Frequently Asked Questions

Every beginning is difficult, especially with the paperwork, admission, and regulatory obligations. That is why the DoCS have decided to compile a list of questions and answers that might interest all students and help them throughout the doctoral process. The answers provide insights into the whole application process, joining the DoCS, benefits and funding of the DoCS, as well as general PhD-related topics, employment conditions, and living in Vienna, while doing your PhD.

The current webpage was made for all current and aspiring students, and DoCS members.

 Application

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  • How can I apply for the doctoral programme?

    There are two ways to apply for funded positions in DoCS:

    • 1. DoCS Pooled Calls
      There are pooled calls for open positions at the UniVie Doctoral School Computer Science every half a year. The doctoral candidates selected in the two calls in one calendar year form a cohort of the doctoral school.
    • 2. Open Positions
      Positions that cannot be filled during the pooled calls will be opened in the meantime untill the next call. Doctoral candidates joining DoCS this way will be placed in the cohort of the prior joint call.

 Ongoing studies

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  • How does the admission to the doctoral programme work?

    To be able to apply for a doctorate, the applicant must hold a master's degree in the intended field of research. Additionally, a number of documents related to your intended research project need to be submitted (see link below). Your application will be reviewed by the responsible Directors of Doctoral Studies Programmes. Please note that the processing of your application can take several weeks.

    Application takes place online via u:space and is possible throughout the year. Please note that you have to renew your enrollment every semester. This has to take place within the regular admission period.

    For an overview of all required documents for the admission to the Doctoral Programme in Natural Sciences and Technical Sciences in the field of Natural Sciences (Computer Science) click » here.

    For an overview of all required documents for the admission to the Doctoral Programme in Business, Economics and Statistics (Business Informatics) click » here.

    Subsequent, a short email to docs@cs.univie.ac.at (please CC to your supervisor) with the following content is required to join the UniVie Doctoral School Computer Science DoCS:


    I would like to join the UniVie Doctoral School Computer Science. 
    My data is: Name: ...
    Matriculation Number: ... 
    Name of my Supervisor: ...

  • I started as a doctoral candidate before DoCS was founded. What does DoCS mean for me?

    Every doctoral candidate whose supervisor participates in DoCS can participate in DoCS simply by agreeing to join the school. There will be no separate doctoral tracks side-by-side; DoCS is part of the current doctoral programme. Thus, students who do not join DoCS will have to take the same Research Seminar courses as DoCS students, but cannot receive any DoCS benefits. It is therefore highly recommended to join DoCS.

    All new doctoral candidates have to complete the faculty-open presentation within the first year after being admitted. Due to the transition period, all the currently enrolled doctoral students will have 18 months to pass the faculty-open presentation from the starting date of the doctoral school.

    Doctoral courses completed in the old curriculum will be automatically credited for the new research seminars by the DSPL.

    Doctoral agreements made before DoCS was founded and before the change in curriculum are still valid.

  • I am almost finished with my PhD. Should I still join DoCS?

    Yes, because there are still many benefits. For example, travel costs for external supervisors/defence committee members are only covered up to a certain amount by the University of Vienna, but DoCS could help cover these expenses, so supervisors from further away can more easily attend PhD thesis defences. Joining DoCS at a late stage does not come with any additional responsibilities.

  • How do I join DoCS if I am already a doctoral student?

    You can join DoCS by submitting the online form.

 Benefits of joining DoCS

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  • What are the advantages of joining DoCS?

    DoCS offers a number of distinct benefits to doctoral students:

    Programme:

    Activities:

    Funding:

    • funding of travel expenses for trips to conferences,
    • short term research stays at relevant international locations (secondments)
    • performance-based contract extensions for doctoral students in well-founded situations on a competitive basis (in future) and
    • other smaller-scale measure as well as initiatives by doctoral students
  • Can I attend international conferences?

    Yes, if your paper is accepted at a conference, especially papers at A-rated and B-rated conferences, DoCS has funds allocated for travel expenses. 

