Questions on specific data and on the University Statistics Law
What is the University Statistics Law?
The German Law on University Statistics is the basis for federal statistics for the purposes of legislation and planning in the higher education sector and at the vocational academies as well as for fulfilling data delivery obligations under European law.
The amendment of the University Statistics Act of 6 March 2016 obliges our university to collect comprehensive doctoral candidate data every year on 1 December and forward it to the Federal Statistical Office. For the first time in Germany, a valid data set for doctoral candidate statistics is to be created that can meet the extended data requirements of the EU and the requirements of the Federal Education Report on Young Academics.
At present, statistical reports on doctoral candidates and on doctorates can be reported via Docfile.
Further information on doctoral statistics can be found at University Statistics Law.
What documents are required for a registration in Docfile?
In order to process your application for admission as a doctoral candidate or your registration in Docfile (in the case of doctoral projects already in progress) and to validate the data relevant to the University Statistics Law, it is necessary to provide proof of your details.
As a rule, the required proofs are scans of university entrance qualifications, degree certificates, proof of examination certificates, confirmation of supervision/agreements, confirmation of graduate schools, if applicable, as well as certificates of enrolment and course of study. A detailed list of the required documents will be displayed in the digital assistants when you apply for admission as a doctoral candidate and admission to open the doctorate proceedings. If you have any questions, please contact the doctoral office responsible for you.
Please note that you may also need to submit the original documents to the doctoral office. You will receive information on this in the application process.
Is it possible to upload documents at a later point in time?
Yes, you can save your data in the digital assistant for admission as a doctoral candidate and admission to open the doctoral proceedings at any time and end it. You can continue your application or registration at a later date, upload documents and complete the registration by sending your details. If you have already completed registration, you can make your documents available under "Overview", "Postgraduate records" (D), "Documents" with "Add document".
What information is required for the place of conducting the doctorate?
Please enter the primary place of conducting your doctorate, which is not necessarily the same as your faculty. (For example: You are employed by the Forschungszentrum Jülich under an employment contract and mainly carry out your research project there. At the same time, you are admitted to the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences at the University of Cologne as a doctoral candidate. Please indicate Forschungszentrum Jülich as the place of conducting your doctorate).
What information is required to identify the "type of doctorate"?
Please indicate whether you will be conducting your doctorate in cooperation with another institution. In case of changes or the start of a cooperation with another institution. A cooperation must only be reported if it is an institutional cooperation, i.e. if the cooperation is based on a contract or an agreement. This type of cooperative doctorate is to be distinguished from purely scientific cooperations, which are also queried during registration in Docfile. Please remember to upload a proof in Docfile.
The University Statistics Law classifies the types of doctorates as follows:
01 = Doctorate at higher education institution authorised to award doctorates
(e. g. University of Cologne)
01 = Doctorate at higher education institution authorised to award doctorates (including cooperation with another university in Germany)
(e. g. RWTH Aachen, Rheinische-Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn, Heinrich Heine Universität Düsseldorf, Deutsche Sporthochschule Köln, Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg, Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen, LMU München, TU München, HU Berlin, FU Berlin, TU Berlin)
02 = Doctorate at higher education institution authorised to award doctorates in cooperation with a university abroad
(e. g. cotutelle de thése, ETH Zürich, University of Birmingham, Università degli Studi di Firenze, Universiteit Leiden, Linnaeus University, Université de Nantes, Semmelweis Egyetem, Sun Yat-sen University, KU Leuven, Univerzita Karlova, Radboud Universiteit, Keio University, University of Cape Town, University of Colorado at Boulder)
03 = Doctorate at higher education institution authorised to award doctorates in cooperation with a university of applied sciences
(e. g. TH Köln, Hochschule Bonn-Rhein-Sieg, Hochschule für Musik und Tanz Köln, Cologne Business School, Kunsthochschule für Medien Köln)
04 = Doctorate at higher education institution authorised to award doctorates in cooperation with a research institution
(e. g. Max-Planck-Institute, Forschungszentrum Jülich, Helmholtz-Institute, GESIS-Institut der Leibniz-Gesellschaft, Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrttechnik, Fraunhofer Institut, caesar, Deutsches Zentrum für neurodegenerative Erkrankungen, Deutsches Zentrum für Infektionsforschung, Deutsches Zentrum für Diabetesforschung, Deutsches Zentrum für Herz-Kreislauf-Forschung)
05 = Doctorate at higher education institution authorised to award doctorates in cooperation with industry or other institution
(e. g. Bayer AG, Siemens AG, thyssenkrupp, LANXESS, Deloitte, L’Oréal, Henkel AG & Co. KGaA, Capgemini Invent)
What information is required to indicate scientific cooperations?
