Frequently Asked Questions – FAQ

 

Topics:

  1. Doctoral studies at another university
  2. Problems with the dissertation or supervisor
  3. Course on Academic Misconduct and Good Academic Practice
  4. Supervision confirmation
  5. International student with no German medical license/
    Admission to doctoral studies with a foreign degree
  6. Application for admission to doctoral studies
  7. Applying early
  8. Publications
  9. Mandatory dissertation copies
  10. General doctoral studies process
  11. Corrections
  12. Application for review of the admissions requirements for doctoral studies (Dr. rer. medic.)
  13. Information about the PhD program?
 

1. Doctoral studies at another university

1.1. Can I do my doctoral studies at another university? What do I need to know?

Yes, you can do your doctoral studies at another university. However, you should clarify a few things in advance.

There are two different approaches:

1) If you are submitting your doctoral dissertation via your professor at another university, RWTH has nothing to do with the doctoral studies process. You are obligated to adhere to the doctoral regulations of that university and to contact them for information. This option only makes sense though, if your supervisor can support you with this.

2) If you want to submit your dissertation in Aachen later on, you must adhere to the doctoral regulations of the Faculty of Medicine in Aachen and fulfill their requirements.
This means you first need a doctoral supervisor in Aachen, ideally one who is in the same field as your dissertation topic, as a dissertation at our faculty is only possible with a professor from RWTH, which is not guaranteed. This professor must sign the supervision confirmation, which must be submitted to the Doctoral Studies Office one year before you submit your dissertation.

Doctorate

 

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2. Problems with Dissertation or Doctoral Supervisor

2.1. Whom do I contact when have problems related to my research?

Your doctoral supervisor or direct supervisor

2.2. Whom do I contact with problems regarding producing my dissertation, such as format, citation, copyright, etc.?

Your doctoral supervisor or direct supervisor

2.3. Whom do I contact with questions about the doctoral studies process?

Your doctoral supervisor or direct supervisor, and, depending on internal regulations, the doctoral delegate.

Further information is available on the Doctoral Studies Office's homepage.

2.4. Whom do I contact about problems with my doctoral supervisor or when the supervision confirmation is not being followed?

The Doctoral Studies Office or doctoral studies examination board

 

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3. Course on Academic Misconduct and Good Academic Practice

3.1. When should I take the course?

It is best to take the course before you officially begin your dissertation, since the course covers possible problems that may arise regarding your dissertation and supervision confirmation.

3.2. Are there Quali-Punkte/credit points for the course?

Yes, the course counts as an elective module. It is worth 1 CP and can be counted towards all qualification profiles.

3.3. Do I need to submit proof I took the course if I have already submitted the application to have the admissions requirements reviewed or the supervision agreement?

As of June 1, 2013, you are required to submit your certificate from the "Academic Misconduct and Good Academic Practice" course together with your application for admission to doctoral studies.

3.4. Does the course require registration?

No, registration is not required.

3.5. Is any special preparation required?

No, you do not need to prepare for the course.

3.6. When is the course held?

This course is regularly held three times a year: at the beginning of the year, the week after Pentecost, and in the fall.

It is always held from 12 noon to 6pm. The location and exact date can be found on the Doctoral Office's homepage.

Participants take the exam the same day.

3.7. How do I find out if I passed and how do I get my certificate?

The exam results for "Academic Misconduct and Good Academic Practice" are published on the homepage of the Doctoral Office.

The certificates are not handed out. They are collected in the Doctoral Office and added to the individual doctoral applications.

3.8. Can I take the course at another university?

Yes, that is possible.

You should check with the Doctoral Office in advance about having approval for a course taken elsewhere. Generally only certificates for GWP or good academic practice are accepted, while certificates for GCP or good clinical practical are not.

3.9. Is the course also offered in English?

The Center for Doctoral Studies at RWTH, CDS for short, holds courses on good academic practice. They offer a course called Good Scientific Practice in English, which you can also take.

Further information from the CDS

3.10. Whom do I contact with questions about the course on academic misconduct?

If you have questions about the course, please contact:

Dagmar Marx, Department of Immunology
Phone: 0241-80-80208

 

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4. Supervision Confirmation

4.1. Does a supervision confirmation always have to be submitted?

Yes! You must submit the supervision confirmation before starting your dissertation and at least one year prior to your application for admission to doctoral studies. Please be sure to use the most recent version of the supervision confirmation found under Important Information and Advice.