    In Computer Science (in contrast to other disciplines), conferences are the most important outlet for timely publications. As this is an integral part of the tradition in Computer Science and without it, highest-quality output is not achievable, funding travel to international conferences is an essential component of our doctoral school.

    It is important that you apply for funds before going to the conference, otherwise DoCS cannot cover your expenses. Apply for any funding in advance! The administrative personnel of your Research Group can help you with the forms.

    If you have general questions regarding travel funding please contact: docs@cs.univie.ac.at.

    See also: Conferences and publications funded by DoCS.

  • What connects me to other DoCS students?

    We plan for a number of common activities for doctoral students, like excursions, summer schools or cohort meetings, as well as exchange among peers in the Research Seminars, which you can always see published on the DoCS News&Events website, DoCS Event Calendar, our Twitter account or the DoCS LinkedIn group.

    Also, you can always see the names and topics of other DoCS doctoral students separated by the clusters; DoCS student representatives; a student list of those that had their public presentations or public defenses; and those DoCS that graduated.

 Funding

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 PhD studies at DoCS

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  • How long does a PhD at the Faculty of Computer Science take?

    The curriculum of the doctoral programme in Computer Science or Business Informatics is designed to take six semesters, i.e. three years. Doctoral students are required to plan accordingly and to hold the faculty-open presentation within the first year of being admitted to DoCS. In practice, due to the nature of some projects, extensions can be possible and doing your PhD can take longer.

  • How many courses do I have to participate in?

    The DoCS recommendation is: At least in the first six semesters of doctoral studies, each doctoral student should participate in one research seminar in each semester. That is, students have to take the Research Seminar 6 times with 3 ECTS each, i.e. in total 18 ECTS. 

    This is the minimum requirement. In the doctoral agreement, supervisor and student can agree on more course work. For instance, requiring a certain master course in addition to the 18 ECTS or agreeing on more Research Seminars than 6 is possible. The current doctoral curriculum defines the maximum possible ECTS.

  • I still need to visit courses in my studies. For which course shall I register in the next semester?

    Per default, we assume that a student will have their doctoral supervisor as course supervisor. Thus, the student must register in one of the Doctoral Research Seminars offered by the doctoral supervisor.

    If a doctoral supervisor and doctoral student agree with another course supervisor that the student will study with said other course supervisor in the next semester, then the DSPL/doctoral school administration must be informed accordingly. The student then needs to register in one of the Doctoral Research Seminars offered by said other doctoral supervisor.

  • Which tasks do I have to perform in a Research Seminar?

    The task of the student during the course shall be given to the student by the responsible course supervisors of the students (by default, the doctoral supervisor) latest at the preliminary meeting of the course. The following stages of the research seminar are provided as a rough indication, but course supervisors can deviate from this structure if the student's work or progress demand it:

    • Semester 1+2 - Research Conception Seminar: In these seminars, PhD students are optimally prepared for computer science research in their chosen research field and enabled to formulate a strong research proposal. This is worked out together with the supervisors. Teaching activities like the following take place: Workshops on research proposal preparation; preparation, presentations and discussion of literature and/or tools in a research area; overview of research methods.
    • Semester 3+4 - Research Foundations Seminar: In these seminars, doctoral students work on research foundations in their chosen research field together with their supervisors. Teaching activities such as the following take place: research methods seminar; systematic literature studies; prototyping workshop; (open source) software study; writers' workshop.
    • Semester 5+6 - Advanced Topics Research Seminar: In these seminars, doctoral students deepen the research basics by means of research subject-specific advanced topics together with their supervisors. Teaching activities like the following take place: advanced systematic literature studies; advanced prototyping workshop; advanced (open source) software study; advanced writers' workshop; in-depth discussions and workshops on in-progress papers/dissertation write-ups.
  • Does a template regarding the design or format of the research proposal exist?

    No templates regarding the design or format of the research proposal exist.

