Frequently Asked Questions
Q1: When is the next deadline for enrolment in the GSGS?
A: There are no fixed dates. You can hand in your 'Notification of Intent to do a Doctorate' at the Dean's Office any time. Please come to the GSGS Office to have this document co-signed by the GSGS Manager. Make sure to also read the guidelines on the Dean's Office website.
Q2: Do I need to be registered as a doctoral student at the registrar's office (Studierendensekretariat) and pay monthly fees to be a member of the GSGS?
A: No, you only need to be enrolled at the Dean's Office to become a member of the GSGS (see Q1). Please do note, that there is a minimum number of semesters you need to have been registered as a doctoral student to be able to have your doctoral examination. See the Dean's Office's websites for details.
Q3: How do I get the monthly GSGS newsletter?
A: Send an e-mail to gradschool-geosci (at) uni-koeln.de and ask to be added to the mailing list. Please state your affiliation (Institute, working group), status (Master's student, doctoral student, staff member) and start date.
Please also read the detailed information on GSGS Points.
Q4: What happens to any "extra" points I earn during a semester (i.e. if I earn more than 5 points in a semester)?
A: The GSGS does not count points for each semester; it works with points per semester on average. So, if you earn 8 points in the first semester and 4 in the second semester, you still have 6 points per semester on average.
Q5: Do GSGS points expire?
A: GSGS do not expire; you can build up a "stock" at the start of your project.
Q6: What if I cannot earn any GSGS points during a period of, say, 4 months because I am on fieldwork?
A6-1: In most cases, this will not be a problem, because you do not have to earn 5 points each semester. You just need 5 points per semester on average, so you can collect point in advance (or afterwards).
A6-2: see also membership "on hold"
Membership "on hold" - parental leave, illness and extended stays abroad
Q7: I am going on maternal / parental leave - what can/should I do?
A: Please let the GSGS office know from when you will be away. Your membership will be put "on hold" for the time of your absence. Further arrangements are made unbureaucratically.
Q8: I have been on sickness leave for an extended period (over 2 months) and have to been able to fulfill GSGS obligations during that time. What should I do?
A: Please contact the GSGS office. We will make arrangements as unbureaucratically as possible; a medical certificate is helpful. All information will be treated confidentially.
Q9: I will go on fieldwork for an extended time and cannot fulfill obligations of the GSGS (such as reporting/meetings) during this time.
A: For reasons other than parental leave or illness you can apply to have your GSGS membership put "on hold" for a minimum of 4 months. During your entire GSGS membership, you can apply for up to 12 months of "on hold" time (excluding such time for parental / sickness leave). The decision on whether or not to grant a temporary membership break lies with the GSGS Steering Committee. To apply, send a email to the GSGS manager at least 2 months before the start of the envisaged break period at least including: start date, end date, the reason for wanting to put your membership on hold.
Note: During membership breaks you are not entitled to participation in GSGS activities or financial support.
Issues with your doctoral committee
Q10: One of my Doctoral Committee members is going on parental / maternity leave. What should I do with reports and meetings?
A10-1: If your doctoral committee is complete (according to GSGS guidelines), the committee can function without the absent member. In this case the doctoral committee member who is going on leave is kindly asked to inform the GSGS office of their absence, stating the (estimated) time of absence and copy you and the other DC members in, so that everyone is informed.
A10-2: If your doctoral committee is not complete without this member and the absence is shorter than 6 months, meetings / reporting can likely be arrange around the absence. In this case the doctoral committee member who is going on leave is kindly asked to inform the GSGS office of their absence, stating the planned re-scheduling of meetings or report deadlines. He or she should copy you and the other DC member(s) in, so that everyone is informed. If re-scheduling is not possible, see A10-3.
A10-3: If your doctoral committee is not complete without this member and the absence is longer than 6 months or "rescheduling" (as in A2) is not possible, a temporary replacement must be found for the absent doctoral committee member. Your principle supervisor is asked to inform the GSGS office of the change in your doctoral committee and copy in everyone involved.