Organise your Doctorate

This page is designed as a hub to Leuphana's doctoral candidates and to those who are intersted in pursuing their doctorate at Leuphana Universitäty of Lüneburg. This page provides a range of useful information to help you organise your doctorate effectively - from the supervision agreement to the publication of the dissertation.

Starting Phase

  • Binational Doctorate (Cotutelle Doctorates)
  • Cumulative Dissertation
  • Cumulative Dissertation - minimum standards
  • Enrolment
  • Legal Basis for Enrolment
  • Planning meeting
  • Semester Fee
  • Signing up for Doctoral Courses
  • Supervision Agreement
  • Doctoral Student's Council
  • Doctoral Student's Union

Starting Phase

Binational Doctorate (Cotutelle Doctorates)

All information about cotutelle programmes and a range of useful documents such as a checklist and a template cotutelle agreement can be found on the International Center pages.

Cumulative Dissertation

In the case of a cumulative doctorate, the dissertation is submitted in the form of at least three specialist articles or manuscripts and a framework paper. The framework paper serves to embed the specialist articles and manuscripts in the research question. The quality requirements for a cumulative dissertation correspond to those for a monographic dissertation.

 The concrete minimum standards for cumulative dissertations at Leuphana are standardised for all doctoral candidates in the doctoral regulations of the schools. Some schools additionally specify these in guidelines for cumulative dissertations for the requirements of the respective subjects and doctoral degrees.

The decision for or against a cumulative dissertation often depends on the subject area and should be discussed with your supervisor.

Cumulative Dissertation - minimum standards

The following standardised quality requirements apply to cumulative dissertations at Leuphana, irrespective of the chosen subject area or doctoral degree:

a. The number of articles or manuscripts submitted must not be less than three.

b. If submitted articles or manuscripts are written in co-authorship with other authors, the doctoral candidate's own contribution must be recognisable and explained and confirmed by the co-authors.

c. The categories of the Contributor Roles Taxonomy (CRediT) should be used to document the individual contribution.

d. At least one of the three reviewers appointed in accordance with § 3b of the Doctoral Degree Regulations may not also be a co-author of the scientific articles or manuscripts relevant to the doctorate.

e. The publication status of the submitted articles serves as (one) indicator of the quality of the scientific work, but does not replace the independent review process of the review committee.

f. The doctoral boards can define their own guidelines with regard to the required publication status and the value of the journals.

g. An important part of the review process of a cumulative dissertation is the framework paper and the embedding of the scientific articles or manuscripts along the lines of the research question.


For all questions on enrolment, please contact Leuphana Student Service.

Once you have been accepted, you will need to complete the formal enrolment process at Student Service. You will find the deadline for enrolment in the documents that were sent to you with the acceptance letter. Generally, the deadline is 14 days after receipt of the documents.

Enrollment ends at the earliest when you pass your disputation. De-registration takes place automatically at the end of the current semester. If you would like to be de-registered on the date of your last examination or at any other time during the current semester, please submit an application for de-registration.

Planning meeting

By the end of the first semester at the latest, you will have a so-called planning meeting with your supervisor. This includes joint agreements, e.g. on time and work schedules, funding, specific supervision, progress meetings as well as (further) qualification and career planning.

Semester Fee

As a doctoral candidate at Leuphana, you must enrol as a doctoral student.

The current semester fee is:

- Student union fee: 112 euros
- Student body contribution: 130,55 euros
(Semester ticket: 112,65 euros, incl. culture ticket. Stadt-Rad, Radspeicher, as well as 17,90 euros as a contribution to student self-administration)
-Contribution to administrative costs: 75 euros
- Total amount: 317,55 euros

A reduced semester fee applies to doctoral students who receive a scholarship from public funds:

- Student union contribution: 112 euros
- Student body contribution: 13,55 euros
(Semester ticket: 112,65 euros, incl. culture ticket. Stadt-Rad, Radspeicher, as well as 17,90 euros as a contribution to student self-administration)
-Total amount: 242,55 euros

With the timely receipt of the semester fee on the account of the Leuphana University of Lüneburg the enrolment and later the re-registration takes place.

Signing up for Doctoral Courses

You can register for courses on the doctoral courses via the myStudy platform, where the course catalogue is published, among other things. You can access myStudy with your Leuphana account either directly via the myStudy website or via the campus management system myCampus.

Please note: When using myCampus, you will find the application "myStudy" under the heading "Services". After clicking on the application, a new window will open in which you must then select the "Start login" button.

Supervision Agreement

Throughout your doctorate, you will be supervised by your supervisor, who was appointed by the doctoral board upon your admission. They will support you on your way to becoming part of the scientific community.

In order to clarify mutual expectations and with the aim of making the supervisory relationship transparent in terms of content and time, you will conclude a supervision agreement with your supervisor prior to admission to the doctorate. This also serves to ensure the quality of the planning and realisation of your doctoral project. Please submit the supervision agreement with your admission documents to Student Services.

