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.
Please comply with the current regulations of the University's COVID-19 3-level system.
To all prospective PhD students:
For all admission 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 digital signatures on the form or alternatively 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).

See Enrolment process for admitted Doctoral Studies/Ph.D. Students (EU and Non-EU) of the International Office
Information about residence and visa under pandemic conditions is provided by Goettingen International.
Most Professional Skills Courses are offered either online or in presence.
Methods Courses take place online or in presence if possible. Unfortunately, quite a few methods courses still have to be canceled due to incompatibility with the pandemic restrictions or the possibility to perform them in virtual.
Please check the overview list of the Methods and Professional Skills courses for summer term 2021.

Available courses are regularly announced in the monthly GAUSS newsletter.

The Centre for Statistics continues to offer statistical advice online via BBB (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.
According to the University regulations, it is recommended that teaching, studying and examinations should take place digitally if possible. This also applies to TAC meetings. Please refer to the current University regulations to check whether meetings in person are permitted. At level 3, TAC meetings in person are not permitted. TAC meetings shall be held as scheduled and should not be postponed.
We recommend to arrange TAC meetings by video‐conferencing and avoid face-to-face meetings. For the current requirements, please check with the respective faculty or institute and University regulations.
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.
Personal TAC meetings
Signatures of the TAC members can be collected on site on the regular TAC meeting confirmation sheet.
Video based TAC meetings
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 digitally on the regular TAC meeting confirmation sheet.
Applications for Thesis Extension
Applications for thesis extension should be discussed in the virtual TAC meeting and the application form should be send to respective deanery/GAUSS Office by email. Signatures of the TAC members for confirmation can be collected digitally, or confirmations by the TAC members should be sent by email to the doctoral candidate - please attach those confirmation emails to the application form and send this as a single PDF-file to respective deanery/GAUSS Office by email.
To account for delays caused by the COVID‐19 crisis, the deadline for submission of the doctoral thesis was extended for ALL enrolled GAUSS doctoral candidates by three months (at the time of 20.03.2020). We will closely observe the future development of the situation and will consider additional flexibility if needed.
• 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 you information on 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 need to submit one hardcopy to the GAUSS Office.
• Please discuss with your examination board whether a member may request a printed version for his/her personal use.
Thesis publication is possible with the SUB. Please check the SUB website for all informations on the requirements and guidelines for publishing your thesis via the eDiss server of the SUB. Please send the two bound copies of your revised thesis (and if applicable the restriction notice) by regular mail after you registered at eDiss and uploaded the identical PDF version of your dissertation [see also the information on the GAUSS webpage].
The publication deadline will be met by a timely upload of the PDF version to the eDiss portal.
To receive your doctoral certificate (Promotionsurkunde) please send us a scan or copy of the signed document of the revision certificate (Revisionsschein). In case you have chosen to publish your thesis by the SUB, the confirmation is usually sent to the GAUSS Office directly by the SUB. If you have published your thesis elsewhere we would need a confirmation from the publisher.
Collecting your doctoral certificate is not possible in person. We can send it to you by mail if you provide us with a large envelope as registered mail (Einschreiben). Please contact us for further details.
It is the responsibility of the doctoral candidate to organize an appropriate date of their thesis defense and keep the deaneries and GAUSS Office informed about any change of date.

Oral examinations in presence are only possible according to the regulations of the University COVID-19 3-level system (see also the Recommendation statement by the working group for student and academic services and examinations on the conduct of examinations), by which examinations in presence should be limited to an absolute minimum. This also applies to doctoral students employed by UMG!

• 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. Due to data protection considerations there is a basic recommendation by the University and the data protection officer to prefer the use of BBB for oral examinations. Please note the terms and conditions about the use of video conferencing set forth in this document.
• Before using Zoom for disputations, please read carefully Manual for instructors regarding Zoom and Notes on Art. 13 of the EU basic data protection regulation (only in German).
• The rights of the participants under Art. 13 of the EU basic data protection regulation (EU-DSGVO) must be respected and thus, 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).
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.
• 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 as usual limited to the University public while personal guests of the PhD candidate are allowed. We strongly recommend to limit the number of participants (e.g. to a maximum of 25 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 chairperson of the examination board. 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.
In line with the University regulations, 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

*Please contact the deanery on regulations for disputations in presence. Video-based examinations can be held according to the GAUSS guidelines.

Unfortunately, all convocation ceremonies had to be cancelled and it is currently unclear when the next ceremony will take place.
•The GAUSS Office staff and deaneries are working mostly in the offices again. We can still be reached best by email, but sending regular mail or contacting us by phone is also possible. Please note that the building of the Faculty of Physics, where the GAUSS Office is located, is closed for visitors, therefore we cannot offer any appointments.
• We prefer to receive all documents by email as electronic versions (scans)- this ensures fast processing of your request. Documents which reach us by post will of course also be processed, but might take a little longer.

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.

Thank you for your understanding and help, & keep well!

Your GAUSS Office

Information for GGNB students is available via the GGNB homepage