General Information


The roots for an exceptional scientific community specializing in optics and photonics in Jena were laid by breakthroughs provided by the work of Ernst Abbe in the late 19th century. Because of this unique historical background, numerous doctoral students throughout the past decades who have graduated from the Friedrich Schiller University were indispensable contributors to the advancement of knowledge in optics and photonics. Incorporating this rich tradition, the ASP doctoral program (comparable to a PhD program in the USA) has become firmly institutionalized and continues to sustainably structure the education and networking of young student researchers in optics. The ASP doctoral program has been marked by a constantly growing number of doctoral students pursuing research topics in optics and photonics at the Friedrich Schiller University, reflecting the successful acquisition of numerous funding for light sciences research provided by scientists from the Abbe Center of Photonics.

Registration via doc-in

As any doctoral student at the Friedrich Schiller University, you only need to register once in central registration tool doc-in. Please follow the instructions given there. If you are supervised by one of the principal scientist of the Abbe Center of Photonics, your supervisor will automatically take care that you are registered in our program. In case of any doubt, please select "Abbe School of Photonics" as your graduate school affiliation during the doc-in registration or refer to your supervisor.

Equal gender opportunities and family-friendliness

ASP strongly and actively pursues gender mainstreaming and family-friendly working conditions. In particular, the competitive support instruments which aim to maximally link doctoral student and postdoctoral career stages are considered to be optimally designed for promoting gender equality and for balancing disadvantages for female candidates. To further promote equal opportunity and family-friendly conditions, Dr. Isabelle Staude is appointed as coordinator and contact person for gender issues. On request, she will provide advice and support for equal opportunity or family-related topics within the ASP. The support of young female scientists is a cross-sectional task for both the ASP and the Friedrich Schiller University and is taken seriously by both. It creates and secures conditions of equal opportunity for all its members, independent of gender and background.

General information for doctoral students

Further information

Advice from former doctoral students representatives on secondary subject

With the new PhD regulations (Promotionsordnung) more freedom came to choose the PhD's secondary subject. However, there seems to have been a lot confusion regarding how close to ones own PhD subject that could be. As it turned out many of the requests for a secondary subject in optics were rejected even though being very separate from the specific corner of optics one was working in. The dean's position on this matter is strict and as follows: No subject in the general field of the PhD thesis will be accepted as secondary subject. For ASP doctoral students that means in most cases: No secondary subject in optics. Historically, the secondary subject has been very tightly involved in the final exam just before the PhD's defense and was supposed to give the student a broader view outside of his or her field. The new regulation moved away from the former rigorous mode of a final exam to mere a colloquium with no grade and to a time chosen by the student. As the dean strongly pointed out this does not mean that the tradition from the outside perspective will be dropped. But if you are lucky, there are ways to sneak around that potentially:

  1. Talk to the lecturer of the subject of your interest and check whether it can be treated as part of another field. Example: Quantum optics is categorized as optics but could also be accepted as theory if (A) the lecturer and (B) the Institute of Theoretical Physics (in this specific case) agree with this regulation for the individual PhD exam. This can only be clarified by communication between you, the respective professor and the other institute. The dean may then approve the subject as secondary.
  2. Formulate a motivational letter together with your supervisor. In some cases the dean may then approve the secondary subject. Note however, that if this happens to often in one group, no more approval will be given to members of that particular group.

As for international doctoral students there is an increasing number of lectures in the regular master of physics program available in English. In the future, this should make it easier to find secondary subjects outside of the ASP (optics) master program. Check here for an overview of lectures.

Advice from former doctoral students representatives on insurance during teaching

As you should be insured in your institute that the institute covers your health and damage costs in case of an accident, you should be ensured during your lecturer service in the university as well. If you have no contract with the university it is not necessarily clear that this insurance is given. We spoke with Prof. Paulus, dean of the faculty of physics and astronomy, and he asked the rights department of the university to give a profound answer on this question. The original response letter can be found here: Versicherungsschutz von externen Doktoranden bei der Lehre (152KB, in German)

In a nutshell it says: As soon as you are enrolled (or just accepted) as a PhD student at the university of Jena you are insured by the university in case of an accident which might happen in any university building (e.g. library), on any university event, and on any direct way between an university building/event and your home or institute. Any personal injury is covered therefore by the university. Any material damage has to be paid by yourself in general. That's why the rights department strongly recommends you to get a "Haftpflichtversicherung" (indemnity / third-party insurance by law). Those insurances are not expensive and are expected by everybody. Another thing is, be sure that you are enrolled before you start your lecturing.

Advice from former doctoral students representatives on the WissZeitVG

Scientific employment in Germany is organized by the "Wissenschafts-Zeitvertrags-Gesetz" which regulates how long you can get a non-permanent contract. If you plan your career in Science in Germany, it is essential that you know the implications for your doctorate and postdoc time. We provide here an infosheet that summarizes the most important issues with typical examples. The document is in German: Das Wichtigste zum WissZeitVG.