Doctoral Student's Council

The Doctoral Student's Council ("Fachgruppenvertretung Promotion") represents the interests of doctoral candidates of all schools. In addition, the body organises various events for networking among doctoral candidates. Information on these activities can be found in the newsletter of the Fachgruppenvertretung, which can be subscribed via myStudy.

Doctoral candidates can contact the members via the following e-mail address:

Doctoral Student's Union

The Doctoral Student's Union ("Promovierendenvertretung") is a university body and its members attend meetings of the School Councils and Senate in an advisory capacity. The Doctoral Student's Union advises on questions and needs concerning doctoral candidates and makes recommendations to the university bodies.

Currently elected members are:

  • Esther-Marie Verbücheln for School of Education
  • N.N. for School of Culture and Society
  • Maximilian Wagenknecht for School of Mangement and Technology
  • Simon Norris for School of Sustainability
  • Jan Dorwig for School of Public Affairs

Doctoral candidates can contact the Council members via the following e-mail:

Research Phase

  • Certificate of Attendance for Doctoral Courses
  • Contact persons in Student Service
  • Course Catalogue
  • Doctoral Board
  • Doctoral Boards of the schools
  • Doctoral Regulations
  • Doctoral Regulations of the schools
  • Doctoral Research Groups
  • Doctorate and Family
  • Doctorate and Family: Useful Links
  • Good Scientific Practice
  • Recognition of External Credits
  • Recognition for External Credits: Form
  • Research Data Management

Research Phase

Certificate of Attendance for Doctoral Courses

In order for your participation in the classes of the doctoral courses to be documented in myCampus, you must register in myStudy for the class(es) you wish to attend. Six months after the end of the respective semester at the latest, you can see in myCampus for which class your participation has already been certified.
In the doctoral courses, you complete each of the six modules with a certificate of achievement (5 CP each). Possible certificates of achievement are 1) presentation and 2) report. The modules are not graded.

When submitting your dissertation, you must prove that you have successfully completed all modules (with a total of 30 CP).

Contact persons in Student Service

Melanie Maselkowski | Phone: 04131-677-1407
Svenja Rehder | Fon: 04131-677-1417
Johanna Wille | Phone: 04131-677-1409


Course Catalogue

The course catalogue is published in myCampus via the myStudy application twelve weeks before the start of lectures. The user guide on the myStudy homepage explains how to create your timetable online or register for courses. Some courses may have a limited number of participants. You should therefore check the course catalogue for the coming semester in good time.

Doctoral Board

Responsibility for running all doctoral programmes and examination procedures lies with the five schools. The schools appoint the members of the doctoral boards, whose role is

  • to assess the applications received on their academic merits and approve applicants;
  • to assign successful applicants to one of the doctoral research groups;
  • to decide on applications for extensions;
  • to decide on applications for a change of doctoral regulations or doctoral research group;
  • to appoint the reviewers' committee for assessing your thesis.

Information on the dates of meetings and members of the doctoral boards is available here:

Doctoral Regulations

Please read the doctoral regulations carefully as they are the legal basis for your doctorate. The doctoral regulations set out in detail the applicable prerequisites and procedures for doctorates at Leuphana University of Lüneburg. The doctoral regulations define:

  • the admission requirements,
  • the procedure for thesis submission,
  • the thesis defence procedure and
  • criteria for thesis publication

The doctoral degulations also describe the structure of the doctoral courses and the responsibilities of the doctoral boards, reviewers’ committees and doctoral research groups at Leuphana University of Lüneburg.

Doctoral Research Groups

When accepted for a doctorate, each doctoral candidate becomes a member of a doctoral research group. The thematic focuses of the research groups are based on Leuphana's five Schools: education, culture, sustainability, public affairs and management and technology.

Switching doctoral research groups
In accordance with the doctoral regulations, the supervisor decides on any change of research group in consultation with the doctoral board. You and your supervisor should submit an application for the change to the competent doctoral board through the dean's office. There is no set form for such applications.

Doctorate and Family

Family Services at the Office for Equal Opportunities can help you with questions on pursueing the doctorate whilst meeting family obligations, and provide information on childcare options. For example, up to eight children of Leuphana students or employees can be looked after by childminders at the "Villa Milchzahn" child daycare centre.

The "GradKids" parent and child study room at the Graduate School allows you to take your child on campus with you for work at short notice or for brief periods without having to organise childcare. The room can be used both for individual study in the presence of your child/children and for group work, meetings and consultations Graduate School staff. The key for the room can be collected from the Family Services office, which should be contacted in advance.

Studentenwerk OstNiedersachsen also runs two child daycare centres of its own at Leuphana. Support is also available from the EliStu student project, which organises childcare and advises and connects student parents.

Good Scientific Practice

What are the rules for good scientific practice? How should the members of a university deal with cases of academic misconduct?

You can find information about the ombudspersons and members of the Ethics Committee and the "Richtlinie der Leuphana Universität Lüneburg zur Sicherung guter wissenschaftlicher Praxis und zum Verfahren zum Umgang mit wissenschaftlichem Fehlverhalten" [Guidelines for Ensuring Good Academic Practice and Dealing with Academic Misconduct at Leuphana University of Lüneburg"] or Ethics Guidelines on the pages about Research at Leuphana.

