COVID-19-related measures taken by GAUSS - Information for GAUSS doctoral students (without GGNB)

In addition to the regulations and measures of the Presidential Board (Präsidium) of the University, which you receive at your student email accounts, we would like to inform you of the following measures taken by GAUSS in the light of the ongoing COVID-19 crisis:

30.06.2020, 09:05


Possibility of accelerated and simplified renewal of D visas which remained unused due to the pandemic

Third country nationals whose visa would have entitled them to enter Germany after March 25th should be able to apply for a so-called "re-entry" at the competent German mission abroad (Embassy/Consulate) as soon as any relevant travel restrictions have been lifted. This „new visa application“ procedure was approved by Lower Saxony on June 18th 2020. You can find the document here (only in German). The application must be received by the German mission abroad within one month starting from the date on which it is possible again to apply for a new visa (please check the relevant Germany Embassy/Consulate website).

The "new visa application" is intended to enable entry with a valid visa. Only documents that prove the continuation of the originally determined purpose of the stay must be resubmitted. For students, this may require confirmation of the continued validity of their admission or a certificate of enrolment. For visiting academics, a confirmation of the continued validity of the submitted admission agreement may be necessary. You can submit these documents within three months from the date of application.

You do not have to pay for the re-evaluation; if biometric data have been taken during the initial application and if this was not more than six months ago, no further personal visit and therefore no interview is necessary.

01.04.2020, 11:27

To all prospective PhD students:
In times of COVID-19 we had to modify the application procedure as signatures cannot be obtained from all relevant persons involved. This means that for all forms which require signatures, it is sufficient to provide the agreement of everyone in text form (during the current COVID-19-related state of emergency), e.g. by email, as long as the person sending the email is clearly identifiable.
More information can be found at the Application & Admission page, step 3: Apply for admission (program, supervision agreement).

Enrolment at the University of Göttingen is a fully digital, location-independent process. Documents to be submitted are accepted as simple digital copies (scans), unless the admission regulations for individual programmes stipulate otherwise (e.g. submission of certain documents in the original).

20.03.2020, 16:10

For doctoral candidates whose doctoral examination (disputation) was supposed to take place in the current winter semester, but has to be postponed to the next semester due to the coronavirus crisis, it is not required to enrol (re-enrol) for the summer semester (starting in April). However, if doctoral candidates want to re-register, this is also possible (especially if this is required, for example, by residence law). Please note that the reimbursement of fees upon re-registration is then possible up to one month after the start of lectures (currently this would be 20 May 2020 at the earliest).

10.06.2020, 11:14

Support possibilities for international students who are detained in their home country for more than 180 days due to the pandemic and have to fear that their residence permit will become invalid.
This comes along with the passage according to §51 section 1 | 7 AufenthG, under which a residence permit expires if the holder stays abroad for more than 6 months /180 days.
In general, the validity of the regulation which leads to the loss of the residence permit after being 180 days out of the country has been restricted.

1) Holders of a residence permit that is still valid:
Contact the relevant administrative department at the foreigner's registration office (City or District of Göttingen). You will receive a custom-fit copy of the certificate of fiction (Fiktionsbescheinigung/Fortgeltungsfiktion) by e-mail, and, at the same time, the original certificate will be sent by a courier service to a consulate (named by the student). The certificate can then be picked up in person or forwarded by post. The procedure in detail is at their discretion (and probably depends on the catchment area of the individual consulate). The original certificate of fiction can be presented to the Federal Police upon arrival to Germany together with the valid residence permit. The foreigner's registration office strongly recommends that the original certificate should be presented upon arrival to Germany, but assumes that the Federal Police would also accept the (printed) copy if the individual circumstances can be substantiated in the individual case.

2) Holders of a residence permit which is due to expire soon and which should be renewed:
You can send your application documents for renewal (in contrast to the usual procedure) by e-mail to relevant administrative department at the foreigner's registration office (City or District of Göttingen). You will then receive a copy of the certificate of fiction (Fiktionsbescheinigung/Fortgeltungsfiktion) by e-mail. At the same time, the foreigner's registration office will send the original document via a courier service to the embassy or the responsible consulate in your home country. You must pick it up in person, or the consulate will forward them by post - the procedure in detail is at their discretion (and probably depends on the catchment area of the individual consulate).