When indicating scientific cooperations, please list all other cooperations you have entered into so far during your doctorate. This may involve cooperation with individual persons and professorships, but also with institutions. (For example, once a year you will have the opportunity to discuss your research project with your Australian colleagues in a retreat with doctoral candidates as part of the Jülich - Melbourne programme. Please indicate this as scientific cooperation. Another possible example is the professional support of a professor or similar, who invites you to regular exchanges within your own institution, e.g. in the context of a research colloquium.
What information is required for membership in a graduate program?
The integration of doctoral candidates in structured graduate institutions distinguishes a doctorate at the University of Cologne. As a doctoral candidate, you are integrated in the Graduate school of your faculty. Therefore, please create a membership file in the respective faculty graduate school below. Information on the Graduate schools of the individual faculties can be found here.
Please also indicate all other memberships in structured graduate institutions (e.g. GRK, Research schools in Clusters of Excellence, Helmholtz Schools, IMPRS, SFB, IRTG, TRR). It is possible to add several memberships. If you do not know yet whether and in which program you are doing your doctorate, please indicate the program in which you expect to do your doctorate.
In the course of the mandatory annual data update, you may update your information and/or add new memberships if necessary.
All employees who will be working on your doctorate at the University of Cologne have access to individual data required for their activities - regulated by a differentiated rights and role concept - via Docfile. It is therefore important that you correctly identify all memberships in graduate programs so that the relevant persons can contact you via Docfile.
I would like to do my doctorate in the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences. Which is the responsible graduate school for me?
When applying for admission as a doctoral candidate, you will be asked in Docfile to create a graduate file in the graduate school responsible for you. In the future, coordinators will manage your graduate school membership through the graduate file. Membership in a faculty graduate school is mandatory for doctoral candidates according to the doctoral regulations of 12.03.2020.
In the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, the assignment to the graduate schools is based on your doctoral subject.
For example, if you are pursuing a doctorate in chemistry, please select the CGSC - Cologne Graduate School Chemistry as your graduate school.
If you have any questions, please contact the Docfile support of the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences. mnf-docfileuni-koeln.de
Bonn-Cologne Graduate School of Physics and Astronomy (BSGS):
CGSC - Cologne Graduate School Chemistry
Graduate School Mathematics/Computer Science
GSfBS - Graduate School for Biological Sciences
GSGS - Graduate School of Geosciences
Geology and Mineralogy
GSLB - Graduate School for Teacher Education
Didactics of Chemistry
Didactics of science education
Didactics of geography
Didactics of Mathematics
Didactics of Physics
In Docfile I am asked to upload a Confirmation of academic / supervision agreement and, if applicable, a confirmation of the graduate school? Why is this necessary and what can I do if I cannot fulfil this requirement?
If you have not yet concluded a supervision agreement, please ask your supervisor and the faculty graduate school about the possibility of signing such an agreement. You can find a legally verified model of a supervision agreement and further information here.
Please note that in some faculties it is mandatory in the doctoral regulations whether a supervision agreement must be signed. In Docfile you will soon be able to use the download function in the Doctoral File to download faculty-specific templates for supervision agreements/agreements, e.g. from the Faculty of Human Sciences.
If you do not (yet) have the relevant documents or if you are not required to do so, you can continue to fill out the digital assistant without uploading any documents. At a later point in time, you can provide any missing documents under "My profile", "Postgraduate file" (D), "Documents" by clicking on "Add document".
What do I have to enter in the field "supervisor"?
Please indicate the official supervisor of your doctoral project. This is usually a university professor at the University of Cologne. Your entry will be checked by the relevant Doctoral Office after the digital assistant has been sent to you.
The receipt of the notification of admission is accompanied by the official confirmation of the first supervisor of your doctoral project. Please note that future doctoral candidates of the Faculty of Law are accepted as doctoral candidates directly by their supervisor.
Please also indicate which persons will also supervise you in terms of content, e.g. a junior research group leader.
If you have not yet found a supervisor, you will find supporting information here.
Which date must be entered in the data field "Start of doctoral project"?
In the data field "Start of doctoral project", please indicate when you actually started working on your doctorate. This may have already taken place before the official acceptance as a doctoral candidate in the faculty.
What information is required for the data field "Date of Dissertation topic confirmation"?
In the data field "Date of Dissertation topic confirmation" , please enter the date on which your supervisor assigned the doctoral thesis to you.
In the data field "Type of dissertation" it is possible to specify a cumulative dissertation. I am not sure whether I should write a cumulative dissertation?
