The examination board

Reviewers (thesis examiners)

The graduate committee appoints at least two examiners who review the dissertation. At least one of them has to be a member of the thesis committee, in most cases this will be the first supervisor. The graduate committee can appoint additional reviewers, especially in the case of theses dealing with interdisciplinary or inter-faculty topics. Candidates have the right to nominate reviewers, but their nominations are not legally binding for the graduate committee's appointments.
Please note that the reviewers are not allowed to work in the same working group (Abteilung).
At least one of the reviewers must be a full-time member of the professorial group of the faculty carrying or organising the programme. In contrast to the examination authorisation, which lasts three additional years after retiring from service, the membership in the professorial group ends one year after the date of retiring, latest. Please consult our list of supervisors, who are currently full-time members of the professorial group.

Examination board

The graduate committee appoints the members of the examination board, including a chairperson. The committee consists of at least three members:

  • thesis reviewers
  • members of the thesis committee who are authorised to examine
  • if necessary, additional examiners who are authorised to examine at doctoral level

At least two members of the examination board have to be authorised examiners in the respective programme and the other members have to be at least authorised examiners in another programme of the GFA or a related academic subject. Candidates have the right to nominate reviewers, but their nominations are not legally binding for the graduate committee's appointments.

Criteria for the composition of the examination board

When composing the examination board, care must be taken that no more than half of the examiners come from one working group in order to guarantee the independence of the assessment. The joint publication activity serves as a further indicator for the dependence of examiners. A working group also includes all members of a research institution outside the University of Göttingen as well as all members of universities of applied sciences.
This means that an examination by several members of a working group is only possible if a total of at least four members of the examination board are present.
In all cases, the Graduate Committee decides. However, it may delegate the decision on individual delegate the decision on individual areas to the faculties.

Special regulations

To award the title of Dr. rer. nat. or Dr. rer. pol. (acc. § 2 section 3 of the GFA doctoral degree regulations) at least half of the members on the examination board need to have the respective authorisation to examine the candidate (acc. § 5 section 4). They also have to be members of the group of the thesis reviewers (including the first reviewer). The graduate committee can allow exceptions from this rule, especially in the case of interdisciplinary work, but not in the person of the first reviewer.

Retired professors or professors granted leave of absence may not act as reviewers or examiners for a period longer than three years after the end of their tenure. The graduate committee can decide on exceptions.

In the event that additional examiners are appointed over the course of the examination process, they will also be members of the examination board.

If it appears possible that the grade "summa cum laude" shall be awarded. In this case the thesis committee may propose in advance of the examination procedure that an additional thesis examiner be appointed. This examiner must not belong to the University of Göttingen unless one of the other appointed reviewers is already an external reviewer.