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Graduate School of Life Sciences

Thesis Regulations and Submission for Medical Doctoral Candidates

Thesis Regulations - for Medical or Dental Doctoral Researchers only

Please note that doctoral theses submitted by medical doctoral researchers registered with the GSLS must be prepared according to the regulations (Promotionsordnung) of the GSLS.

There are some key differences between the GSLS regulations and those of the Medical Faculty. Please read through the following guidelines, using the downloadable templates provided.

Fundamental formatting regulations:

  • DIN A4, bound (soft or hard binding acceptable, double-sided printing accepted)
  • Numbered pages
  • Language: English or German
  • Title page:
    - Thesis title in both German and in English language
    - Section (Biomedicine, Integrative Biology, Neuroscience, Infection and Immunity, Clinical Sciences)

    Names of all Thesis Committee members and the chairperson
               Example Title page (English)
               Example Title page (German)
  • List of contents (Inhaltsverzeichnis)
  • Summary in both German and in English language
  • Reference list (Literaturverzeichnis) for any cited publication or personal communication
  • CV – Original signature (after printing) required
  • Affidavit (eidesstattliche Erklärung) - Original signature (after printing) required
     Affidavit / Eidesstattliche Erklärung

Your thesis may also contain:

  • Acknowledgements
  • Annex
  • Publications list

Please print your thesis on white high quality paper (any paper suitable for Laser Printer will do).


  1. Make sure that you have fulfilled the requirements of the structured GSLS training programme and completed the study book (preferably electronically). Please remember that your primary supervisor must approve and sign the study book.
  2. Check that your GSLS admission is valid at the time you submit your thesis.
  3. Check your thesis for compliance with the formatting regulations (see above) before printing.
  4. Prepare the following documents and forms which may take some time to complete and are required at submission:
  5. Fill in the template of the Diploma Supplement and send it to as a Word file. Please do not change the formatting of the template.


The previous individual submission advisory talk is no longer required. A detailed list covering all requirements for thesis submission can be found here. Please complete part 1 and partially part 2 of the checklist (Medical Doctoral Thesis Submission Form) and send it to us by email. In addition, please include any specific questions you may have in the email as well. This should ideally be done 4-6 weeks before submission of the thesis.

Please note, the chairperson will be determined by the GSLS office and filled in by hand after thesis submission.

  1. Make an appointment with Luise Lesch for the submission of your thesis.
  2. The following documents are required at the submission:

Upon successful thesis submission, you will receive a “Laufzettel”/process sheet, on which the process of graduation (starting with thesis submission) is documented by signatures.

You will need your Laufzettel again after your successful thesis defense when completing the publication of your thesis at the university library – so please don´t lose it!

After your submission, the thesis will be sent for evaluation. You should calculate approximately 10-12 weeks in total for the following steps (please be aware that a "summa cum laude" procedure may take considerably longer due to an additional evaluation step):

  • Submission process & sending your thesis to thesis committee members and chairperson: 1-3 days
  • Evaluation of your thesis by first and second reviewer: 4-6 weeks 
  • In case of grade 'summa cum laude' - External evaluation: at least 5 weeks, often longer  
  • Processing of the evaluations and grading of the thesis (thesis committee together with chairperson): 3-5 days  
  • Mandatory electronic display of the thesis within the GSLS: 2 weeks + 1 additional day  
  • Announcement of defense: at least 7 days prior to defense date 
    Please send us the date, time and exact address of the room at least 10 days in advance.
  • Organisation of the public defense:
               - Please be aware that you are responsible for organizing the defense date with your thesis committee incl. chairperson
               - We will continue to support hybrid defenses                      
               - Please refer to the current regulations for GSLS doctoral defenses for details

Please note: Final arrangements for your defense should only be made once your thesis has entered the electronic display phase. We can only confirm the details of your defense once your thesis has been accepted by the members of the GSLS at the end of the electronic display. We will inform you as soon as your thesis has been put on electronic display and assist with the preparation of your defense.

Doctoral Certificate

  • Right after your successful defense you will receive your preliminary certificate/”Zeugnis”. This is not the final doctoral certificate and it does NOT grant you the right to carry the title "Dr. med." or "Dr. med. dent." yet.
  • It takes approximately three weeks for the university to prepare the embossed final certificate signed by the president of the JMU and the Deans of the Medical Faculty and the GSLS, which will officially grant you the title. We will hand out your final certificate together with the diploma supplement signed by the GSLS Dean.
  • Please note that we can only hand out your final certificate once we have received the notification from the university library that the publication of your thesis is complete (library signature on the “Laufzettel”/Process sheet).
  • You will be informed by Luise Lesch when your final doctoral certificates (you will receive two copies, one in German, one in English) are ready to be collected. The receipt of these final certificates grants you the doctoral title.


Publication of the thesis via “OPUS” at the University Library

Please note: The publication via OPUS can only take place AFTER your successful defense!

The following steps are required (see information on the University library website):

  1. Submit five bound copies of your thesis to the Central University Library at Hubland together with your “Laufzettel”/Process sheet. You are welcome to use any leftover copies from the graduation process. You can collect those at the GSLS office after your defense.

  2. Complete the Publication Contract (Veröffentlichungsvertrag) and either send it to the university Library by email, or hand it in together with the five bound copies of your thesis.  You can find the different types of licenses on the License FAQ – please check with the library staff in case of questions. The most common licence is CC BY-SA.

  3. Upload the electronic version of your final thesis in the OPUS system through the University library website.

    • For data privacy reasons, please remove your CV from the thesis version to be published – insert blank pages instead
    • Don´t include any electronic signatures in thesis version to be published
    • You can complete the electronic submission from home
    • Please note that the upload alone DOES NOT publish your thesis - the thesis is only published once all formalities (submission of five physical copies and publication contract) have been completed additionally
  4. For doctoral theses which contain unpublished data or pending patent applications:
    If substantial reasons exist, you may additionally submit an application for temporary non-publication of a dissertation:

    Antrag auf vorläufige Nichtveröffentlichung  (German)
    Application for temporary non-publication (English)
    Please submit the completed form to the library either with the five physical copies of your thesis or by email.

  5. Once all formalities are successfully completed, the library will sign for the receipt of your thesis on the “Laufzettel”/Process sheet and send it back to the GSLS office. 

Important: The GSLS office requires the signature of the responsible person at the University library to be able to hand out your doctoral certificate and diploma supplement.