3) Holders of a residence permit that has already expired:
You must apply for a new visa. The local immigration authorities here guarantee that the corresponding applications will be processed quickly, but they are aware that the main hurdle is the receipt of a new interview date for making an application - and unfortunately they cannot help you with this. They are working on a fast-track option for these cases, but this has not yet become concrete at the present time.

Since the "solutions" for groups 2) and 3) raise follow-up problems, it is urgently necessary that you keep regular contact with the foreigner's registration office and provide information on your current situation. The foreigner's registration office assures proactive advice and wants to take early action to prevent the members of group 1) from 'slipping' into group 2), let alone into group 3).
Please check the preliminary lists of Methods and Professional Skills courses for winter term 2020/21.

More online Methods and Professional Skills courses will be announced on this page.

11.05.2020, 08:13

Please check this page for updates on online Methods courses, next to the ones announced in the monthly newsletter.

31.07.2020, 16:31

Please check this page for updates on Professional Skills courses, next to the ones announced in the monthly newsletter.

A preview of Professional Skills Courses planned for the winter term 2020/21 can be found here.

Short online course: Introduction to Statistics for PhDs, 17-18 Sept 2020 - check here

SUB: Online course on Introduction to IT - check here for more information and the format of the course.

SUB: Online course on data management basics for studies and research, 12 Aug 2020 - check here for more information.

01.07.2020, 13:32

Please check the GAUSS Career Blog for more information (early bird registration ends on 28 August 2020)

24.03.2020, 12:21

In times of COVID-19, the Centre for Statistics continues to offer statistical advice online via Skype (Dr. Jennifer Lorenz). The service comprises in particular consultation on data collection, statistical modelling and statistical inference.
Registration for a 1-to-1 statistical online consultation is still possible via the online questionnaire, please register for consulting in English or German.

20.03.2020, 10:42

All courses (professional skills, methods, industry excursions, career workshops and career impulse sessions)
organized by the GAUSS and GGNB Offices are cancelled until further notice. Exceptions are courses that can be offered online.

22.04.2020, 16:53, new update of post from 20.03.2020; updated 08.05.2020, 14:50

According to the revised and updated version of the Regulations and Measures for Protection against Infection as of 29.07.2020 (Version 2.2) of the University, and the Checklist for conducting exams where attendance is required (03.06.2020, Version 2.1), it is recommended that teaching, studying and examinations should take place digitally and should not be attended in person. This also applies to TAC meetings.

We recommend to arrange TAC meetings in near future by video‐conferencing and avoid face-to-face meetings.

The recommendations by the data protection officer of the University apply. The videoconferencing page of the GWDG informs about various videoconferencing services with recommendations and guidelines on how to use them.

Updated on 25.03.2020: The TAC members should confirm to the doctoral candidate per email that a video-based meeting took place. This will replace original signatures on the performance record/checklist (confirmations should be saved for later use). Alternatively, the signatures of the TAC members for the video-based TAC meeting can be collected within one month after the current COVID-19-related state of emergency has ended.


Likewise, applications for thesis extension should be discussed in the virtual TAC meeting and be confirmed to the program office / deaneries by email.

25.03.2020, 15:59, updated post from 20.03.2020, 10:42

Changes in Thesis Advisory Committee (TAC) Meetings from 20.03.2020:
To facilitate the procedure of video-based TAC meetings, the TAC members should confirm to the doctoral candidate per email that a video-based meeting took place. This will replace original signatures on the performance record/checklist (confirmations should be saved for later use). Alternatively, the signatures of the TAC members for the video-based TAC meeting can be collected within one month after the current COVID-19-related state of emergency has ended.

