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147 votes

My PhD supervisor cannot promise me a date to defend my dissertation before my visa expires. Should I just quit my PhD and start over?

You should talk immediately with the International Office (or equivalent) at your university, as well as any student-coordinated offices at your university. This is by no means the first time that ...
aeismail's user avatar
  • 173k
135 votes

Why are low pass rates (below 50%) for exams considered acceptable in Germany?

My background I studied physics and maths in Germany where such failure rates (50% in the first exam, 90% in the make-up exam) were common. I also organised one first-semester physics course with ...
Wrzlprmft's user avatar
  • 61k
116 votes

Should I give professor gift at the beginning of my PhD?

I would prefer not get a gift from someone that is dependent on me. I don't want to end up in a situation of perceived (by the person receiving the gift, giving the gift, or by an outsider) bribery. I ...
Maarten Buis's user avatar
  • 42.9k
104 votes

Am I required to hand out private encryption key to head of institute?

This seems like an X-Y problem. Why is important work data only kept on a computer on your desk, in the first place? I would expect it to be on a Git repository, or on the shared storage space of a ...
Federico Poloni's user avatar
102 votes
Accepted

Can my UK PhD permit me to use the title "Dr.-Ing." in Germany?

One important thing you need to know about the German Doktorgrad is (alongside other non-academic titles) that its use is restricted by federal law. Adding a Doktortitel to your name in public without ...
Schmuddi's user avatar
  • 3,006
99 votes

Why do German universities rank so low internationally?

There are lots of biases in international academic rankings, they tend to favour US and UK universities because they use criteria which are mostly relevant for a market-oriented academic system, such ...
Erwan's user avatar
  • 13.6k
93 votes
Accepted

How should I address my two supervisors (one man, one woman) in an email?

Hierarchy beats Gender in Germany In a professional context in Germany, hierarchy beats gender, at least according to the Knigge, which is an etiquette guide of nontrivial influence. This goes as far ...
Phil Yardman's user avatar
92 votes
Accepted

Why do German universities rank so low internationally?

Whence university rankings? University-wise reputations are somewhat of a self-amplifying phenomenon: University-wise reputation is an established thing. This is opposed to the reputation of a ...
Wrzlprmft's user avatar
  • 61k
87 votes
Accepted

What should be included in a disclaimer about the omission of gender-neutral language in a bachelor's thesis?

I am going to respond to various parts of your question step by step. For those unfamiliar with German, I am going to add a brief description of the gender-neutrality issue at the end of this answer, ...
O. R. Mapper's user avatar
  • 18.3k
78 votes
Accepted

Can I tell my PhD supervisor honestly why I want to leave him

My suggestion is that you talk about all of the reasons you are moving to the other university, as opposed to leaving the current one. These reasons could be to do with relationships (e.g., family) or ...
Dr. Thomas C. King's user avatar
70 votes

I duplicated a paragraph in my master's thesis. How bad is this and what to do now?

"Horrible mistakes" in research are usually ones related to methodology or interpretation and result in the conclusions having some fundamental flaw. You're describing a typographical error. ...
Nuclear Hoagie's user avatar
69 votes

Been offered a post doctorate position in Germany but now pay has changed

This is a rather common error made by bureaucrats who have no idea of foreign academic careers. If your academic progress is beyond a master’s equivalent (and your job requires it), you get a TV-L 13 ...
Wrzlprmft's user avatar
  • 61k
67 votes
Accepted

Examiner proof-reading master thesis before submission. Is this allowed?

Whether it is allowed depends on the specific regulations of your university, but your advisor proofreading your thesis and offering suggestions is quite common. I would consider not having a ...
Tom van der Zanden's user avatar
63 votes

My professor says I would not graduate my PhD, although I fulfilled all the requirements

I am sorry this is happening to you. Unfortunately, in Germany the PhD supervisor has a lot of power about the graduation of their PhD students. However, it is not in the best interest of the ...
Claude's user avatar
  • 2,878
61 votes

I am like a stranger in the group

I think it would be a mistake to miss such a meeting. You will be isolating yourself, adding to the problem. Go there, even if you only listen the first time. Perhaps you have an option to switch ...
Buffy's user avatar
  • 358k
57 votes
Accepted

Should I give professor gift at the beginning of my PhD?