The original supervision confirmation must be signed and cannot be signed by an authorized third party. Signatures cannot be faxed or scanned.

4.2. Will I receive a confirmation that the supervision confirmation was received?

You must submit the original supervision confirmation together with a copy and self-addressed envelope to the doctoral delegate responsible for your department.

They will review your supervision confirmation and forward it to the Doctoral Office. You will then receive the copy with a stamp from your doctoral office as confirmation.

4.3. Where can I get a template for the supervision confirmation?

You can download a template for the supervision confirmation on the page Important Information and Advice.

4.4. How can I get a copy afterwards for my records?

The original you submitted and stamped copies are returned to the doctoral officer, as long as a copy was submitted with the original.

Submitted supervision confirmation cannot be returned. The Doctoral Office does not make copies. Thus, please be sure to submitted an original and a copy.

4.5. What prerequisites does the supervisor need to fulfill?

The supervisor and substitute supervisor must have a post-doctoral lecture qualification – that is a Habilitation – and belong to the RWTH Aachen Faculty of Medicine.

Members of the faculty without the post-doctoral lecture qualification can only be named direct supervisor in the supervision agreement.

4.6. The department/institute director must sign the confirmation. Who does this include?

The director of the department or head of the section, institute, or teaching and research unit in the Faculty of Medicine, to which the supervisor belongs, must sign the confirmation.

Department and institute directors and heads are always university professor or junior professors.

4.7. What else do I need to pay attention to when submitting the supervision confirmation?

  • All questions and subitems must be answered.
  • Please make sure to use the most current form on the Doctoral Office's homepage.
  • The supervision confirmation must contain only original signatures and the department stamp.
  • No authorized third-parties may sign the confirmation.
  • No signatures can be faxed or scanned.

4.8 Who signs the declaration of obligation?

The director of the department or head of the section, institute, or teaching and research unit in the Faculty of Medicine, to which the supervisor belongs, must sign the declaration.

Department and institute directors and heads are always university professor or junior professors.

 

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5. International Applicant

5.1. What should I know if I completed my studies abroad and have not yet received the German medical license?

As soon as you have found a supervisor here at the Faculty of Medicine, take your original transcripts and diplomas to the International Office. The International Office is located in the SuperC at Templergraben 57. The International Office will review your documents and issue an evaluation so that we can see if you fulfill the formal doctoral studies prerequisites.

Afterwards submit the following documents to your respective doctoral officer:

  • Original evaluation of your foreign education. The evaluation must state that it was issued based on original transcripts.
  • Application to have admissions prerequisites reviewed (Template 8 of the Info Sheet for Admission to Doctoral Studies)
  • Further documents in accordance with Template 8
  • A signed tabular resume with date of birth, place of birth, and country of birth if not Germany
  • Supervision confirmation – original and copy
  • Transcripts – certificate and examination transcript, both as legally attested copies

After your application has been reviewed, you and your supervisor will receive a letter about the admissions requirements for doctoral studies and any necessary additional requirements to be fulfilled.

 

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6. Application for Admission to Doctoral Studies

6.1. Do I need to be enrolled to do my doctorate?

No, you do not have to be enrolled.

6.2. What should I pay attention to when providing my personal information?

Please make sure to always write your name the same way during the entire process:

  • Your first name must always be provided.
  • If you have other first names or a middle name, you can provide these but are not required to. Your diploma will state the name you used throughout the process.
  • If you have another last name in addition to your maiden name – because you're married –, you must provide both.

Your place of birth must be provided exactly as written on your ID or in your passport. If you were not born in Germany, the country of birth must be included in parentheses.

WARNING: Only those academic titles can be used that have been awarded and are recognized either officially or in Germany. Doctor and pharmacist are not academic titles.

We recommend not using any foreign titles you may have as these must be used in accordance with the standards of the ministry responsible, and you may ended up needing to pay to have the titles certified.

6.3. What do I need to include on my signed tabular resume?

You must include your name, place of birth, date of birth, and the most important information about your career thus far. The resume must be signed. Please make note of the question "What should I pay attention to when providing my personal information?“.

6.4. What do I need to pay attention to when filling out the application (Template 1)?

No statements may be deleted and the bold text must be adjusted and filled in. The title of the dissertation must be identical to the title provided in the application.

