Information for doctoral researchers living with disabilities and chronic diseases

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Goal Doctorate

Living with a disability and chronic illness feels different for everyone. Also, structural barriers can challenge a doctorate additionally. UDE works on reducing these barriers by intersecting diversity with equality, inclusion and family-friendliness. The German Rectors' Conference (HRK) awarded the commitment of the UDE in the "Diversity at German Universities" initiative.

On this page, you will find the following information for those interested in doing a doctorate, doctoral candidates as well as doctoral supervisors:

  • counselling offers at the UDE 
  • Information and news about our frequent exchange event
  • a link to the portal "Promotion inklusive" of the University of Cologne with lots of essential practical information for doctoral candidates and doctoral supervisors

Counselling offers at the UDE

Graduate Center Plus

The GC Plus is your main contact at the UDE for all interdisciplinary questions concerning doctoral research, the postdoc phase, and the path to professorship.

The GC Plus:

  • supports those interested in a doctorate, doctoral and postdoctoral researchers of the UDE with individual career counselling
  • offers confidential coaching sessions with two certified coaches

All counsellors are "Mental Health First Aiders" (Central Institute of Mental Health Mannheim)

Read more

Counselling Center for Inclusion in the Case of Disability and Chronic Illness

The Counselling Center for Inclusion advises students who may be restricted in their studies due to physical or mental illnesses (including episodic diseases). Doctoral researchers writing their doctoral thesis at UDE but not employed at UDE can also seek advice here.
The Counselling Center for Inclusion provides support, particularly with

  • Compensation for disadvantages,
  • Information about other advice centres,
  • establishing contacts with other students with chronic illnesses and disabilities
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Representative for Severely Disabled Persons

The representative for severely disabled persons is the contact person for academic and artistic employees of the UDE who 

  • have a severe disability according to § 2 SGB IX or are equivalent,
  • have applied for recognition or
  • wish to apply.

The representative for severely disabled persons supports the employees mentioned above

  • as a representative of their interests
  • in confidential discussions
Read more

Further offers and counselling

Frequent event about doing a doctorate with a disability/chronic illness

Twice a year, GC Plus organizes an event in cooperation with the UDE representative for students with disabilities or chronic illnesses. At the event, we talk about:

  • UDE's counselling and support services for doctoral researchers with disabilities/chronic illnesses
  • topics and wishes from participants
  • peer support by the participants

The next exchange round will take place on 7 May 2024 from 16:30 to 17:30 (online via Zoom).
Information on registration will follow shortly.

Past dates: 09/05/2023 and 30/11/2023

Please send your questions to

Information portal "Promotion inklusive" (University of Cologne)

From 2013 to 2018, UDE participated in the University of Cologne's "PROMI - Promotion Inklusive" project and continues to be part of the network. As a result of the project, the University of Cologne created a portal for doctoral candidates, supervisors and organizations, providing practical information and networking opportunities. The guide for doctoral students has been translated into English and is also helpful for supervisors and organizations.

The Guide provides information about

  • additional legal resources
  • financial resources
  • networking opportunities

Link to the Guide on Pursuing a PhD in Germany for Doctoral Students with Health Impairments