Doctoral thesis project
Choosing a research topic, area of interest and methodology are important decisions that contribute significantly to the success of a research project. It is therefore essential that you work together with your supervisor and mentors to agree them.
Who can supervise my thesis project?
Before starting your programme of study, find out who would be able to supervise your proposed thesis project. From the winter semester 2018/19, admission onto the doctoral programme is dependent upon providing a provisional letter of support from a qualified internal member of staff. Therefore you must find a provisional supervisor in advance. In accordance with § 19 (2) Part B of the University of Klagenfurt Statute your supervisor must be a qualified professor who has completed a Habilitation, i.e. a venia docendi (authorisation to teach) in your thesis area. (Further information on qualified supervision staff at Alpen-Adria-Universität Klagenfurt can be found on the homepage of the relevant department or institute).
When making contact with a potential supervisor, it is important and helpful to provide them with a brief summary in writing of your thesis topic and main research question.
You should also find an additional qualified supervisor for your thesis as it is a requirement that doctoral students at Universität Klagenfurt are supervised or advised by a minimum of two people in the interests of transparency and quality. The second supervisor must have a venia docendi in a relevant subject, but does not have to be employed at Universität Klagenfurt. The most important thing is that they have expertise in a subject relevant to your thesis project. Alternatively or in addition to a second supervisor, you can also propose a mentor. In accordance with Curriculum 18W, mentors must be appointed from AAU academic staff; they do not have to have authorisation to teach, however they must hold a doctorate. If the mentor is to be a member of academic staff not authorised to teach, their area of research must align with your proposed research topic.
Have thesis project approved (curriculum 12W)
As outlined in Curriculum 12W, students submit an electronic DISS1 thesis project acceptance form.
Have thesis project approved (curriculum 18W)
As outlined in Curriculum 18W, students submit an electronic thesis project acceptance form (DISS1).
Do you want to work on a cumulative thesis?
A cumulative thesis is when the results of research are submitted as a collection of publications or manuscripts for publication rather than as a monograph. The entirety of the cumulative thesis must be commensurate with the academic contribution made by a monograph thesis. Further information can be found within the guidelines on cumulative doctoral theses issued by the rector of studies.
Guidelines issued by the rector of studies on cumulative doctoral theses
These guidelines set out a framework for the writing of cumulative theses should guidelines not have been issued by the relevant doctorate advisory committee.
II. Definition and requirements in terms of content
A cumulative thesis is when the results of research are submitted as a collection of publications or manuscripts for publication rather than as a monograph. The entirety of the cumulative thesis must be commensurate with the academic contribution made by a monograph thesis.
The publications/manuscripts used in the thesis may be written in different languages with the approval of the supervisor/mentor.
The publications/manuscripts must share a common research theme; the inclusion of publications on unrelated topics does not fulfil the requirements of a thesis.
III. Formal criteria on the structure of the thesis
The cumulative thesis must be submitted electronically and in print in bound form. All pages must be printed on A4, regardless of the format of the original publications. The pages must have continuous numbering; the page numbers of publications should also be printed.
- Cover page: The cover page should follow the presentation guidelines for theses issued by Alpen-Adria-Universität Klagenfurt.
- Contents: Page references on the contents page correspond with the page numbers on the thesis. Publications/manuscripts included in the thesis are listed as chapters with a page reference. The status of unpublished manuscripts must be stated at the time of submitting the thesis. The following categories should be used:
- Accepted for publication by a newspaper/book/anthology
- Submitted for publication
- Manuscript yet to be submitted
Additional material pertinent to the thesis and not intended for publication can be presented in separate chapters.
- Introduction: The publications/manuscripts must be preceded by an introduction describing the research project. The introduction must clarify the overarching theme connecting each individual publication/manuscript and what aspects are covered in each. Parallels and connections must be drawn between each individual publication/manuscript.
- Summary of the publications/manuscripts: All of the publications (peer-reviewed) and manuscripts included in the thesis must be accompanied by the name of the author(s), title, information on their publication status and information on each student’s individual contribution. Information on publications and manuscripts: Released publications – full citation of the publication / Accepted manuscripts – acceptance confirmation dates / Submitted manuscripts – submission confirmation date
- Concluding discussion within the cumulative thesis: The concluding discussion focuses on all publications/manuscripts and chapters as a whole. It is essential to the assessment of the cumulative thesis and must bring together the results from each individual publication/manuscript. The students must also clearly demonstrate what contribution the publications/manuscripts have made to answering the research question outlined in the introduction. It also includes an in-depth discussion of the applied methodology and must also describe the contribution that the project makes to a specific research area. NB: If appropriate for the topic, the introduction and concluding discussion can be combined.
- Abstract: The cumulative thesis must include an abstract in English and German. This abstract must be written in accordance with the requirements of Alpen-Adria-Universität Klagenfurt. The abstract must contain the key points of the introduction and overall discussion.
IV. Submission of a cumulative thesis
The applicable regulations are § 19 (6) Part B of the Alpen-Adria-Universität Klagenfurt Statute and those listed on the website for doctoral programmes.
V. Assessment of a cumulative thesis
19 (7ff) Part B of the Alpen-Adria-Universität Klagenfurt Statute also applies to the assessment of a cumulative thesis, with the following additions:
The two reviewers will each provide an expert report on the entire thesis and give it a mark (five point scale). The acceptance of one or several publications in peer-reviewed journals will not influence the reviewers’ decision.
The cumulative thesis may contain publications/manuscripts co-authored by just one of the reviewers.
Rector of Studies Tischler and Deputy Vice-Rector of Studies More
Do you want to work on a joint thesis?
The rector of studies may allow several students to work on a thesis topic jointly, provided that the contribution of each individual student can be assessed separately (§ 83 (2) of the Universities Act) and their individual achievements are commensurate with the requirements of a thesis. To ensure each student’s contribution can be assessed separately, each individual part of the paper must be written by one student, who must be explicitly named. However, the overall topic must be treated jointly, and the nature of the collaboration between the students must be explained. This also applies if work is submitted separately (Statute B § 19 (5)).
Do you have more questions about the thesis project/letter of support?