Make sure your contact information is complete including a phone number and email address.

6.5. What certificates or documentation must be submitted according to Sections 8-9 of the Examination Regulation?

Please submit either the certificate confirming you passed the third section of the medical examination in according with Section 32 of the ÄAppO or a notarized copy of your medical license certificate.

If you completed your studies abroad and do not have a German medical license, please submit the certificate of equivalence from the International Office together with your certificates.

Please note that you must first submit a request to have your admissions prerequisites reviewed if you do not have a German medical license.

If you have not yet completed your studies, you must submit the certificate confirming you have passed the second section of the medical examination (M2neu) (when applying for Dr. med.) or the certificate confirming you completed the course Zahnheilkunde II (when applying for Dr. med. dent.).

 

6.6. What is an officially certified or notarized copy?

Officially certified copies can only be issued by offices and notaries.

Notarizations are not accepted from hospitals, insurance companies, banks, savings banks, schools, or parish offices.

The Dean's Office at the Faculty of Medicine notarizes your documents for your dissertation free of charge.

6.7. What do I need to pay attention to when submitting my four bound dissertation copies?

6.7.1. General

Four bound copies of the dissertation in DIN A4 format must be submitted. Ring or spiral bindings are not accepted.

The pages must be in the correct order as provided on the info sheet.

If you are submitting one or more publications as your dissertation, you must submitted an additional copy of your publication(s) for your file.

6.7.2. Cover Page

The cover page is the first printed page on the inside. Please use Muster 2 for the cover page and fill in your personal information.

The clinic name on the cover page must be identical to the clinic name in the list on the Doctoral Studies Office's webpage.

You may not include any other information on the cover page.

The doctorate you intend to acquire and the male/female form must be adjusted.

Please make note of the question "What should I pay attention to when providing my personal information?" or „Wie muss ich meine persönlichen Angaben nennen?“ and that doctor and dentist are not academic degrees but occupational titles.

6.7.3. Statements to be Included

You must include the following in the bound dissertations. Be sure to follow the correct order as indicated on the info sheet:

In all cases: 

  • Statement on Data Storage Section 5 Paragraph 1 (Muster 3)

Additionally:

  • If submitting a "normal" dissertation: Muster 4 A
  • If submitting a "normal" dissertation and a publication: Muster 4 A
    Note: Muster 4 B must only be additionally submitted.  
  • If submitting one or more publications as the dissertation: Muster 5

The affadavits in the dissertation do not need to be signed. However, the original affadavit that you submit must be signed. Please see the question "What do I need to pay attention to in the affadavit?"

6.8. How do I refer to protected trademarks/product names in my dissertation?

As long as you only refer to the trademark, you are not violating trademark law.

This means you do not need to label anything. Additionally, mentioning the company is free advertising for them, meaning you might actually encounter problems if you don't provide the product name.

You are asked to use caution once you start to negatively portray a product. In this case, you must be certain your data is correct, even if academic freedom takes priority over to trademark law in the Basic Law.

You will only potentially encounter problems if your statements are untrue.

6.9. How many copies of the publication do I need to submit?

When submitting one or more publications as your dissertation:

  • Four "bound" copies including cover page and statements
  • One additional copy of the publication(s) for your file; a spring binder is sufficient here.

If you are submiting a normal dissertation and an additional publication:

  • Five copies of the publication as a special print or copy

6.10. What do I need to pay attention to in the affadavit?

Please make sure to correctly indicate the §§.

Use the following templates:

If submitting a "normal" dissertation: Muster 4 A

  • The doctoral candidate and doctoral supervisor's signatures must be on the same page as the text of the affadavit. The original copy must be submitted.
  • Please speak with your supervisor about the composition of the affadavit. The sections must be clearly evident and umambiguous. Bei doppelter Nennung (zum Beispiel wenn die statistische Auswertung durch mehrere Personen erfolgte), müssen die Anteile spezifiziert werden, ggf. durch Angabe in Prozentzahlen (Gesamtzahl muss 100 Prozent ergeben).

