• Assessment - Criteria for reviewing a doctoral thesis

    Dear Colleagues,

    We would like to ask you to review this Doctoral Dissertation submitted to the Faculty of Philological and Cultural Studies of the University of Vienna. Please indicate whether the dissertation should be accepted and grade it according to the following criteria. (Of course, the importance of each aspect may vary according to the topic and the field of study).

    • Research hypothesis and aim of research. Relation to the current state of research.
    • Originality (how innovative is this dissertation?).
    • Range, significance and selection of topic of investigation / source material / corpus (how representative is the material analyzed?).
    • Method/methodology (is the method adequate / effective?). Are the methods/concepts/theories/approaches appropriate?)
    • Scholarship (what is the level of methodological and theoretical reflection?)
    • Structure of the dissertation (how convincing is the structure/approach?)
    • Style / Stringency of the argument. (Are the research questions and aims pursued in a stringent manner?)
    • Conclusion (how convincing is the confirmation/refutation of the research hypothesis?) Are the results accurate and convincing? Do they constitute an innovative contribution to scholarship in the field? Do they indicate/open up fields for further research?

    At the end of your assessment there should be a summary of the reasons for your grade,
    based on the strengths and weaknesses of the dissertation in the areas of content, methodology, form and language and style as well as on the degree of innovation.


    Thank you very much for your cooperation in evaluating our Ph.D.-students!

    Director of the Doctoral Study Program DSPL 42
    Univ.Prof. Dr. Kathrin Sartingen

  • Cotutelle de thèse

    For advice and detailed information please contact the Center for Doctoral Studies.

  • Cumulative Dissertations - Guideline

    Guidelines for Cumulative Dissertations by Office of the President for Studies legislation and affairs

    I. Definition

    The term ‘cumulative dissertation’ applies to scientific papers whose conclusions are not presented in the form of a monograph, but rather in that of a compilation of publications or publication manuscripts. Said manuscripts can have been accepted for publishing or submitted to publications for evaluation.

    However, in their entirety and in terms of their scientific content, cumulative dissertations are subject to the formal requirements applicable to dissertations in monograph form.

    The publications / manuscripts included into the dissertation may be written in different languages.

    The publications / manuscripts shall be contextually linked and fit within the scope of a congruous, superordinate analysis, which in turn is reflected in the topic of the dissertation.

    II. Formal Structure

    Cumulative dissertations shall be submitted in bound form; all sections – irrespective of the printing format of the original publication – shall be copied onto DIN-A4-format sheets. Consecutive numbering of all sheets, including publications, is mandatory.

    a. Cover Sheet

    The layout of the cover sheet is subject to the Statutory Order Regarding Formal Requirements when Submitting Scientific Papers (published in the Bulletin of the University of Vienna, 39th issue, no. 260, on 24 September, 2015).

    b. Table of Contents

    The page numbers indicated in the table of contents refer to the consecutive numbering of the dissertation pages. Bound publications / manuscripts shall be mentioned as chapters, featuring page numbering. The processing / development status of manuscripts not yet published at the time of dissertation submission shall be mentioned; hereby, the following categories are admissible:

    • accepted for publishing in a publication / book / anthology
    • submitted for publishing
    • manuscript currently being processed

    Further materials belonging to the dissertation, which are not intended for publication, can be presented in separate chapters.

    c. Preamble

    Publications shall be preceded by a preamble delineating the research project. Said preamble shall elucidate the manner in which the publications / manuscripts are contextually linked within the realm of a superordinate analysis, as well as the concrete aspects each particular publication / manuscript is concerned with.

    d. Synopsis of the Publications / Manuscripts

    Every (peer-reviewed) publication and manuscript included in the dissertation shall feature the author’s name, the title, information pertaining to the processing / development status of a yet unpublished manuscript, as well as an indication of the submitter’s own contribution. All of the above is of crucial importance in the process of scientific evaluation of the submitted paper.