The seminar "The Good Scientist", which is offered every semester within the Doctoral Courses, also provides an overview of the rules of good scientific practice.

Recognition of External Credits

If you wish to have credits obtained in classes at other institutions recognised towards your doctoral programme, please submit an application to the spokesperson of your doctoral research group.

The application form must be accompanied by appropriate proof of successful participation from the external institution and brief written confirmation from your supervisor. This must show that the work to be recognised has contributed to your academic/scientific development as a doctoral candidate in terms of skills and expertise. Applications can only be approved if the external achievements are at least comparable with those required at Leuphana.

Please submit approved applications for recognition to Student Services.

Please note: credits obtained as part of a Bachelor or Masters degree cannot be recognised.

Some examples of credit-bearing courses and summer schools for doctoral students can be found here:

PhD Network - Courses for PhD students

The Ph.D. Network is a cooperation between German (including Leuphana) and Danish universities and research institutions, as well as the Inter-University Centre Dubrovnik in Croatia.

The common goals are the establishment, development and consolidation of a network for doctoral programmes. The network offers a mutual exchange of information on activities in the field of doctoral education via the website, which also provides access to these activities. No financial obligations arise from participation in these activities. The partners of the network support each other in raising funds for the expansion of further cooperation.

An overview of the courses offered for doctoral candidates can be found here:

VHB - pro dok

The Association of University Teachers of Business Administration (VHB) offers various courses for doctoral candidates that also include interdisciplinary courses, e.g. methods courses and diversity courses. You can find the current course overview here.

Recognition for External Credits: Form

Research Data Management

Leuphana's Research Data Management Service offers professional handling of research data in all phases of the research process. It provides consulting and support services, an infrastructure for archiving and publishing research data (PubData). In doing so, it follows the Leuphana Guidelines for Archiving Research Data.

Closing Phase

  • Disputation
  • Publication of the Dissertation
  • Research Data Management
  • Additional Information Research Data Management
  • Submission of Dissertation and Assessment

Closing Phase


The disputation is the oral defence of your dissertation. It is your opportunity to present your research findings, to defend those findings by responding to criticism and to engage with opposing views on a sound theoretical basis. The content of the doctoral defence thus builds on your thesis topic; you should also draw on the written reviewers' reports. It is also possible for disputations to extend to related areas of the field in question.

Disputations are held in German or English and are generally held four weeks after acceptance of the dissertation. The date and time are set by the chair of the reviewer's committee. Doctoral candidates open the 90-minute disputation with a presentation lasting 20 to 30 minutes.

A meeting of the reviewers' committee is held immediately after the disputation to decide on the result and award.
You can find more information on the disputation, including the option of organising a disputation as a secure video/online conference, in the doctoral regulations.

Preparation for the disputation

For doctoral candidates just about to complete their thesis or who have just completed their thesis, regular disputation courses are offered through GradSkills (category researching). The course is structured like a workshop and is designed to offer scope for participants' own disputation preparation alongside the necessary input phases. This opportunity for suggestions and feedback from a large group should allow you to test the approaches you have developed in front of an audience and to familiarise yourself with the unpredictable "question situation" of a disputation.

Publication of the Dissertation

Your thesis must be published within one year of your successful disputation and thus the completion of your doctorate. The form and number of deposit copies to be submitted to the library depends in part on whether your thesis is cumulative or a monography. You will find the exact provisions governing publication of dissertations in the Doctoral Regulations.

Please also note the publication information on the library pages, where you will also find the form for submitting electronic theses.

The library will issue you with proof of publication once you have submitted your deposit copies. To receive your doctoral certificate, please submit the proof of publication to your dean's office. The issue of your doctoral certificate signals the end of your doctorate and allows you to use the doctoral title.

More information on publishing at Leuphana University can be found here.

Research Data Management

Leuphana's Research Data Management Service offers professional handling of research data in all phases of the research process. It provides consulting and support services, an infrastructure for archiving and publishing research data (PubData). In doing so, it follows the Leuphana Guidelines for Archiving Research Data.

Submission of Dissertation and Assessment

Once you have completed your dissertation, you submit it and a number of other documents to the competent dean's office to start the doctoral assessment process. Doctoral candidates at the School of Sustainability submit their documents to Student Services. You can find information on the documents to be submitted with your thesis in the relevant doctoral regulations in the “submission of the thesis” section.

Once you have submitted your dissertation, the doctoral board will formally launch the doctoral assessment process and, if it has not already done so, appoint the members of the reviewer's committee. The reviewers have three months to assess the thesis. You will receive their reports at the end of this period at the latest, and your dissertation will be available to be read by members of the University in the dean's office together with the reports.

If your dissertation is graded as befriedigend [satisfactory] or higher, it will be accepted and your disputation will be held at the end of the period for which your thesis is available to read.

The period between submission of your dissertation and your disputation is usually around four to six months.