If submitting an additional one or more publications: additionally Muster 4 B

  • All signatures must appear on the page with the text of the affadavit – you may need to print multiple copies of the affadavit – so that it is clear that the authors have signed the text of the affadavit. The original signatures from the doctoral candidate, doctoral supervisor, senior author – the corresponding author, if different from the supervisor –, and the equal co-author, if applicable.
  • Muster 4 B is not bound with the dissertation.
  • Please speak with your supervisor about the composition of the affadavit. The sections must be clearly evident and umambiguous. Bei doppelter Nennung (zum Beispiel wenn die statistische Auswertung durch mehrere Personen erfolgte), müssen die Anteile spezifiziert werden, gegebenenfalls durch Angabe in Prozentzahlen (Gesamtzahl muss 100 Prozent ergeben).
  • The doctoral supervisor may only sign for co-authors, who are not German speakers. Co-authors, who only live abroad but are German speakers, must sign themselves.
     

If submitting a publication as your dissertation: Muster 5

  • All signatures must appear on the page with the text of the affadavit – you may need to print multiple copies of the affadavit – so that it is clear that the authors have signed the text of the affadavit. The original signatures from the doctoral candidate, doctoral supervisor, senior author – the corresponding author, if different from the supervisor –, and the equal co-author, if applicable.
  • Please speak with your supervisor about the composition of the affadavit. The sections must be clearly evident and umambiguous. Bei doppelter Nennung (z.B. wenn die statistische Auswertung durch mehrere Personen erfolgte), müssen die Anteile spezifiziert werden, ggf. durch Angabe in Prozentzahlen (Gesamtzahl muss 100 Prozent ergeben).
  • You absolutely must have independently composed the manuscript in order to submit a publication as a dissertation.
  • The doctoral supervisor may only sign for co-authors, who are not German speakers. Co-authors, who only live abroad but are German speakers, must sign themselves.
  • We do not recommend trying to do your doctorate with a publication, if you share first authorship, as publications are only accepted as dissertations when the docotral candidate is the first author and completed the majority of the publication, that is at least 51 percent. This particularly applies to those who share first authorship; they must be named first. If the doctoral candidate is not named first, but rather the postdoc, for example, this contradicts the doctoral candidate's affadavit and is thus questionable good academic practice. If there are more than two equal first authors, the paper is not admissable as a dissertation, as the candidate can no longer claim 51 percent of the work.

The original copies of the affadavits must be submitted.

6.11. How do I get a certificate confirming I completed the academic misconduct course?

The completion certificates for the academic misconduct course are not handed out by the Faculty of Medicine. They are collected in the Doctoral Office and added to the individual doctoral applications.

If you earned the certificate at another university, include it with your documents. You should check with the Doctoral Office in advance about having approval for a course taken elsewhere. Generally only certificates for GWP or good academic practice are accepted, while certificates for GCP or good clinical practical are not.

If you have questions about the course, please contact:

Dagmar Marx
Institute of Immunology
Phone: +49 241 80 80208

6.12. What do I need to pay attention to in the abstract?

You must include the German or English title of the dissertation and the name of the doctoral candidate.

Abstracts may not exceed more than one DIN A4 page.

Five copies of the abstract must be printed in both German and English in addition to the dissertation, each on a single DIN A4 page.

You must also save the abstracts as both a Word and PDF file on a CD.

6.13. What do I need to know about the certificate of good conduct, type O?

You can request the certificate of good conduct, type O, from the Registration Office. Type O certificates of good conduct are not sent to private addressed. You must have the Registration Office send the certificate directly to the Doctoral Office.

Dekanat der Medizinischen Fakultät der RWTH Aachen
Promotionsbüro
Universitätsklinikum Aachen
Pauwelsstraße 30
52074 Aachen

Even if you live abroad, you must submit a German certificate of good conduct. You can request one through the embassy.

6.14. What do I need to know when choosing the readers and the doctoral review committee?

When nominating the reviewers and chair you must include their clinic/instiutute and who will coordinate the oral defense (Muster 6). This must be approved by all those involved.

The doctoral supervisor should always be a reader. However, if this is not possible, please contact the Doctoral Office.

One of the readers can also be external and have completed Habilitation. One reader must always be an active member of the Faculty of Medicine.

Important: The chair of the doctoral review committee must be a university professor. Any Privatdozent or adjunct professor at the Faculty of Medicine can be the reader or co-reader. It does not matter if they are a doctor or have other training.

All three examiners must be from different clinics and institutes so that there are no dependencies. This is required by the doctoral regulation and the NRW Bias Act. Dependencies and mutual powers to direct are decisive here, including in relation to clinical concerns. One of the reviewers must have an employment contract at RWTH.