    Specifications on publications and manuscripts

    • released publications è comprehensive bibliographical reference of the publication
    • manuscripts accepted for publication è date of the letter of acceptance
    • submitted manuscripts è date of the acknowledgement of receipt
    e. Concluding Discussion

    The concluding discussion refers to the academic paper and the publications / manuscripts included in it, in their entirety. The concluding discussion is of vital significance in the evaluation process of a cumulative dissertation and must consolidate the discrete conclusions of the individual publications / manuscripts. Special emphasis must be given to coherent elucidation of the manner in which the included publications / manuscripts contribute to concluding the analysis making the object of the dissertation and delineated in the preamble. Furthermore, the utilised methodology shall be comprehensively discussed. The final section shall be dedicated to the contribution the academic paper brings to scientific progress in the relevant field of research.

    Remark: if thematically expedient, the preamble can be compounded with the concluding discussion.

    f. Abstract

    As is the case for all dissertations, an abstract in German and in English is also an integral part of a cumulative dissertation. Special emphasis shall be given hereby to a synopsis of the major topics featured in the preamble and the overall discussion. The customary formal requirements apply to cumulative dissertations, as well (e. g. academic curriculum vitae, list of references, correct quotation, etc.).

    III. Evaluation of a Cumulative Dissertation

    In accordance with the Statutes (§ 16), the President for Studies legislation and affairs nominates two evaluators by joint agreement with the study programme director(s).

    Each of the two evaluators writes an individual assessment of the dissertation in its entirety. The release of one or several publications in peer-reviewed journals shall not bias the evaluators’ decision.

    The evaluators shall be competent in the relevant field and scientifically recognised on an international level, so that they can properly evaluate the subject matter of the dissertation; however, no close relationship may exist between the evaluators and the submitter of the dissertation.

    Joint authorship of the candidate and one or both of the evaluators in the realm of the dissertation’s subject matter is prohibited.

    Joint authorship of the candidate and her / his thesis coordinator precludes the coordinator from acting as an evaluator.

    The thesis coordinator is entitled to submitting a written statement to the evaluators.

    IV. Submission of a Cumulative Dissertation

    a. Electronic submission

    When uploading the electronic version of the dissertation to the ‘Hochschulschriften- Server’ (electronic-university-publication-server) the dissertation is not to be put online. Additionally a hold is to be requested.

    The duration of the hold has to comply with the publishers’ online embargo.

    Remark: Most publishers lay an embargo on dissertations between 12 and 24 months in the natural sciences and up to 36 months in the humanities.

    These measures ensure that publishers’ rights (commercial utilisation) are not violated.

    b. Submission of the dissertation in hard copy

    Detailed information on this topic and the relevant documents are available at the Student Service Centres.

  • Defence – Guideline

    The public defence takes 60 minutes in all, of which a maximum of 20 minutes are devoted to the presentation by the candidate and about 30 minutes to the examination by the appointed thesis committee. The thesis committee then holds an internal discussion about the conduct and result of the defence.

    The student’s task during the defence is to present their doctoral thesis, to take into account any issues raised in the reviewers’ reports, to respond to questions from the thesis committee and to “defend” their thesis against any points of criticism.

    The task of the thesis committee is to support and guide the process of discussion about the doctoral project, to pose questions about it to the student and, where appropriate, to address any remaining issues arising from the reviewers’ reports.

    The assessment of the defence is based solely on the candidate’s oral performance in the presentation and discussion parts of the procedure. The doctoral thesis will already have been assessed separately and so does not form part of the grading of the defence.

    The grades to be awarded for the defence range from 1 to 5, with 1 being the best (excellent) and 5 the worst (insufficient). Grade 5 thus means that the candidate has not passed. Each examiner awards a grade individually and no overall grade needs to be agreed upon within the committee. The final grade can either be the one awarded by the majority of examiners (for example: 1,1,1,3 = 1) or calculated as the arithmetic mean (if all grades vary, for example: 1,2,3,4 = 2).

