkblatt):
How-to Defense (PDF)
- Application Defense in German and English (official application form)
- Examination Commission Form in German and English (Zusatzblatt zur Prüfungskommission)
- Eidesstattliche Versicherung (Sworn Affidavit) plus Belehrung (Instruction) (to be signed)
- Veröffentlichungsnachweis (Proof of Publication Form)
Proof of Publication Form - Instructions (English)
- Promotionsordnung 2015 (Current Doctoral Degree Regulations, in German)
- List of Examiners
Note and check:
Only complete documents for thesis submission will be considered.
Thesis submission is only possible during walk-in opening hours.
Address of the PhD Office, walk-in opening hours and closure times: click here.