    The research proposal should generally not exceed the extent of ten pages (European A4 size with 15,000 to 20,000 characters). A research proposal has to include the following information:

    • Description of the topic of the doctoral thesis project including a clear research question,
    • outline of the state of research,
    • illustration of the chosen research methods,
    • relevant literature,
    • choice of supervisors and
    • time and work schedule, possibly financial budget and overview of resources.

    More information on writing the research proposal can be found on our website.

  • How is the faculty-open presentation handled?

    The doctoral candidate has to complete the faculty-open presentation within the first year after being admitted to the doctoral programme. For this, the student has to prepare a research proposal. The research proposal has the goal to set the scientific context of the work, to identify relevant research questions in comparison to the state-of-the-art, and to point out interesting directions for the research work to be performed.

    The doctoral student needs to apply to the DSPL / doctoral school administration for a faculty-open presentation. The DSPL, vice-DSPL, or a member of the Doctoral Advisory Board (Doktoratsbeirat) will be assigned as head of the committee by the DSPL. At least 3 members of the Doctoral Advisory Board other than the supervisor or co-supervisor have to be present during the faculty-open presentation. The supervisor has to be present as well. Co-supervisors shall be present if possible. It is the responsibility of the doctoral student and their supervisor to find a date and time when these persons can join the faculty-open presentation and reserve a room for it. Any other member of the Doctoral Advisory Board has the right to join as an advisor, but no obligation to do so.

    Faculty-open presentations are announced faculty-wide at least two weeks before they take place on the DoCS News&Events website.

    See also: Public Presentation of the Research Project (Entry Phase of the doctoral programme).

  • Do I need to define a DoCS co-advisor? What is the difference between a co-supervisor and a DoCS co-advisor?

    It is a Doctoral School Computer Science requirement regarding doctoral students admitted to the doctorate starting from WS2020/21 to define a DoCS co-advisor. Please write the name of your DoCS co-advisor to docs@cs.univie.ac.at (please CC to your supervisor) after your public presentation has taken place.

    DoCS Professors (full, associate, assistant) from the University of Vienna, but also from other universities can act as DoCS co-advisors.

    The DoCS co-advisor does not have to be a co-supervisor in the sense of study law (i.e. co-supervisors are defined in the document "Registration of the doctoral thesis topic and announcement the supervisor(s) (SL / D11)"), even though this is possible as well.

  • Does my co-supervisor have to be a professor at the University of Vienna?

    No, your co-supervisor can be an external supervisor.

  • Do I have to pay the tuition fee/students' union fee?

    Please find all information on the tuition fee/students' union fee of the University of Vienna here.

    Under certain conditions, citizens of non-EU/EEA countries can be treated as equal to EU/EEA citizens regarding the tuition fee regulations. In case of equal status, the same tuition fee regulation as for EU/EEA citizens applies.

 Job conditions

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  • What will my salary be?

    Funded PhD positions are usually compensated according to the Salary schemes for University Staff according to the Collective Bargaining Agreement (Job group B1). Please note that the salary is paid 14 times per year and adjust accordingly when comparing to net or gross annual salaries in other countries.

    Funded PhD positions also include social benefits. The University pays for your social and medical insurances as well as your pension provision plan and unemployment insurance directly as part of your gross salary. Independent of the project or funding agency of the project, you will be employed and paid by the University of Vienna and be insured through BVAEB.

  • How many days of paid vacation will I get?

    Generally speaking, you will get 25 paid vacation days. Additionally, Austria has 13 public holidays in a year.

  • Can my project contract be extended?

    You are responsible for working towards the completion of your project in time. However, if funding allows it, advisors may extend your contract. You will remain a member of DoCS.

    DoCS also has a certain budget for contract extensions. These are posted together with the other calls for open positions and are awarded to applicants according to performance indicators, such as high-quality publications.

  • What happens when I quit my PhD?

    You will no longer be a member of DoCS and can therefore no longer enjoy the benefits.

  • How much German do I need and can the University of Vienna support me in learning it?

    The doctoral programme is in English and therefore all nationalities are welcome to apply when fluent in English. We believe, though, that learning the German language will help international students to get immersed in the rich Viennese culture. Therefore, the University of Vienna offers two free German beginner level courses. Visit the Language Center of the University of Vienna for more information and the course schedule.

