Frequently asked questions

Here we answer some of the frequently asked questions. By clicking on the question, you can jump directly to the answer.

I would like to obtain a doctorate from the Charité. Where and how can I find a topic?e ich ein Thema?

We provide a CURRENT catalogue of topics. If you do not find anything suitable there, please inquire at the Clinic/Institute about a topic corresponding to the “field of your choice”.  Unfortunately, not all institutions use this route in looking for suitable doctoral candidates.

 

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I have a diploma (Dipl.) as a certificate of graduation - !!! (from a university of applied sciences). Does this qualify me to do a Dr. rer, medic/Dr. rer. cur. doctorate?

As a rule, a diploma from a university of applied sciences qualifies you to pursue a doctorate. However, a binding decision will be made by the Thesis Commission when the thesis agreement is submitted along with the diploma.

 

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I have a Bachelor’s Degree. Can I pursue a doctorate with it?

Under the Thesis Regulation dated December 3, 2012, you can if your final mark is equivalent to an ECTS mark of A and if you have started a Master’s course, preferably in the life sciences. If this is not the case, you have to sit a comprehensive examination. The level of complexity and the fields of your exam will be determined on an individual basis by the Thesis Commission upon submission of your thesis agreement.

 

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Do I need an ethics committee approval?

According to § 15 of the Professional Code of Conduct of the Medical Chamber of Berlin, before conducting biomedical research involving humans and before beginning epidemiological investigations involving personal data, a physician must be advised about questions of professional ethics and about legal issues associated with the physician’s project by an ethics commission formed by a Medical Chamber or by a University Medical Department.

You will find the current Professional Code of Conduct for Berlin’s physicians at Opens external link in current window
The corresponding Text is § 15.2.

For information, please contact the Ethics Commission of the Charité, Dr Katja Orzechowski, tel. 030/450517221.

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Is there a certain time limit between the registration and the opening of a doctoral process?

No, there is no time limit.

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When do I have to register?

In any case, you have to register at the Thesis Office at the start of your doctoral process by completing the thesis agreement and irrespective of the academic degree, i.e., when you start scientific work on your planned topic. If you haven’t done this yet and if you have been working for more than half a year, please include a letter with the registration briefly stating the reason for the delay.

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Do I have to appear in person at the Thesis Office when I register for my doctoral process?

No, you can also send the thesis agreement and the associated enclosure by mail. Please complete the agreement by filling in all the fields, putting N/A in any fields that are not applicable. A confirmed copy will be sent to you by mail the following week.

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By when do the documents for admission of a MONOGRAPH for a Dr. rer. medic, Dr. rer. cur, PhD, MD/PhD or Dr. PH degree or for application for opening a paper-based doctorate have to be in at the Thesis Office?

At “About us”, you will find the schedule of sessions of the Thesis Commission. The documents in paper from and in part in electronic form must be in at the Thesis Office 13 calendar days before the session in question. The application for admission to a monograph must be submitted first in each case. If, while working on the doctoral topic, it is determined that it is not possible to do the paper-based doctorate that had actually been planned, then the application with a detailed explanation must be submitted at that point in time.

 

 

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I have registered and/or have been admitted according to the old Thesis Regulation before December 3, 2012. How much time do I still have to open the doctoral process under the rules of the old Thesis Regulation?

You still have time to do so till December 2, 2015.

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I have registered and/or have been admitted according to the old Thesis Regulation before December 3, 2012. Can I also open the doctoral process according to the new Thesis Regulation?

You have till December 2, 2015 to decide this yourself. After that, the transition period will have expired and you will have to open the doctoral process according to the new Thesis Regulation.

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I am having problems with my supervisor. What can I do?

Assigning a dissertation topic is not a private matter of a university teacher. Hence, in the event of persistent and major problems, one of the first places to contact before the Thesis Commission would be the management of the Clinic or Institute. You may also contact the Charité’s ombudspersons with confidence and ask for mediation or advice.

 

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My university teacher who has been supervising me is leaving the Charité. May he/she continue to be my supervisor?

He/she may continue supervising you after leaving the Charité if he/she remains a member of the Charité, i.e., if he/she retains his/her authorisation to teach at the Charité and is not appointed to teach e.g. at some other university. If he/she is no longer a member of the Charité, then the following applies:
1. If you registered before December 3, 2012, we will need a letter from the supervising teacher who had signed on the registration that he/she has handed over the supervision to …………….  
2. If you registered with a thesis agreement after December 3, 2012, the person named in item 2 can move up.

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Do I have to be present in person at the opening of my doctoral process (when handing in the completed dissertation)?

Yes, you have to identify yourself and sign a number of documents at the Thesis Office. But there are always exceptions. Please submit an appropriate request in writing stating reasons. The Thesis Commission will decide. But if your application is approved, this can only be done via a third party, not by mail.

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How long does a doctoral process take from the time of submission of the completed dissertation to the awarding of a doctorate?

About six months should be allowed for the process. The biggest factor of uncertainty is the amount of time the assessors will need. Unfortunately, only few assessors stay within the eight weeks allotted for assessing dissertations.

 

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What happens if the assessors exceed the time limit set for the review?

After the eight weeks, a procedure is initiated whereby the assessor is reminded every four weeks. The Thesis Commission decides on a case-by-case basis whether or not another assessor is to be appointed. The new assessor is again given eight weeks for the assessment. However, there is no guarantee in this case either that the assessment will be completed on time. But experience has shown that the assessment is likely to be completed sooner if we send a timely “reminder”.

 

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Is there a fixed period between the receipt of the assessment and the oral examination?

Old Thesis Regulation: No, there are no fixed periods. We assume that you are greatly interested in completing the doctoral process as quickly as possible. You will make the appointments with the examiners for the individual examinations yourself, but the appointment for the disputation will be made by us jointly.
New Thesis Regulation: Yes, the doctoral examination must be completed within two years.

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What questions are asked at the examination?

The Thesis Commission endeavours to designate the examiners according to the doctoral topic. This should be the primary area of interest.

 

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What kind of certificate of good conduct (private or official) is required?

No specific kind is required.

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What are primary data? For how long must primary data be kept?

Primary data are those on which the tables, graphics and figures of your dissertation are based. These data must be kept at least for ten years.

 

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What does post-graduate environment mean?

Post-graduate environment is a platform that provides further education and post-graduate training, which is necessary for a successful doctorate. This project is not active yet and hence it is not on offer as yet.

 

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What is a TOP journal?

To find out if a particular journal is a “top journal” (leading journal), please go to: admin-apps.webofknowledge.com/JCR/JCR
Sorted according to the Impact Factor, the top 30% of the journals in a particular field are short-listed. If the Eigenfactor is 0.01 or greater, the journal in question is a “top journal”. The Thesis Commission decides on the recognition of the professional journal. The Thesis Commission also decides on the recognition of publications with shared first authorship that have already been used in another doctoral process.

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When and where do I get my certificate?

You will receive your certificate and your doctorate at a presentation ceremony, up to five of which are held each year. As a rule, these events are held in the AudiMax of Humboldt University and the Free University. Once a year, such a ceremony is also held at the Konzerthaus in Gendarmenmarkt. Four weeks before such an event, you must have completed all parts of the doctoral process (examination(s), mandatory publication via the library) and submitted all the associated documents to the Thesis Office.

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I am unable to attend the ceremony. How do I get my certificate?

Following the award ceremony, the certificate will be kept at the Thesis Office. You can then pick it up at our office either personally or have it collected by a person authorised by you. In exceptional circumstances, we can also send you the document by post. For this purpose, we need a € 6,10 post-paid A4 return envelope with a German address.

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