Based on the Corona Epidemic University Ordinance, TU Dortmund University has issued "Regulations for the Implementation of the Corona Epidemic University Ordinance for Doctoral and Habilitation Regulations at TU Dortmund University". According to Section 2 (1), oral examinations in doctoral procedures can be conducted in electronic form or - subject to the permissibility under infection control law - in a mixed form of face-to-face and electronic presence. From the perspective of infection control law, oral examinations in face-to-face format on campus are currently permissible according to the regulations of the general decree. A "Guide to the Conduct of Oral Examinations in Doctoral Procedures and Oral Habilitation Performances" is available in the ServicePortal.
For experimental research in laboratories or workshops, area-specific hygiene concepts can be submitted to the Office of Occupational Safety, Environmental and Health Protection for approval. The respective areas must draw up a workplace description and a protection concept for the new operating mode. Further information on the applications can be found under "Work organization". If possible, research work that requires public access should be avoided.
Yes, the offices of the major funding bodies organizations do operate, albeit with slight restrictions in some cases. At present, there is no reason to assume that the Corona crisis will affect funding volumes or approval rates. However, delays or deviations from the regular procedure are to be expected in the review process. Many funding agencies have postponed deadlines and cut-off dates. The Office of Research Support provides support for questions regarding the submission and preparation of applications.
The major funding bodies are largely accommodating with regard to funding requirements, continued payments and reporting obligations. The German Research Foundation (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, DFG), for example, provides additional personnel and material funding for up to three months in the event of demonstrable restrictions due to the pandemic. Scholarships can also be extended or converted into domestic fellowships. Additional funding can be requested for coordinated programs, and doctoral positions in research colleges can be extended by up to 12 months without incurring additional costs. Further information can be found on the DFG website. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) also simplifies the requirements for project funding. The actual implementation remains the responsibility of the individual project sponsors. Within the framework of the program Horizon 2020, it has been signaled that independent agreements are possible with regard to the postponement of deadlines and the extension of projects. Please contact your funding body if you have any questions.
The most important funding organizations provide information on their websites:
In order to ensure greater flexibility and planning security for scientists in the qualification phase, the permissible fixed-term contract period for employment relationships that have existed between 1 March 2020 and 30 September 2020 according to Section 2 (1) WissZeitVG is extended by six months. In September 2020, the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) also made use of the authorization to extend the permissible time limit by a statutory regulation by a further six months. For employment relationships, which have been newly established after 30 September 2020 up to and including 31 March 2021, the extension of the total permissible fixed-term period is a cross-the-board sum of six months.
This provision does not mean that existing employment relationships are automatically extended accordingly. In each individual case, a separate application must be submitted by the departments and institutions in the usual form. You can find further information on this in the ServicePortal.