20.03.2020, 10:42

• It is recommended that all TAC meetings scheduled for the coming weeks (at least until 20 April 2020) are postponed unless there is an important reason for keeping the envisaged date. Please contact the members of your TAC to discuss the need for postponing your next meeting.
• In case of an important reason, it is possible to hold your TAC meeting by video‐conferencing. The recommendations by the data protection officer of the University apply. Face‐to‐face meetings are not permitted. The videoconferencing page of the GWDG informs about various videoconferencing services with recommendations and guidelines how to use them.
• The GAUSS Office will be able to assist with technical issues regarding your video-based TAC meeting.
Updated on 25.03.2020: The TAC members should confirm to the doctoral candidate per email that a video-based meeting took place. This will replace original signatures on the performance record/checklist (confirmations should be saved for later use). Alternatively, the signatures of the TAC members for the video-based TAC meeting can be collected within one month after the current COVID-19-related state of emergency has ended.
• Likewise, applications for thesis extension should be discussed in the virtual TAC meeting and be confirmed to the program office / deaneries by email.

20.03.2020, 10:42

To account for delays caused by the COVID‐19 crisis, the deadline for submission of the doctoral thesis will be extended for ALL GAUSS doctoral candidates by three months. We will closely observe the future development of the situation and will consider additional flexibility if needed.

20.03.2020, 10:42

• The submission of your doctoral thesis (dissertation) will have to be made electronically until further notice. For electronic submission, inform at first your deanery and the GAUSS Office, which will then send information to the PhD student how to upload the thesis in a GWDG ownCloud folder.
• On the day of submission, please upload two PDF files: (i) The complete dissertation identical with the print version, and (ii) one PDF that includes all completed and signed forms as a scan (see handout “Countdown to your doctoral degree”). If you don’t have access to a scanner, you can take photos of the forms (which must be clear enough to read) and upload them as a combined word or PDF file.
• The electronic submission of your dissertation with all relevant documents ensures that you have kept the official submission deadline. Based on the electronic submission, the further process towards the completion of your doctorate will be initiated. This includes the electronic transmission of your thesis to the reviewers for further assessment and your admission to the doctoral examination. For the electronic transmission and assessment, the GWDG ownCloud service will be used.
• Please note that you still need to print one hardcopy which we will need for our archive later. This hardcopy needs to be submitted to the GAUSS Office within one month after the current COVID-19-related state of emergency has ended.
• Please discuss with your examination board whether a member may request a printed version for his/her personal use.

21.03.2020, 13:56, updated post from 20.03.2020, 10:42

The measure from 20.03.2020 remains valid ( Thesis publication: The submission deadline will be extended up to one month after the end of the current COVID 19-related state of emergency.), although you can also submit your thesis electronically as a PDF to the SUB (see instructions on eDiss).
The SUB checks the incoming PDF files (including all metadata) on their eDiss portal on a daily basis. As soon as your thesis has been uploaded, they will forward the corresponding message to the GAUSS Office to inform us that you have fulfilled your obligation to publish. As far as the printed copies of your thesis are concerned, the SUB relies on the personal responsibility of the doctoral candidate. You are requested to send the printed copies to the SUB via mail (post). After the SUB staff is able to work on site again, they will consolidate all documents and send the written letter of confirmation of publication directly to the GAUSS Office. You will be notified via e-mail upon the release of your dissertation.

20.03.2020, 10:42

• Thesis publications are not possible until further notice due to the shutdown of the SUB.
• Should your publication deadline expire within the next weeks, please contact the GAUSS Office by email to ask for an extension of the deadline.
The submission deadline will be extended up to one month after the end of the current COVID 19-related state of emergency.

29.07.2020, 14:19

In line with the revised and updated version of the Regulations and Measures for Protection against Infection as of 29.07.2020 (Version 2.2) of the University**, and the Checklist for conducting exams where attendance is required (03.06.2020, Version 2.1)**, the faculties of mathematics and natural sciences and the GGNB have compiled additional regulations on oral doctoral examinations in presence:


Faculty of Biology and Psychology
Faculty of Chemistry
• Faculty of Geoscience and Geography: Disputations in presence, Disputations online
• Faculty of Mathematics* and Computer Science
Faculty of Physics
GGNB

*Doctoral examinations in presence are still not allowed in the field of mathematics. Video-based examinations can be held according to the GAUSS guidelines.
**English translation provided for informational purposes. If the English and German versions allow different interpretations, the German version should be followed.

