Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Graduiertenzentrum

Writing your Thesis

Guidelines for Good Scientific Practice

Formalities regarding your thesis

Prolongation of the period of study

Sit in at a colleague's defence


Guidelines for Good Scientific Practice


Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin has its own Regulations governing the principles for ensuring good scientific practice. In principle, the following holds true:

 Wissenschaftliches Arbeiten beruht auf einer Reihe von Grundprinzipien. Allen voran steht die Ehrlichkeit der Wissenschaftlerinnen und Wissenschaftler gegenüber sich selbst und anderen. Sie ist zugleich ethische Norm und Grundlage der Regeln guter wissenschaftlicher Praxis. Die Voraussetzungen für ihre Geltung und Anwendung in der Praxis zu sichern, ist eine Kernaufgabe der Wissenschaft.

(Satzung zur Sicherung guter wissenschaftlicher Praxis

der Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, p. 3)


(Academic research relies on a number of principles. The first and foremost principle is the researcher's honesty to himself/herself and to others. This is both the ethical norm and the fundamental guideline of good scientific practice. It is the core task of academia and the scientific community to secure the prerequisites to applying and validating this principle.)

In cases of conflict or if allegations of scientific misconduct arise, you can talk to Prof. Michael Seadle, PhD, the ombudsperson at the Faculty of Humanities.

You can find further recommendations for Good Scientific Practice in the memorandum "Safeguarding Good Scientific Practice" by the DFG (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, German Research Foundation; in German). 


Formalities regarding your thesis


Please have your thesis printed four times and add the following elements:


  • Title page (do not fill in the reviewers' names and the date of the oral defence) 
  • Statement of authorship (please add one to each copy of your printed thesis and hand in a fifth at the Office for Doctoral Affairs for our files)
  • A summary of your thesis in German if your thesis is written in a language other than German

Please hand in four printed copies and one digital version of your thesis.

There are no further requirements for the layout and form of your thesis; it is up to you to choose font and style, single or duplex print etc.

Please settle all legal matters regarding the publication of your thesis independently before handing in your thesis. The Office for Doctoral Affairs does not provide legal consultation.

You will need to be able to prove that you have the rights to any sources, pictures, tables etc. that are part of your thesis on publication.


Prolongation of the period of study


Please apply for the prolongation of the period of study about a month before the end of the semester. The Enrolment Office will let you know to apply for a prolongation when sending you the request to re-enrol each semester. Your supervisor will need to approve of and co-sign your application. They also need to indicate the length of your prolongation.

You can send the signed application to the Office for Doctoral Affairs via emai or post. We will forward it to the Doctoral Degrees Committee and then to the Enrolment Office.


Sit in at a colleague's defence


We recommend that you sit in at a colleague's oral defence in order to prepare for your own. You can find the latest invitations on the right-hand portlet on our website once you have signed in with your HU-account (log in by clicking “Seite bearbeiten” on the bottom left of the page).

If you have any questions, please contact the Office for Doctoral Affairs.