The exam coordinator must be a member of the doctoral review committee, i.e. reader, co-reader, or chair.

The exam coordinator is reponsible for setting the date and sending the invitation, not the Doctoral Office. The Doctoral Office does not need to be informed of the date.

6.15. What do I need to pay attention to when submitting the CD?

The dissertation must additionally be submitted electronically on a CD or DVD. No USB sticks will be accepted.

The CD/DVD muss contain the following six files:

  • If submitting a "normal" dissertation:
  • Dissertation with cover page and all necessary affadavits et cetera as a single Word file or another common word processing program file and as a single PDF file
  • The files must be identical to the printed dissertation.
  • German and English abstract each as a Word and PDF file
  • If submitting a "normal" dissertation and a publication:
  • Dissertation with cover page and all necessary affadavits et cetera as a single Word file or another common word processing program file and as a single PDF file
  • The files must be identical to the printed dissertation.
  • The publication is not saved to the CD.
  • German and English abstracts each as a Word and PDF file
  • If submitting one or more publications as a dissertation:
  • Dissertation with cover page and all necessary affadavits and the accepted publication manuscript (with author order, publication title, if possible the journal header, date of acceptance)or the already published publication (with author order, publication title, journal header, date of publication, et centera) as a Word file or another common word processing program file and as a single PDF file
  • The files must be identical to the printed dissertation.
  • German and English abstracts each as a Word and PDF file

6.16. How can I make corrections to my application for admission to the doctoral studies process?

Errors, such as on the cover page, can be corrected and then submitted and included as a loose piece of paper.

Please note if you need to included any corrections in your dissertation, you must submit five copies of the correction and you must make sure to include the corrections on the CD.

 

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7. Applying Early

7.1. What is an early application for admission to doctoral studies?

You can submit an early application for admission to doctoral studies, if you have not yet completed your studies.

7.2. What do I need to pay attention to if I submit my application early?

If you are submitting an application early, you must submit your admission to the PJ or certificate for the second component of the medical exam – M2neu, doctoral studies process for Dr. med. – or your certificate for completing the course Zahnheilkunde II – for doctoral studies processes to acquire Dr. med. dent., but not yet the certificate of good conduct.

if you have received your diploma for the completion of your studies, you must submit this to the Doctoral Studies Office and request a certificate of good conduct, Type O, from the Registration Office.

Once the Doctoral Studies Office has these documents it will inform the exam coordinator, who will then begin to organize the exam.

 

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8. Publications

8.1. Can I use any publication as my dissertation?

No, the publication must have appeared in a journal that is listed in either PubMed or Web of Science.

Make sure to check in advance, whether the journal, in which you intend to publish, is listed. New journals or online journals are often only listed by Google Scholar or similar places and will not be recognized.

The impact factor is not important for having your publication accepted as your dissertation just for the final grade.

8.2. What do I need to know when submitting a publication as a dissertation?

You must be the sole author or first author and the publication must have appeared in a journal that is listed in either PubMed or Web of Science. The journal's impact factor does not have to be higher than the mean impact factor of the discipline but the impact factor does play a significant role in your dissertation being awarded "summa cum laude." You must speak with your supervisor to find out if there are any internal rules about the impact factor.

We do not recommend trying to do your doctorate with a publication, if you share first authorship, as publications are only accepted as dissertations when the docotral candidate is the first author and completed the majority of the publication, that is at least 51 percent. This particularly applies to those who share first authorship; they must be named first. If the doctoral candidate is not named first, but rather the postdoc, for example, this contradicts the doctoral candidate's affadavit and is thus questionable good academic practice. If there are more than two equal first authors, the paper is not admissable as a dissertation, as the candidate can no longer claim 51 percent of the work.

Only one person can submit the publication as a dissertation, meaning that when there are two equal candidates there are almost always problems differentiating their contributions in the affadavit confirming their work. (See question 8.4.)

The earliest you can submit a publication as a dissertation is when it has been accepted by a journal.

If the paper has already been published, the published version must be included in the pdf file and the dissertation and include the authorship, publication title, journal header, date of publication, etc.)

If the paper has not yet been published, the accepted manuscript (including the authorship, publication title, journal header, date of acceptance) must be saved/included. If the date of acceptance is not in the manuscript, you must also submit the letter of acceptance.