Please check the box only if you are aiming for a cumulative dissertation and you meet the formal requirements for it. Please note that the indication in Docfile is initially a declaration of intent, which you can change at any time. In order to do a cumulative doctorate, an additional application to your faculty may be required. This is regulated by the doctoral regulations that apply to you. Please consult your supervisor and the doctoral office if you have any questions.
Please note that when applying to open the doctorate proceedings, you are making a binding statement with your decision to do a cumulative doctorate.
What information is required under "Type of Higher Education Entrance Qualification"?
Please provide information about your higher education entrance qualification. The type of qualification to be indicated is the highest general school leaving certificate granting first access to the German higher education system. This also applies if the higher education entrance qualification would not entitle the holder to enter the current degree program upon first admission to the German higher education system. In the case of an entrance qualification for universities of applied sciences (Fachhochschulreife) consisting of school and vocational parts, the date and place of the school components must be indicated.
Please remember to upload proof of this in Docfile.
What information must be entered for the periods of study?
In order to be able to show your first enrolment statistically correctly and at the same time process your application for admission as a doctoral candidate, it is necessary to provide all periods of study. Please provide proof of all the information you have entered eletronically under "My profile", "Postgraduate file" (D), "Documents" by clicking on "Add document".
Due to the variety of study programmes in Germany, many details are available. Please note that you may have to scroll to specify a Master's degree. In this Definition Catalogue you can find out the exact name of your degree.
If the relevant subject is not listed, please contact the central Docfile support: firstname.lastname@example.org
When is winter semester and when summer semester selected in the course of study?
For the University Statistics Law, persons interested in a doctorate or doctoral candidates must provide information on whether their studies/university periods began in the summer or winter semester.
The classification of the semester times is specified by Federal Statistical Office destatis and exclusively reflects the German higher education system.
The summer semester always begins on April 1 and ends on September 30 of the year.
The winter semester always begins on October 1 and ends on March 31 of a year.
e.g.: An international doctoral candidates enters September 1 as the start of the semester at another university. At the university there, the academic year is divided into trimesters, i.e. there are a total of three terms, the last of which begins on September 1.
The summer semester must now be selected as the semester for the start of studies, since according to the German system September 1st falls in the summer semester.
Similarly, the winter semester must be selected for a study start on March 1.
Which degree do I need to select when registering?
Due to the numerous different types of degree programs and educational institutions, a large selection is stored in the drop-down menu. In order to select the relevant designation for you, please refer to the definition catalog for student and examination statistics of the Federal Statistical Office destatis.
What is the university degree that qualifies for the doctorate?
Please enter the university degree that entitles you to a doctorate here. If several university degrees in combination lead to doctoral eligibility, please select the degree you obtained most recently. Please make sure to include in Docfile all completed periods of study (including interrupted and not completed studies) with corresponding evidence.
Therefore, please remember to upload a corresponding proof in your electronic file a Docfile.
What information can I enter for the type of funding?
The information on funding is an optional query that is intended to provide information on the involvement and, if applicable, the burden of doctoral students. Based on your information, support needs can be identified and defined.
The University Statistics Law also requires information about employment at the University of Cologne or the Uniklinik Cologne. This information is recorded automatically via an internal interface. Information on employment contracts with the UzK and the UKK therefore does not have to be made additionally.
What information can I enter for the family situation?
The information on the family situation is an optional query that is intended to provide information on the involvement and, if applicable, the burden of doctoral candidates. Based on your information, support needs can be identified and defined.
The compatibility of doctoral studies and family is a central topic that is given high priority at the University of Cologne. Your (voluntary) information can help to improve the situation for future doctoral students. You can find information about support services on the topic of reconciling doctoral studies and family life here.
I have discontinued my doctoral project at the University of Cologne. How do I have to proceed?
Soon you will have the possibility to declare the discontinuation of your doctorate in Docfile via the digital assistant for data update. Until then, please continue to contact your supervisor and your doctoral office directly to declare the discontinuation of your doctorate. In order to exmatriculate as a doctoral student, it is also necessary to notify the Student Application and Registration Office of the discontinuation of your doctoral studies and to exmatriculate.
If you are thinking about discontinuing your doctorate, you can contact the Albertus Magnus Center team confidentially at any time. We will discuss the next steps with you and put you in contact with the appropriate office.
In case of problems and conflicts, you can also contact the ombudsperson of your own faculty, but also of any other faculty.
Furthermore, you can also contact the general ombudsperson for Early-career researchers at the University of Cologne.
Why is it obligatory to provide information on stays abroad as part of the doctorate?
The University of Cologne is obliged to collect this information as part of the amended Higher Education Statistics Law. This information is required for the statistical reporting of doctorates in the final examination statistics.