The doctoral thesis is the central element of all doctoral programs at the University of Vienna. The doctoral thesis proves the ability of the doctoral candidate to conduct independent scientific work on a high academic level. It shows his/her capability to comprehend and reflect the latest state of art in his/her field of research and extend this field through methodologically founded contributions. 

Due to the differences in scientific customs of the various disciplines there are no strict guidelines concerning length and form of a doctoral thesis. For the Humanities the thesis might be written in form of a monograph,  for many other disciplines a cumulative dissertation might be the preferred format. This is a compilation of several articles touching a similar topic. Crucial is to follow the standards of the own discipline, also with regard to the language, in which the thesis is written. The decision how the thesis will look like (language, form) should be discussed with the supervisor. In any case, the doctoral thesis has to comply with the international standards of the discipline.

Plagiarism Check and Submission

It is only since the beginning of 2015 that the concept of "plagiarism" has been defined in the 2002 Universities Act: "Plagiarism is obvious when texts, contents or ideas are used and presented as one’s own achievement. This encompasses the appropriation and use of text passages, theories, hypotheses, findings or data through direct, paraphrased or translated rendering without identifying and citing the source and the author." (section 51, para. 2, number 31 of the 2002 Universities Act)

  • Plagiarism checking must always be done BEFORE printing and submitting the bound work.
  • The uploaded PDF version and the bound work must match in content. 
  • You must submit at least 3 hardcover bound copies of your thesis to the the respective SSC Life Sciences/SSC Psychology.
  • When converting to a PDF document, make sure that a PDF of type PDF/A-1 or PDF/A-2 is created and that all fonts used are included in the document. In case of any enclosures that cannot be converted to PDF, as well as documents that exceed 40 MB in PDF format, the FirstLevelSupport of the University Library will provide assistance: e-theses.ub@univie.ac.at.

Uploading Process:

  • The submission can be made from any PC with Internet access (log in using u:account user data at https://hopla.univie.ac.at).
  • Then you have to enter the metadata (e.g. author, title of the paper, study code).
  • If the print version of your work includes a multimedia supplement (images, videos, software, etc.) (see above), please be sure to indicate this when entering the abstract!

Upload Confirmation:

  • After uploading the work, an acquisition confirmation with the metadata as well as an upload confirmation about the successful upload is displayed and additionally sent to the student by e-mail.
  • This confirmation has to be saved and sent to the respective SSC Life Sciences/SSC Psychology with your signature on page 3 together with the rest of the submission documents (see download forms below).
  • You will be informed by e-mail as soon as your work has passed the plagiarism process.

Important Notes:

  • Withdrawing an erroneously uploaded work can only be done AFTER plagiarism has been checked and is only possible if there is NO suspicion of plagiarism. Typo corrections or layout changes are not possible after uploading and therefore cannot be made in the print version.(Exception: changes to incorrect cover pages)
  • If you have any questions or problems with the upload, please contact the First Level Support of the University Library e-theses.ub@univie.ac.at.
  • In case of jointly written papers according to the study law part of the statutes of the University of Vienna (§ 15 Abs.6), the paper has to be uploaded by each of the authors.

Submission to the Reviewers of the Doctoral Thesis

To complete your dissertation project you have to submit the Assignment of your thesis to reviewers (SL/D3) approximately one month before the finalization of your thesis. Within this form, you will suggest together with your supervisor up to three external experts (e.g. no member of the faculty, no co-author of the relevant publications) to become reviewers of your thesis - it makes perfectly sense to get their commitment in advance. In addition you will need both CV and publication record of the potential reviewers, an abstract of your thesis and the forms mentioned below, to be send to the respective SSC Life Sciences/SSC Psychology

Two reviewers will get approved by the (Vice-) DSPL upon their match and independence (see above). The same experts usually will be also nominated as examiners for your public defense. In case they are not available for the public defense, you will nominate alternative expert(s).

The reviewers have a maximum of 4 months to review the thesis and write their report. Only if both reviewers submit a positive report on the thesis, the doctoral candidate can register for the public defense ( see the section below). If a reviewer assesses the thesis negatively then the thesis is handed to a further reviewer. If he/she also assesses the thesis negatively then the overall result is negative and the thesis has to be revised before it can be handed in again. 


With the positive assessment of the doctoral thesis and when all demands of the curriculum have been met, a registration for the public defense is possible with Registration for doctoral thesis defense (SL/P4), to be send to the relevant ssc.lebenswissenschaften@univie.ac.at / ssc.psychologie@univie.ac.at.

The location, time and examination committee of the public defense will be proposed by the PhD candidate together with the supervisor(s) within this form. The supervisor is asked to host the public defense without being part of the jury. It makes perfectly sense to negotiate time and location with all proponents in advance. The registration will be approved by the (Vice-) DSPL, only then the examination committee and audience should get invited to the public defense.

The public defense consists of a presentation of the central findings followed by a general discussion about the research subject with the examination commission. Usually the duration of the defense is in total 60 minutes with your ppt. presentation of 30 minutes. Nevertheless we recommend to visit public defenses at the respective faculty prior to your own defense and/or discuss with your supervisor.

After the PhD presentation (30 minutes), Q&A's (15 minutes) and a closed session of the examination committee including the supervisor as the host, the outcome of the examination will be notified by grades (1-5) immediately. 

After the positively assessed dissertation, the academic title according to the curriculum is awarded either during a ceremony or by mail.  During Covid-19 pandemic the public defense will be virtual.


Following templates and forms have to be used and send to ssc.lebenswissenschaften@univie.ac.at / ssc.psychologie@univie.ac.at.: