Advisory Services & Mentoring

The Graduate Academy advises you on all questions concerning your (intended) doctorate, i.e. on general surrounding conditions, financing, international mobility, compatibility of family and career as well as in conflict situations. This service is available in German and English.

Welcome and Service Desk for Doctoral Candidates and Postdocs

At the Welcome and Service Desk, assistance and advice are offered to all doctoral candidates of the University of Jena concerning i.a. the following topics:

  • First steps to the doctorate
  • Registration and admission as a doctoral candidate
  • Enrolment
  • Information on the funding of a doctorate
  • Advice possibilities
  • Help to find a (german) proof reading service
  • Information concerning the offers of the Graduate Academy e.g. the qualification programme or events
  • Transfer to the proper contact person at FSU and beyond that

You can find the welcome and service desk on the ground floor in the House for Young Researchers (vis-à-vis to the cafeteria).

Opening hours:
Monday, Wednesday 9.00-13.00 h
Tuesday, Thursday 9.00-16.00 h

Consulting and counselling for doctoral candidates

The Graduate Academy offers personal advice and counselling. This service is available to all doctoral candidates. You can address crucial questions, such as:

  • Do I really want to do a doctorate?
  • How do I obtain my doctoral degree in Germany, particularly in Jena?
  • How can I balance a family and a career?
  • What is necessary in order to finish my dissertation?
  • How do I plan and finance a stay abroad in the course of my doctorate?

Please contact the Welcome and Service Desk for Doctoral Candidates and Postdocs on the ground floor of the House for Young Researchers to make your personal appointment with Dr. Gunda Huskobla.

Consulting on international mobility

Our international mobility consulting service offers:

  • help for international doctoral candidates and their local supervisors to prepare their stay in Jena (incoming advisory services)
  • help for doctoral candidates at Friedrich Schiller University Jena who are planning a stay abroad in the course of their doctorate (outgoing advisory services)
  • help with all questions concerning binational doctorates (incoming and outgoing advisory services).

Please contact the Welcome and Service Desk for Doctoral Candidates and Postdocs on the ground floor of the House for Young Researchers to make your personal appointment.

Consulting in cases of conflict

The Graduate Academy has ombudsman who mediate when there are severe conflicts between doctoral candidates and their supervisors.

The ombudsman are two experienced academics who act independently and impartially, and who maintain the strictest confidence. They have their background in different disciplines:

In cases of conflict, please contact Dr. Gunda Huskobla. She supports the activities of the ombudsman in the office of the Graduate Academy and pass on your request.

In the event of suspicions or accusations concerning scientific misconduct, please contact one of the persons of trust. The German Research Foundation (DFG) has also deployed an ombudsman for science whom you may approach.


Career-Mentoring for STEM-doctoral candidates

The programme "Career-Mentoring for STEM-doctoral candidates" seeks to support doctoral candidates in natural and life sciences preparing for a career in industry and society. They will receive individual mentoring by experienced people working in industry and society, who successfully built a career outside academia after their doctorate and are now willing to share their knowledge and experience. The mentoring programme is part of the project "Natural sciences in industry and society", funded by the Joachim Herz Foundation.

Applications are open to German and international doctoral students and early postdocs (up to a maximum of one year after the doctorate) from the STEM subjects at Friedrich Schiller University Jena, who are approaching a turning point in their professional careers. An application is possible until 1 June 2020. Further information can be found here.

Rowena Morse Mentoring Programme

Are you a doctoral candidate or a postdoctoral researcher at the Friedrich Schiller University Jena or another Thuringian university? Are you currently in the planning phase of your individual career path? Are you interested in an exchange with an experienced professor and like-minded peers? Are you motivated to network and to develop your personal profile? Then apply for the Rowena Morse Mentoring Programme!

The mentoring programme provides interdisciplinary support for female doctoral candidates in the final phase of their doctorates and for female postdoctoral researchers in the orientation phase of their individual careers. In addition to the placement of a mentor, specific workshops for further qualification are offered. Within the framework of peer mentoring, the mentees network with (young) scientists from other Thuringian universities and are accompanied in groups by experienced professors from the Thuringian universities. The programme runs for a total of 12 months and begins at the end of October/beginning of November of each calendar year.

