Information for Newcomers

Here we provide information at irregular intervals for PhD-students, who just started their dissertation or are new in the GGG. Even though intended for newcomers mainly, this column also contains information relevant to experienced PhD-students.

Admission to a doctorate
You will find comprehensive and combined information on the first steps from admission to a doctorate to enrollment on the website of the Office for Student Affairs.
All questions on prerequisites, deadlines for application, recognition of academic degrees and the PhD procedure will be answered by the deanery or the Study advisory office of the respective faculty.

After you found a professor who will supervise your PhD, please clarify financing with your supervisor. Serena Müller from the GGG PhD Funding Guidance can give you advice concerning the search for funding possibilities.
After admission at your faculty, please enroll at the universitys Study Advisory office. Enrollment is mandatory for PhD-students, too.

Doctoral studies
There are three ways to a doctorate in social sciences at the Göttingen University:
- individual doctoral degree at the Faculty of Law,
- within a PhD degree program at the Faculties of Agricultural Sciences, Forest Sciences, Social Sciences or Economic Sciences or
- within a program, e. g. a research training group.

For the individual doctoral degree you write your dissertation with your professor at the Faculty of Law.

In a PhD degree program you undergo a structured study program next to writing your dissertation or your scientific papers (cumulative PhD), respectively. You attend method and key skill courses as well as colloquia for usually 20 credits. In the four mentioned faculties in Göttingen, there is only this form of doctoral studies.

A training group groups PhD-students to a specific topic. These groups work interdisciplinary and cross-institutional. You may find the current programs which are members of the GGG.

It is recommended or mandatory (depending on the form) that you enter into a PhD agreement with your supervisor which defines start, topic and the involved parties of your PhD. You should regularly discuss the progress of your work with your supervisor, at least once per year. This is also about the compliance of good scientific practice. This is a negotiated agreement in science. To avoid scientific misconduct, Göttingen University and the German Research Foundation DFG have published a collection of recommendations.

In PhD degree programs or in a program you are not only accompanied by one person but by a thesis committee. This committee comprises at least two, usually three PhD supervisors and you. Its purpose is that you regularly speak about the progress of your PhD and that you come to a solution together in case of difficulties.
All doctoral studies have in common that the dissertation is submitted to the faculty and that the oral final exam is taken at the faculty. The respective deanery thus accompanies all formal steps of your PhD.

The defence (Disputation)
After the assessment of your (cumulative) dissertation, you will take the so-called "defence" of your thesis as an oral examination. The procedure and the participants are defined in the doctoral regulations (Promotionsordnung) of your faculty.
You have the opportunity to watch and listen to such a disputation with other doctoral candidates. To do this, ask the doctoral candidate in advance whether he/she/* agrees that you take a seat. Such an impression can be very clarifying and reassuring for the preparation of your own disputation.

Support by the GGG
You are automatically a member of GGG as soon as you are admitted to a doctorate in one of the PhD degree programs, at the Faculty of Law, Social Sciences or Economic Sciences or at parts of the Faculty of Agricultural or Forest Sciences and Forest Ecology.

We kindly ask you to send our questionnaire to the GGG right at the beginning and to update it if needed to allow us to contact you. These data will only be used within the GGG.

There are no additional obligations associated with your membership. In fact, you have access to:
- the GGG course program,
- the GGG counselling offers,
- the Helpdesk for International PhD-students as well as
- GGG funding measures, e. g. stipends.

You will find an overview of the GGG team, our offers and application deadlines on the GGG homepage and in the newsletter. If you are registered at GGG, you will receive the newsletter automatically. Should this not be the case, please send us an email, for example if you belong to the university staff and want to receive this newsletter as well.