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The doctoral degree regulations Adobe serve as a basis for the application at the Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences. Here you can find all the information and regulation for potential and current doctoral candidates.



Steps of procedure for the admission to the doctoral studies:

1. Agreement with the supervisor

An important prerequisite for the admission to the doctoral studies is the acceptance of a doctoral supervisor. Please find the information about the research areas of potential supervisors on their websites and enter into contact with them personally. Please take into consideration that doctoral supervisors can’t accept any amount of doctoral candidates. That is why you cannot always expect to be accepted.

After having received the assurance of a doctoral supervisor, you have to compose a proposal/exposé of your planned dissertation as well as a time schedule in consultation with him/her. Additionally, you have to complete and both of you have to sign the doctorate agreement Adobe

2. Online registration

After having completed the agreement for the doctoral studies and before being admitted as a doctoral candidate, the doctoral student has to register at the Online Portal heiDOCS:

3. Submission of the documents at the doctoral office

Afterwards, the documents have to be submitted at the doctorate office (office of the dean). In order to be admitted, you need to hand in:

  • Application for admission Adobe
  • Doctorate agreement Adobe, including proposal/exposé and schedule
  • CV
  • A copy of your secondary school leaving certificate that qualifies you for university study (e.g. Abitur, High School Diploma, etc.)
  • Certified copies of the certificates and transcripts of all of your higher education degrees. The certificates have to be either submitted in German or English, or a German or English translation has to be added.
  • Identification

In case there are no transcripts available, a list with all absolved courses of the degree has to be submitted.

The doctoral committee decides on requests for admission. If the doctoral candidate is admitted, he/she has to register at Heidelberg University. Find information at the website from the Graduate Academy Externer Inhalt.



Steps of procedure for doctoral candidates:

4. Online Portal heiDOCS

Please keep your personal information at the Online Portal heiDOCS Externer Inhalt up to date.

5. Time period for the submission of the dissertation / Extension

Doctoral candidates are initially accepted for three years. The time period starts on the day of the admission given by the doctoral committee. Extensions of one year each time are possible upon request Adobe.

6. Submission of the dissertation

Five bound copies as well as a digital copy in a searchable format (pdf) of the dissertation are to be submitted to the Faculty Dean's office.

Additionally, the following documents have to be submitted in a printed, completed and signed form.

  • An affidavit Adobe
  • A declaration of consent Adobe stating that electronic data processing programmes may be used to check the dissertation for compliance with general academic standards.

Please note the regulations concerning cumulative dissertations:

7. Appointment of the evaluators / Inspection

The doctoral committee appoints the evaluators. Once the evaluations have been submitted, the two-week inspection period starts. During this time, the doctoral candidate has the possibility to inspect the evaluations on site.

8. Oral defence

The members of the examination commission are appointed by the doctoral committee. The doctoral supervisor is responsible for the coordination of the oral defence.

The doctoral candidate receives a certificate after having successfully completed the oral defence. 

9. Publication

The dissertation must be published not later than within two years after the date of the oral defence or a publishing contract must be submitted on condition that the doctoral candidate gives an assurance that the dissertation will be printed and free of charge submission will be provided within three years after the contract date.

Beforehand, the publication has to be approved by the doctoral supervisor.

The publication can occur in the following forms:

  1. As a digital publication via Open Access on the University Library’s (UB) document server. Additionally, one printed and bound deposit copy of the text has to be submitted to the University Library. Other forms of digital publication may be used only upon agreement with the University Library.
  2. Printed in a series of publications or as a self-contained book distributed by a publisher, provided that proof of a minimum print run of 100 copies is provided. In this case, three deposit copies have to be submitted to the University Library.  If the publisher has a print-on-demand process in place to fulfil additional orders, a lower minimum print run may be accepted. It is the responsibility of the doctoral candidate to provide evidence thereof.

A print remark must be added stating that it is Heidelberg dissertation. In case of change of the title it is necessary to point the title of the dissertation submitted.

Additionally to the mentioned deposit copy which must be provided to the University Library, two copies of the published dissertation must also be provided to the doctorate office (faculty dean’s office) and one copy must be provided to each of the evaluators.


Notes on the obligation to publish cumulative dissertations
According to the current doctoral degree regulations, all dissertations must be published at the end of the doctoral examination process via a publishing house or online via UB Heidelberg. This also includes article-based dissertations (cumulative dissertations), even if individual parts (papers) of them have already been published or accepted for publication.
In the case of publication via the UB, the doctoral student must confirm that the UB has the rights to publish online. Without this right, the dissertation can not be published and the doctoral certificate can not be handed out.
It can be a problem, if papers are already published in journals and the publishers hold the rights.
The publishers know this dilemma. They know that dissertations have always be published at the end of the doctoral studies. Normally, they show themselves to be accommodating and allow a (second) publication on the university libraries. The information about whether a publisher agrees can be found e.g. on their websites. According to the UB, for example, the two major publishers Elsevier and Springer agree that papers may also be published in the context of dissertations via the UB. Also uncritical are papers published in open access journals. Here is nothing to prevent re-publication in the context of the dissertation. Whether a journal is an open access journal can be found on the "directory of open access journals" (https://doaj.org/).
Should publishers have conditions for placing the thesis on the author's university website, e.g. display a note in a prominent way, please enter the obligatory message when uploading into heiDOK in the field "Comments and Suggestions (only visible to library staff)". The UB enters this information in the corresponding fields visible for all "Additional information" and "External sources"
Doctoral candidates are asked to make sure that the publisher agrees with the online publication on UB that is obligatory at the end of the doctoral phase.
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Latest Revision: 2023-09-25
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