Additionally, all co-authors must confirm that you as the doctoral candidate completed the majority of the work. This includes independently composing the manuscript. Templates are available on the Doctoral Office homepage, Muster 5.

The Doctoral Committee reviews all publications submitted as a dissertation.

The deposit copies submitted after the defense must contain the final published paper. This means that the deposit copies cannot be submitted before the paper has been printed.

If you are unable to wait until publication – this is an absolute exception, for example when there is a one year wait between acceptance and printed publication, see notes on the deposit copies – you must submit a total of 24 copies of the online publication – this is mandatory in this case –, as described when submitting deposit copies as a "normal" dissertation. Please make note of the question "What do I need to pay attention to in the affadavit?"

8.3. Is it possible to complete my doctorate with a publication, in which I share first authorship, and the other author is, for example, a postdoc?

We do not recommend trying to do your doctorate with a publication, if you share first authorship, as publications are only accepted as dissertations when the docotral candidate is the first author and completed the majority of the publication, that is at least 51 percent. This particularly applies to those who share first authorship; they must be named first. If the doctoral candidate is not named first, but rather the postdoc, for example, this contradicts the doctoral candidate's affadavit and is thus questionable good academic practice. If there are more than two equal first authors, the paper is not admissable as a dissertation, as the candidate can no longer claim 51 percent of the work.

8.4. If the data from two doctorates is summarized into a single publication, it is possible for one of the doctoral candidates to submit the publication as the dissertation and for the other to submit with a classic dissertation?

Yes, this is technically possible. However, you must first be very clear in advance about the distribution of work and agreement in the affadavit:

  • For the candidate submitting the publication as a dissertation: you must clearly indicate in the "eidesstattlichen Erklärungen zum Eigenanteil“ (Muster 4 B), which components of the paper are part of your own dissertation.
  • For the second "normal" dissertation: you must mention that the material has been published and the "eidesstattliche Erklärung zum Eigenanteil“ (Muster 4 A) must compliment the ther, meaning that you can only use portions that were not used in the doctorate with a publication as a dissertation. Otherwise the dissertation would be plagiarism.

8.5. What do I need to pay attention to, if I am the co-author of a publication?

If you wish to submit a publication as your dissertation, you must be named as co-author. If this is not the case, your dissertation would be considered plagiarism if the publication has already been released.

It is important that you mention in your disseration – right after the cover page, refer to the Merkblatt – that the corresponding excerpts were published in advance. Please use the following wording: Teile der Dissertation wurden in der Publikation (Autoren, Titel der Arbeit; Name der Zeitschrift; Jahr, Band, Seitenzahlen) veröffentlicht. Alles Weitere sollte sich aus der Erklärung zum Eigenanteil ergeben.

It is also important that you only use the parts and graphics in the paper that you authored and created yourself. Otherwise, this would also be plagiarism. This is also evident in your statement on your own work and the affadavit, that you authored the work yourself.  If you only collected some of the data for a graphic, you must create a new graphic for this part or indicate the respective shared or borrowed work. Please be aware that this component cannot be used in any other dissertation. Be sure to pay close attention the question "What do I need to pay attention to in the affadavit?".

8.6. How can I determine the impact factor?

You need both the impact factor of the journal, in which the work was published, and the so-called median impact factor of the discipline, to which the journal belongs.

  • Determining the Journal's Impact Factor:

https://jcr.incites.thomsonreuters.com/ -> Select Journals by Rank

In the field "Master Search" under "Go to Journal Profile“ enter the name of the journal and select it from the list.

A page will open with the "Key Indicators"; the journal's impact factor is one of these.

  • Determing the Median Impact Factor:

https://jcr.incites.thomsonreuters.com/ -> Select "Categories by Rank"

Click "Select Journals" and when the menu appears, enter the name of the journal in field "Search Journal," select it from the list, and close the menu. 

Click the "submit" button.

The screen will display which the discipline the journal belongs to. If multiple disciplines are listed, you can select the discipline with the lowest median impact factor for the calculation.

 

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9. Mandatory Dissertation Copies

9.1. What do I need to know about submitting the deposit copies?

Your dissertation must be published no later than one year after your defense. You must submit a certain number of deposit copies (see Question 9.4. "What options do I have to submit my dissertation?") to the University Library and doctoral delegate.