The programme is financed by the Thüringer Kompetenznetzwerk Gleichstellung. The basic concept was developed at the Friedrich Schiller University Jena and further developed by the Mentoring Working Group of the Thuringian Equality Competence Network as a joint concept of Thuringia's universities.

The application deadline was 15th September 2019. If you have any questions, please contact Dr. Bianka Dettmer at the Office of the Vice President for Young Researchers and Diversity Management.

PhD – What's next?

The Graduate Academy offers advice

  • on academic career paths as well as
  • on how to use the abilities and skills gained during your PhD in a non-academic job setting.

Questions on your career after PhD? Please contact the Career Counselling and Postdoc Counselling.

More contact points at FSU

Family Office, Service Centre for Research and Transfer, Personnel Department, etc.: FSU offers a broad range of information and advisory services. This overview shows which office is responsible for what issues. Contact the Welcome and Service Desk for Doctoral Candidates and Postdocs for assistance to find the right contact person for your concern.

"JUniFamilie" University's Family Office
The University's Family Office provides information and advice on questions related to "living in Jena with children", on legal aspects linked to "family and career", and on cultural and leisure offers for families in Jena. For more information, click here.

Writing Center "SchreibenLernen"
The "Learn to Write" ("Schreibenlernen") centre is a contact point and forum for all those who want to develop their writing skills. It offers individual counselling and workshops. For more information, click here.

Promotion of research, research transfer and business start-ups
The Service Centre for Research and Transfer offers you information and advice on how to utilise your research results. The Service Centre's business start-up service provides consultancy on ideas for setting up business.

Equal Opportunity Office
The Equal Opportunity Office is the contact point for any questions regarding the promotion of women in academia, gender-sensitive staff policy issues, or individual situations of conflict or crisis in context with gender equality. The University's Gender Equality staff will be happy to help you. For more information, click here.

Advice concerning Diversity issues
In 2019, Friedrich Schiller University Jena appointed its first Diversity Officer. All employees and students are free to consult the Diversity Officer in order to receive advice or to register diversity-related problems. With the aim of removing barriers and realising equal opportunities for all, independent of ethnicity, religion, disability or gender, the Diversity Officer is involved in the planning and organisation of the conditions for teaching, studying and working at the university.

Guidance with regard to disabilities
The FSU has a representative body for disabled employees. It supports the integration of disabled persons into the university, represents their interests and gives them advice. For further information (in German), please click here.

Staff Council
The staff council provides advice primarily on questions of labour law or when there is a conflict with your superior. For more information, click here.

Personnel Department
FSU employees can turn to the Personnel Department if they have any questions regarding their work contract, payment or the application of the law on temporary employment in research and science (Wissenschaftszeitvertragsgesetz). For more information, click here.

Support programmes outside the University

There is a wide variety of supportive programmes for doctoral candidates even outside the University. Subsequently, you will find a list with an overview of those programmes (without claiming to be exhaustive).

Coaching programmes, that are particularly for academics, can be found amongst others at the website of Karriereberatung für Akademiker. For a nationwide search you can also retrieve information from the following data bank.

Proofreading and Translation of Texts
Ms. Margit Pantke as well as the Mathias Stolarz offer a proofreading service for scientific German texts. A database regarding the search for lectors can be found here.

With regard to scientific English texts, proofreading services are amongst others offered by Modilingua and Englischlektorat. A database regarding the search for translators can be found here.

Psychosocial Advisory Services
For social, financial, judicial or psychological issues, please contact the student services organisation (Studierendenwerk). Psychosocial counselling as well as legal advice is available both in German and English. It is free of charge to all enrolled doctoral candidates of FSU. The Psychosoziale Kontakt- and Beratungsstelle der Diakonie offers support for those going through a life crisis. Furthermore, those who are seeking directional guidance in their life or are suffering from mental illnesses can find support.

International doctoral candidates may also use the psychosocial advisory services of Refugio e.V. and the Migrationsdienst der AWO, which is offered in various languages (e.g. English, Russian, Arabic).

Tax Accountancy
You can take professional legal advice for your income tax statement by, for instance, Jenaer Lohnsteuerhilfe e.V. or Vereinigte Lohnsteuerhilfe e.V. A list with tax accountants can be found here.