20.03.2020, 10:42

• It is strongly recommended that all disputations scheduled for the coming weeks (at least until 20 April 2020) are postponed unless there is an important reason for keeping the envisaged date. According to the current assessment, we recommend to postpone the date of the disputations scheduled for March or April by at least two months though it is not possible to make any reliable prediction how the COVID-19 crisis will further develop.
• It is the responsibility of the doctoral candidates to organize an appropriate date of their thesis defense and keep the deaneries and GAUSS Office informed about any change of date.
• In case of an important reason, it is possible to take the doctoral examination (colloquium with presentation and oral defense) using an appropriate video system. The videoconferencing page of the GWDG informs about various videoconferencing services with recommendations and guidelines how to use them. The recommendations by the data protection officer of the University apply.
Note of caution: Experience tells that such video-based meetings are often subject to technical challenges such as interrupted connections or poor sound/video quality so that they have to be terminated.
• A video-based disputation requires the consent by the PhD candidate and all members of the examination board, as well as the approval by the speaker of the respective doctoral program by email or in writing (by post). This consent should be sent to the GAUSS Office (in cc to the respective deanery).
• The GAUSS Office will be able to assist with technical issues regarding the video-based disputation.
• The video-based disputation in an electronic meeting room is limited to a maximum of 20 participants (including the PhD candidate and the six members of the examination board). All guests who want to participate within these capacity limits need to register (name and Email address) at least three days prior to the disputation with the GAUSS Office. GGNB doctoral candidates can find additional information here. The participation of guests is at the discretion of the chairperson of the examination board.
• In case of technical difficulties that affect the presentation and participation of the examinee or of members of the examination board, the chairperson of the examination board may decide to terminate the disputation at any time. In this case, an alternative date will be required for repeating the examination. In order to ensure stability of video/audio transmission, it may be required to reduce the number of online participants and limit it to the PhD candidate and the members of the examination board. Should an unstable video/audio connection require the participants to reconnect, and reconnections prove to be non-satisfactory, the disputation shall be terminated after a decision based on common sense.
• At the end of the thesis defense the examination board will convene in a closed online session. Once an agreement has been reached, the examinee will be invited to rejoin the online meeting and will be informed about the results.

29.04.2020, 09:23

According to the Federal government and the measures taken by the Presidential board of the University, the ceremony falls into the category of large events and therefore cannot take place until further notice. Unfortunately, at this point we are not able to say when the next ceremony will take place and how the participants registered for April and July can be accommodated on the next graduation event(s). We are working on possible solutions and you will be informed as soon as the situation allows to continue this wonderful tradition. Please stay informed via the GAUSS homepage and our COVID-19-related measures for updates.

20.03.2020, 10:42

• The GAUSS Office and the deaneries of the mathematics and natural science faculties are closed until further notice. In urgent cases you can reach us via email.
• Please send documents only by post if you have agreed this with us in advance – only send electronic versions (scans) of your documents by email. We are sporadically back in the office – we can best process documents if we receive them electronically.
• All correspondence (admission to examination, invitations, etc.) will only be sent by e-mail.

31.03.2020, 13:03


Addition to Doctoral Degree Regulations (RerNat-O) valid since April 2018: §7a Measures in the event of significant disruptions to teaching and examination operations, valid retroactively since 16.03.2020
In consultation with the GAUSS Board and the deaneries of the mathematics and natural science faculties, the Presidential Board (Präsidium) has decided to change the doctoral degree regulations in view of the current coronavirus COVID-19 epidemic. The modification is mainly intended as a legal framework to permit flexible solutions regarding deadlines for thesis submission or TAC meetings and to maintain (video-based) teaching and examinations. The measures have been implemented to avoid considerable disadvantages especially for doctoral students.
The change involves adding a new paragraph §7a to the doctoral degree regulations, which was just announced in the Official Announcements I of the Georg-August-Universität Göttingen and will take effect retroactively as of 16.03.2020. §7a simply covers the legal side of the measures taken by GAUSS, that were already sent to you last week by email and can be found on this page.

We very much hope that the situation will improve soon and that we will then be available for you again as usual.

Thank you for your understanding, and keep well!

Your GAUSS Office

Information for GGNB students is available via the GGNB homepage