Submit the following the doctoral delegate:

  • the required number of deposit copies
  • the receipt from the University Library (Exception: You mailed your deposit copies to the University Library.)
  • an envelope, in which we can send you your doctoral certificate
    You must provide us with a self-addressed DIN B4 envelope, in which we can send you the diploma. The envelope must also included a registered mail slip and include an already filled out registered mail card from Deutsche Post. The front of the registered mail card should have your address. The back of the card does not need to be filled out, as we will use our address stamp here. The envelope should not be stamped.

Presentation of the deposit copies:

  • The deposit copies must be permanently bound and printed double-sided on age-resistant, wood-free, acid free paper. They must also be technically flawless. You cannot use any paperclips or anything similar.
  • They do not need to be re-formated. You can simply minimize them from DIN A4 to DIN A5.
  • Please note that the cover page is different in the deposit copies (Template 9).
    On the cover page, list your reviewers the same way you wrote them in your application to begin the doctoral studies process. Be sure to keep the order the same. If the title of one of the reviewers change, update it. The chair is not named.
  • The spine of the dissertation must be printed with the title of the dissertation and the name of the author.
     

The following statements should be included at the end of the dissertation (some are option):

  • Acknowledgement
  • Statement on data storage – A printout is sufficient. It does not need to be the signed copy.
  • Affadavit on your own contribution – A printout is sufficient. It does not need to be the signed copy.
  • A resume (optional) should be the last printed page in the dissertation.

9.2. How do I get a receipt from the University Library?

If you bring your deposit copies to the library in person, you will be issued a receipt. Please submit this receipt with the remaining deposit copies to your respective doctoral delegate.

If you submit your deposit copies to the library via mail, the library will automatically send the receipt to the Doctoral Office.

9.3. How can I make corrections to my mandatory dissertation copies?

Errors, for example on the cover page, can be corrected using adhesive labels.

All corrections must also be made to the deposit copies submitted to the University Library.

If the binding is too poor, you must unfortunately have your copies reprinted.

The library and doctoral delegate will not make any corrections. You are responsible for making any necessary corrections. Once you have completed the corrections, you will receive a receipt from the library.

9.4. What options do I have to submit my dissertation?

Please select the option below that best applies to you.

You can find more detailed information in the guidelines.

  • Deposit copies as bound, printed copies
  • Deposit copies as an electronic dissertation
  • Deposit copies as a monography from the publisher
  • Deposit copies as a paper in a scientific journal

9.5. When can I have my deposit copies printed?

You can have the deposit copies printed after the oral examination if your examiners and the chair have no corrections. You will not receive separate permission from the Dean.

9.6. What format do my deposit copies need to be in?

The deposit copies must be printed as DIN A5.

9.7 What information needs to be printed on the spine?

The title of your dissertation and your name must be printed on the spine of the bound dissertation.

9.8. Which examiners do I name?

You must only name your examiner and co-examiner, not the chair. Both examiners are listed without their discipline. Please make sure to keep them in the correct order. When the doctoral studies process begins, the doctoral officer receives a personalized cover page as an aid. You can ask the officer for this to help you.

 

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10. General Doctoral Studies Process

10.1. What happens after I submit the application to be admitted to doctoral studies?

After completing your disseration and speaking with your supervisor, you submit an application for admission to doctoral studies addressed to the chair of the doctoral committee of the RWTH Faculty of Medicine. You submit this application and all the necessary documents to your respective doctoral delegate.

An info sheet about admission to doctoral studies provides you with information about how to format the application and the necessary documents to include.

The doctoral delegate reviews your documents and, if they are complete, forwards them to the Doctoral Office. Once your complete application has been received by the Dean's Office, your doctoral studies process will officially begin. You will receive a written notificaton that it has begun, in which both your reviewers and the chair are named. Both of your readers will also be sent a letter asking them to submit a graded evalution in the next two months.

Once the readers have submitted the required evaluations to the Dean's Office, your dissertation must be on display for two weeks during the lecture period or four weeks during the lecture-free period at the faculty. Due to the large number of doctoral candidates, the faculty collects all dissertations and organizes their display once a week.

10.2. When does the defense take place and what do I need to know?

After your dissertation has been on display, the coordinator for the oral defense dates will receive a written notification and arrange a defense date with you and the members of the Doctoral Studies Commission. If you submitted your application before you completed your degree, this will happen once the Doctoral Office has the certificate confirming you completed your studies and your certificate of good conduct, type O.