    Director of the Doctoral Study Program DSPL 42
    Univ.Prof. Dr. Kathrin Sartingen

  • Doctoral thesis agreement - Guideline

    Dear doctoral candidates and dissertation supervisors,

    since questions about certain points frequently arise when concluding the dissertation agreement, we would like to provide you with some information that should make it easier to fill in the form.

    Under point 7 (Regulation of courses to be completed), courses should be indicated that support the research project in a professionally meaningful way and comprise a total of 24 ECTS according to the requirements of the curriculum. As a rule, this corresponds to a minimum of three seminars. These should be chosen from the courses offered by the doctoral programme (i.e. dissertation colloquia and seminars, which either come from the courses offered by the institutes themselves or from the interdisciplinary courses offered by DSPL 42).

    Other types of courses (e.g. master's seminars, lectures, proseminars, reading courses), which the doctoral candidates consider useful for the research project in consultation with their supervisors, can be completed by the students and recorded in the transcript with the respective ECTS credits. However, they are not relevant to the curriculum (i.e. they do not count among the mandatory three courses). Therefore, they do NOT need to appear in the dissertation agreement.

    Only one of these curriculum-relevant courses can already be completed before the approval of the research topic (during the public presentation - Dies Doctoralis). In this case, it can be included in the doctoral thesis agreement. If the course was completed BEFORE the admission to the doctoral programme, or in a completely different programme at the University of Vienna, an application for recognition must be submitted. This shall be submitted with the doctoral thesis agreement.

    Only one of these curriculum-relevant courses can be completed at another (also foreign) university. In this case, it can also be included in the doctoral thesis agreement. If the course was completed BEFORE the admission to the doctoral programme, an application for recognition must be submitted. This shall be submitted with the doctoral thesis agreement.

    In addition, one of the curriculum-relevant courses can be replaced by an individual academic achievement. This includes, among others: scientific publication, active participation in an international conference (with own presentation), etc. This would be specified under point 9 of the doctoral thesis agreement.

    We would like to ask you to specify the number of ECTS to be acquired in each case.

    Under point 8 you can specify the courses for softening your skills which are offered by Center for Doctoral Studies. However, these are not relevant to the curriculum and therefore do not count among the 24 ECTS.

    On behalf of doctoral candidates, you should also clarify the points 4, 5 and 6 of the agreement.

    We hope that this information sheet will provide orientation and thus facilitate the completion of the doctoral thesis agreement.

    Director of the Doctoral Study Program DSPL 42
    Univ.Prof. Dr. Kathrin Sartingen

  • Exposé - Guideline

    As described in the statutes of the University of Vienna concerning the doctoral program, precondition for the approval of the doctoral thesis’ topic and supervisor is to (a) submit a dissertation proposal and to (b) have a successful public oral defense of the proposal at the Faculty of Philological and Cultural Studies. It is then that a “doctoral thesis agreement” will be signed.

    In order to be admitted to the oral defense of the proposal, a dissertation proposal (german or english) fulfilling the following requirements has to be submitted::

    • Length: 10-12 pages (DinA 4, approx. 20 000 characters without bibliography; Times NewRoman, 12 pt; 1.5 line spacing)
    • Clear description of the objective of the dissertation project: precise definition of researchquestion(s) and aims as well as a clearly defined description of the project’s scientificrelevance
    • Specification of the object of investigation
    • State of the art in the respective field of research, description of the project’s position withinthe context of current research: identification of the research gap, explanation regarding theinnovative potential of the respective project)
    • Overview of the underlying theoretical concepts
    • Description of methods to be used
    • Work schedule and timeline
    • Bibliography (approx. 2 pages)

    The Exposé should be preceded by an abstract in lenght of max. 10 lines.

    Adherence to these guidelines is compulsory in order to be registered for the public presentation at the Faculty for Philological and Cultural Studies of the University of Vienna.

    Director of the Doctoral Study Program DSPL 42
    Univ.Prof. Dr. Kathrin Sartingen