and finally... YOUR DEGREE

Before the public defense of your thesis, again there is some paperwork to be done. All documents must be submitted in hard copy to Gerlinde Aschauer (Max Perutz Labs, room 5.119).

Note that there are special regulations for cumulative theses. Click here for more detailed information. The minimum requirement are at least 2 research papers, one of them First Author, one published or in press, and the other at least submitted (include confirmation of submission in your thesis).

Also, bear in mind the following legal time-frames:
- nomination of reviewers: 5 months before defense
- submission of thesis: 6 weeks before defense
- deadline for submission of reviews: 2 weeks before defense


Ideally, hand in forms SL/D3 and SL/D4 about 5 months before you plan to have your final exam.This may seem exaggerated, but it is not. Depending on circumstances, it may take a month before reviewers are officially appointed. And, legally, reviewers have a maximum of 4 months after the written submission of the thesis to review the thesis and write their report. 


- Your reviewers will grade the thesis you submit to them, but are not supposed to suggest changes.
Therefore, wait for the result of the plagiarism test before you forward your thesis to the reviewers.

- It is your responsibility to send the pdf of your thesis to the reviewers. The University will not do it under any circumstances.

  • Suggest 3 reviewers on the Assignment form - no supervisors, no collaborators, no co-authors, no direct competitors and no members of your thesis committee.  At least 1 must be external, 1 from the University of Vienna, and they must be in a tenured position (professor)
  • Also, submit a scientific CV of the persons suggested and a short explanation why you want to nominate them as reviewers.

The Head of Doctoral Studies will choose 2 out of these 3 persons as reviewers. This decision is not influenced by the order in which the names appear on your form.
You will be informed by e-mail who was appointed as reviewer. Please ask your supervisor to send them a pdf version of your thesis in order to speed up the reviewing process.

  • Please note that the reviewers will not be officially informed about their appointment before you have uploaded your thesis to the university server. It is up to you to inform the person that has not been officially appointed as reviewer.

Also, bear in mind that reviewer and examiner are 2 completely different assignments!

IMPORTANT: all emails from the SSC wil be sent to your unet email address. Therefore, do not forget to activate your u:space account if you have never used it before.

For the German abstract, you can use the DeepL online translator. It works amazingly well.


Your thesis will be anonymized before the plagiarism test by removing the first 6 pages. Therefore, make sure that your thesis does not show any personal data and acknowledgements from page 7 on. DO NOT INCLUDE A CV IN YOUR THESIS!

As soon as you finish writing your thesis (and are 100% positive that no further changes will be made), upload a pdf version to 

Information on how to write and submit your thesis (available only in German)

You can upload only 1 file!

You will then get an e-mail confirming the upload of your thesis. Print and sign it and submit it to Gerlinde together with the following paperwork (either in German or English, and please do not staple!):

  • a recent printout of your transcript of record,
  • a printout of the latest "Studienblatt" (to be downloaded via u:space -> Personal matters -> My documents - > semester-specific documents: select current semester),
  • a printout of the statistics sheet (to be completed online at,
  • 3 bound copies of your thesis. Note that your thesis must be printed double-sided and bound in hard cover.
  • for students who have diacritic letters (e.g. ğ, ş, š, ý) in their names: attach a copy of your passport if you want the PhD certificate to show the correct spelling of your name
  • IMPORTANT: the thesis front page (Deckblatt) must be in English and German and must not contain any error. Therefore, please write your name and academic title as shown on your Studienblatt, and check your supervisor's name and title on u:find. To be on the safe side, you may send your front page to for a final check before you have your thesis bound. If there is any mistake on the front page, you will have to re-submit 3 corrected copies and upload again.

BLOCKAGE OF THESIS: when upoloading, you will be asked whether your thesis shoud be available online or not. If you check the "not available" option, your bound thesies copies will be forwarded to the library of the Faculty of Life Sciences, to the University Library, and the National Library, but will not appear online.

In case you and your supervisor do not wish your thesis to be available at the 3 libraries, you must complete the form "SL.W3 Blockage of thesis" ("SL.W3 Sperre der Dissertation"), indicating the time period and the reason. Note that it will not be sufficient to say you data are unpublished and not yet verified. The only acceptable reasons are cumulative theses, patents and cooperations with companies. Attach copies of the cooperation contracts and confidentiality agreements.

Binding can be done in any copyshop, but we recommend the Lehrmittelstelle, located at the University of Vienna (main building). They do the job nicely within 24 hours and charge only ~15 € per copy.

  • Name Chair of examination panel and 3 examiners on form SL.P4_Registration_for_defense. Your supervisor cannot be examiner, but will be chair and should in any case be present.

Possible examiners: reviewers of your thesis, group leaders @ Max Perutz Labs, UW or MUW, members of your thesis committee, collaborators.

Note that, ideally, your reviewers should also be examiners. If this is the case, the University of Vienna pays up to 500 € for travel costs (incl. 1 night at the hotel) of your external examiners (if 2 of your examiners come from abroad, it is 250 € for each). However, travel costs are not reimbursed if your examiner has not reviewed your thesis.
Your examiners will book their tickets and accomodation on their own and send an informal request for refund to
Büro des Studienpräses, University of Vienna, Universitätsring 1, 1010 Vienna, attaching all original invoices and receipts.

About 1 week before your defense, send out an announcement to the Bulletin or to in case you want me to do it. Please do not forget to inform me if you change time or venue of your defense!!!


Your thesis examination will consist of a Power Point presentation of your thesis project (about 20 minutes), followed by questions from- the examiners and the audience. The discussion part takes about 30 minutes  - you will be questioned about your thesis work and the research field.
You or your supervisor should return the defense protocol, with grades and signatures of all examiners and the supervisor, to the SSC.

The SSC will inform you when your degree certificate is ready to be picked up at
SSC Molecular Biology
Room 5.119
Dr. Bohr-Gasse 9 (Max Perutz Main Building)
1030 Vienna

IMPORTANT: please note that your degree certificate will be ready 1-2 weeks after your thesis defense, and that you must pick it up personally. This means that you should not leave Vienna immediately after your exam. Consider this when you plan your life after the PhD - e.g. for your next position, vacations, and also check the expiration date of your visa!!

Information on the official Academic Cerimony can be found at