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If you would like to pursue a doctorate in one of the geosciences at the University of Cologne, the first step is to find an official principal supervisor. This has to be a person who is legally entitled to supervise a doctoral research project in the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences (MNF) (a professor or Privatdozent).

Subsequently, you will need to register in Docfile (the online registration system for doctoral candidates) and hand in your Application for Admission as a doctoral student at the Doctoral Office of the Faculty. For this, you will need the (electronic) signatures of your supervisor and the GSGS manager. From this moment you are a GSGS member. For details of the entire PhD procedure and for downloading the latest version of the form visit the Internet pages of the Doctoral Office. For any correspondence with the Doctoral Office, use the e-mail address and mention "Geosciences" or "GSGS" in the subject line, so that your message can be assigned to the person in charge of our subject area, Ms Gotzmann.

Please visit the website of the Albertus Magnus Center (AMC - the university-wide center for supporting early-career researchers) for general information on pursuing a doctorate at the University of Cologne, e.g. on how to go about finding a supervisor.


Roles in the administrative process

Within the administrative process of starting a doctorate at the Faculty and becoming a graduate school member, several processes are not administered by the graduate school. Instead, you will need to interact with a number of other offices. Their names and responsibilities are listed here:

1) Doctoral Office of the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences (Promotionsbüro)
The Doctoral Office is responsible for the registration and admission of doctoral candidates, and for the administration of the doctoral examinations* (dissertation and thesis defense). Once you receive your (conditional**) admission as a doctoral candidate ((vorläufiger) Zulassung als Doktorand_in) you must enroll as a doctoral student.

2) Student Application and Registration Office of the University (Studierendensekreteriat)
The Student Application and Registration Office is responsible for the enrolment (Immatrikulation) as a doctoral student with a German Master's degree.

3) International Office of the University
The International Office is responsible for the enrolment (Immatrikulation) as a doctoral student with an foreign Master's degree.

4) Department Graduate Schools
In accordance with the Faculty's Doctoral Regulations, the Department Graduate Schools (e.g. GSGS) promote the scientific exchange of doctoral students within the department and beyond. They offer a structured, quality-ensuring doctoral program and regulate the mentoring of doctoral students. They coordinate - also across departments - the supply of courses for the acquisition of key academic qualifications and for the further scientific education of the doctoral students – some of these courses can be obligatory for doctoral students of the Graduate School. In particular, the offers shall be open also to members of other graduate schools of the Faculty.

In the administrative process, the role of the Graduate School is limited:

a) Before you upload your application for admission as a doctoral candidate (see No. 1) to Docfile, send it to your Department's Graduate School coordinator to countersigns. From that moment, you are a registered member of the Graduate School.

b) Before you upload your Application for Admission to Doctoral Examinations (see No. 1) to Docfile, it must be completed in full and signed by you, the supervisor, and the department's Graduate School coordinator.


*) The application to the doctoral examinations can be made at the earliest 24 months after admission as a doctoral student. The Doctoral Degree Committee decides on justified exceptions, for example in the case of a transfer of the doctoral student during the doctoral project from another university due to the supervisor being newly appointed to the faculty, or in the case of outstanding scientific results achieved within a shorter period of time. Please note that an enrolment in the corresponding master study program is not counted as admission as doctoral student.

**) Doctoral candidates/students who have been granted conditional admission by the Doctoral Office first enroll as pre-doctoral students (promotionsvorbereitende Studien) at the Students Office (or International Office) of the University of Cologne. They must provide the requested evidence and, if applicable, the required academic achievements within the set deadline. Provided that the proofs are submitted on time, you will then receive an admission as a doctoral student by the Doctoral Office, and only then enrol as regular doctoral students at the University of Cologne. Please note that the max. enrolment period in the pre-doctoral studies is two semesters.