  • Which services are available to reconcile work and family life?

    As one of the largest employers in Austria, the University of Vienna strives to support its staff in reconciling job and family duties. This website provides information about offers and services by the University of Vienna related to the reconciliation of work and family life.

 Living in Vienna

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  • What are the most important facts about Vienna, the University of Vienna and the Faculty of Computer Science?

    The city of Vienna lies at the geographical heart of Europe. It regularly tops the Quality of Living Rankings and offers a rich cultural programme.

    Founded in 1365, the University of Vienna, is one of the oldest and largest universities in Europe. It is currently alma mater to about 90.000 students and almost 10.000 staff members.

    Although the roots of research and teaching activities in the field of Computer Science and Business Informatics at the University of Vienna date back to the 1970s, the Faculty of Computer Science itself - with its founding in 2004 - is still a very young faculty. The variety and broad spectrum of disciplines offered here are very conducive to modern computer science, which is increasingly finding its application areas at an intersection with natural sciences, economics, medicine, social sciences and the humanities.

  • What does Vienna have to offer?

    Vienna is famous for its music, art and pastries. With almost 200.000 students and 1.9 million inhabitants, Vienna also has much more to offer. While the excellent public transport and the extensive bike roads make it easy to reach every spot in the city, it is also really cheap to just live close to the first district and the university. All this contributes to Vienna being consistently ranked one of the most livable cities in the world. If you’ve had enough of the city, the airport can easily be reached by public transport. Bratislava, Budapest, Prague, Zagreb and Munich are only a few of the cities that can be reached in less than four hours by train, bus or car, and the Alps are also only a short car or train ride away.

    For the huge array of cultural and leisure activities, check out the websites of the City of Vienna and the Vienna Tourist Board.

  • Is it expensive to live in Vienna?

    Compared to other European capital cities like Paris or London, Vienna is very affordable. The costs of housing depend a great deal on where and in which kind of apartment you live, though.

    Further information about living in and moving to Vienna can be found here.

  • Who can help me with accommodation?

    The University of Vienna does not have its own student residence. The buildings that belong to the University of Vienna are situated in various places all around town, so there is no particular are that would be best living in. Accommodation is rather expensive, therefore student dormitories (which are run by private companies) or flat sharing are reasonable alternatives to renting a flat. We list a few sites to find accommodation, but the internet also offers many other useful websites:

     

    • home4students (Dormitory Sensengasse 2b, 1090 Vienna is in the immediate vicinity to the location of DoCS; 5 minutes by foot)

     

     

  • What do I have to consider before travelling or moving to Vienna?

    Depending on your country of origin, different regulations regarding entry and residence in Austria may apply. More information on the immigration law is available here.

    You can also find helpul information in the Welcome Guide for prae- & postdoctoral employees (EU & international).

  • Is there any financial support if I relocate from abroad to Austria to enter into new employment?

    Career Grants by the FFG support researchers to start or continue their career in Austria in the field of research, development and innovation.

Contact the DoCS!

You have a specific question that was left unanswered? Do not hesitate to ask the DoCS! Please get directly in contact via email or write to us on our (anonymous) virtual feedback mailbox.

 Additional links

» Curriculum Doctoral Programme in Natural Sciences and Technical Sciences in the field of Natural Sciences

» Curriculum Doctoral/PhD Programme in Business, Economics and Statistics

» Course Directory (2023S)

» All current forms for the doctorate (English)

» All current forms for the doctorate (German)

» PhD process (Center for Doctoral Studies)

» Submission and review of the thesis (Center for Doctoral Studies)

» PhD Handbook Navigating your Doctorate (Center for Doctoral Studies)

» Orientation Guide for International PhD Candidates (Center for Doctoral Studies)

» Early Career Researchers - Funding Programs (Research Services and Career Development; University of Vienna)

» grants.at (online database for scholarships and research grants)

» University Law 2002 (German)

» Statutes of the University of Vienna

» Study Law