(Answer from Germany) Don't do this. Even small personal gifts in this situation are unusual here and may indeed create a "fishy" taste. German professors are public officials and public servants (...
cbeleites unhappy with SX's user avatar
56 votes

My PhD thesis has personal information and I don't want this to be public. What can I do?

As suggested in the comments by DCTLib, simply ask them to replace it with a version without the personal data (or with the specifics redacted) that you attach to the request. This should be a simple ...
Jeroen's user avatar
  • 8,156
56 votes
Accepted

Parts of my e-mail address can be seen as controversial in Western countries. Can this affect my Ph.D applications?

Don't worry. I would find it extremely surprising if a European reacts very negatively to 666. Most people would be somewhat aware of a connection to "The Beast" in the biblical book of ...
Arno's user avatar
  • 42.9k
55 votes

Should I give professor gift at the beginning of my PhD?

No way! It puts them in an uncomfortable position, even if they do not (and were not tempted to) accept it. They have the choice of (possibly) upsetting you, considering this a potential influencing ...
Captain Emacs's user avatar
55 votes

Am I required to hand out private encryption key to head of institute?

I am going to (partially) disagree with some of the answers here. I think it really depends on who is asking for your key, and based on what policy. First of, I am more than confused by the many ...
xLeitix's user avatar
  • 135k
55 votes

Is it true that foreign students have very limited academic prospects in Germany?

The German Ph.D. system is feudal and archaic. Sounds like an opinion. Let's check all points to form an own opinion. At the top is the professor, who, unlike his Anglo Saxon counterparts, can ...
Dirk's user avatar
  • 38.1k
54 votes

Did my professor refuse to write me a letter of recommendation? (in Germany)

I believe there simply is a confusion of what exactly you asked for. In Germany, I believe it's less common to write letters of recommendation in the US style. Instead, what one typically does is list ...
xLeitix's user avatar
  • 135k
51 votes
Accepted

Is it normal for PhD students to do much "non research" work?

These all sound to me like usual activities for a PhD student (the "news articles and marketing material" bit sounds a bit odd to me, but that might be more field-dependent). PhD programs are not ...
Bryan Krause's user avatar
  • 111k
51 votes

Why is the variance in quality between German universities regarded as less than that of America?

There a few factors here: There are different reputation-quality-feedback loops in play. To oversimplify slightly: In the US, people believe that universities have signficant quality differences. ...
Arno's user avatar
  • 42.9k
50 votes
Accepted

Is it appropriate to ask a professor for a discount on his expensive book?

Authors usually don't and cannot sell directly copies of their books, and the price is decided by the publisher. Of course, an author has their draft copy in electronic format, but they might not ...
Massimo Ortolano's user avatar
49 votes

What is considered appropriate women's attire for a PhD interview in Germany?

I think this is highly field dependent, but in general overdressed is better than underdressed. In fields close to mine (math, computer science) things are quite relaxed, so no one would expect a (...
Dirk's user avatar
  • 38.1k
47 votes
Accepted

Reply ‘no position’ while the job posting is still there (‘HiWi’ position in Germany)

Student assistant positions in Germany are usually open only to students enrolled at a local university (often where the position is offered, but always in Germany). This is for reasons of social ...
henning's user avatar
  • 35k
47 votes

Plagiarism and exclusion from a master's program?

You probably deserve to be expelled. Normally, my focus here would belong in the form of comments to improve faulty premises in the question; but in this case the OP is so entirely riddled with ...
Daniel R. Collins's user avatar
47 votes

If a professor refuses to elaborate on the contents of the cheat sheet, what becomes fair game?

I disagree with the other answer here by Buffy; write whatever you want and as much as you want. If your professor refuses to communicate allowable scope or restrictions then there are none. He ...
Ben's user avatar
  • 67.6k
46 votes

Should I give professor gift at the beginning of my PhD?

Oddly enough, the most appreciated gift from a student is probably just your thanks delivered personally. Even just a passing conversation in the hall way expressing your appreciation for their help ...
Buffy's user avatar
  • 358k

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