PhD life

More information specific to your PhD life in Jena

First year

  • Organize your first PAC meeting within the first 5 months.
  • If you are uncertain about your first PAC meeting and how a PAC report should look, feel free to contact fellow PhDs who already had a PAC meeting - many are happy to share their experience.
  • Check the university requirements for submitting your PhD thesis once you have enrolled (or if you have different options, even before enrollment - e.g. how many manuscripts submitted/published do you need? This varies between universities and even faculties).
  • If you have more than one supervisor, discuss a way to make decisions in cases where people have different interests - is there one main supervisor who has the last word? Regular meetings with everyone? How do you decide the way ahead or find compromises?

Second year

  • Organize further PAC meetings to get regular and fruitful feedback on your project.
  • Check how many credit points you still need to collect and look for interesting courses, summer schools etc., both inside and outside the IMPRS curriculum. The IMPRS is collecting a list of additional opportunities here. Many courses, conferences and especially summer schools have application deadlines long before they take place - so this year might be the last good chance to apply.
  • If you haven’t done so yet, start thinking about your research stay abroad and discuss this at your PAC meeting - which lab, which scientist(s), and where? Your PAC members can also help identify good options and use their network to get you in touch with potential collaborators.

Final phase

  • Before renewing your visa / residence permit, check in with John / the IMPRS office for advice.
  • Latest now, think about whether your thesis should be written as monograph or cumulative thesis and check which rules apply at your university for either format.
  • Check the time frame for submission at your university. There are deadlines for faculty meetings, and forms and processing can take weeks or months.
  • Check deadlines, possible submission fees, printing requirements etc. at your university.
  • Talk to your supervisor about a possible extension, if needed, more than 3 months before your contract is set to finish.
  • …finish…
  • Take a look this discourse thread to get even more detailed information.

Stay well informed


In case of problems

If you are not satisfied with your situation as a PhD researcher (supervision, topic, financial situation), please talk to somebody whom you can trust instead of resigning to the situation. If in certain situations your adviser is not the right contact person, a strictly confidential meeting with

can be organized. This offer is only meant to help you finding ways to improve your situation, you do not have to fear any negative consequences.

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