The exam coordinator is responsible for setting a date and inviting guests. The Doctoral Office does not need to be informed of the date.

If you have questions about the defense, please contact your supervisor.

You will be informed of the schedule date at least five days in advance. The examination documents are sent to the chair of the Doctoral Studies Commission. At the defense you must sign a statement declaring you were notified of the date within the appropriate deadline.

10.3. When and how do I submit the deposit copies?

Your dissertation must be published no later than one year after your defense. The info sheets provide informatin about how to publish your dissertation. Please also pay attention to the question "What do I need to know about submitting the deposit copies?" and the fact that you must change the cover page (see Muster 9). You must must submit a certain number of deposit copies to the University Library and doctoral delegate.

In addition to the deposit copies, you must also submit the receipt from the Univeristy Library to the doctoral delegate (Exception: You mailed your deposit copies to the University Library.) and an envelope, in which we can send you your doctoral certificate You must provide us with a self-addressed DIN B4 envelope, in which we can send you the diploma. The envelope must also included a registered mail slip and include an already filled out registered mail card from Deutsche Post. The front of the registered mail card should have your address. The back of the card does not need to be filled out, as we will use our address stamp here. The envelope should not be stamped.

You can also pick up the diploma in person from the Doctoral Office.

10.4. How do I get my diploma?

If the published copies submitted to the Dean's Office and University Library fulfill the the Faculty of Medicine's requirements, your diploma will be issued. It takes about eight weeks for the diploma to be issued. The doctoral studies process ends with your receipt of the diploma. At this point you can use the title of doctor.

Recently, doctoral diplomas have gone missing in the mail. Because we can only issue a copy should the original diploma be lost, we strongly recommend picking up your doctoral diploma in person from the Doctoral Studies Office or having someone pick it up for you.

If you choose to have your diploma mailed to you, you must provide us with a self-addressed DIN B4 envelope, in which we can send you the diploma. The envelope must also included a registered mail slip and include an already filled out registered mail card from Deutsche Post. The front of the registered mail card should have your address. The back of the card does not need to be filled out, as we will use our address stamp here. The envelope should not be stamped.

10.5. When can I begin to use the doctor title?

You may only use the title of doctor once you have received your diploma. You cannot already begin to use it once you have passed your defense or submitted your deposit copies.

If you use the doctor title early, you can be charged with up to a year of prison or fined – see Section 132a of the Criminal Code: Misuse of Titles, Professional Designations, and Insignia.

 

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11. Corrections

11.1. How can I make corrections to my application for admission to the doctoral studies process?

Errors, such as on the cover page, can be corrected and then submitted and included as a loose piece of paper.

Please note if you need to included any corrections in your dissertation, you must submit five copies of the correction and you must make sure to include the corrections on the CD.

11.2. How can I make corrections to my mandatory dissertation copies?

Errors, for example on the cover page, can be corrected using adhesive labels.

If the binding is too poor, you must unfortunately have your copies reprinted.

The library and doctoral delegate will not make any corrections. You are responsible for making any necessary corrections. Once you have completed the corrections, you will receive a receipt from the library.

 

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12. Application for Review of Admissions Requirements

12. What do I need to pay attention to when submitting my application to have the admissions requirements for the doctoral studies process reviewed (Dr. rer. medic.) zu beachten?

The application for review of admissions requirements must be submitted an advance by all doctoral candidates pursuing the degree Dr. rer. medic..

As soon as you have found a supervisor at the Faculty of Medicine here, please submit the following documents to your respective doctoral delegate:

  • Application for review of admissions requirements (Template 8 of the Info Sheet for Admission to Doctoral Studies)
  • Other documents in accordance with Template 8
  • A signed tabular resume with date of birth, place of birth, and country of birth if you were not born in Germany
  • Supervision confirmation – both original and a copy
  • Certificates – diploma and exam certificate, both notarized copies

Once your application has been reviewed, your doctoral supervisor will receive a request to conduct a test in theoretical medicine with you.

Once you have passed the test, you will receive a letter about the admissions requirements for the doctoral studies process and the requirements you still need to fulfill.

 

13. Information about the PhD program

13.1 Where can I find information about the PhD program?

If you have questions about the M.D./Ph.D. program, please contact:

Un​iv.-Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Michael Huber
Head of the M.D./Ph.D. program
Phone: +49 241 80-88830

Office: Monika Becker
Phone: +49 241 80-88717

 

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