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Working conditions

Employment contracts of PhD candidates: At MedUni all PhD students are employed as research associates for three years. The Dean of Doctoral Studies requests that the funding for the whole period to be deposited at the beginning of the contract. After one year the research work of the students is evaluated, and if the work progress is deemed successful, the student's employment contract is extended for the full period of three years. The employment contract may be further extended, depending on the funding of the supervisor. The employment contract typically covers 75 % of the legally defined working hours per week to carry out the thesis project. The 25 % time not covered by the employment contract allows the PhD candidates to do their coursework and write the dissertation. The extent of remuneration, including all legally required social benefits, is determined by the Austrian national collective agreement between university representatives and the union of public sector employees. In support of gender issues, the university grants parental leave also for PhD candidates and offers child-care facilities on the campus.

The ORPPHEUS award and the ‘Human Resources Excellence in Research’ label provide external recognition that MedUni complies with the highest standards providing outstanding working conditions not only nationally, but internationally. ORPHEUS is a network of higher education institutions that is committed to developing and disseminating best practice within PhD training programs.

The award of the ‘HR Excellence in Research’ recognizes the institutional progress in implementing Charter & Code, which aims to improve researchers’ working conditions. The MedUni was the first university in Austria and the fourth in Europe to be given the “Human Resources Excellence in Research” award by the European Commission. With this award the MedUni received international recognition for its human resources development strategy and career opportunities for researchers as well as a clear sign of its highest quality and development. The university’s status was again acknowledged in 2016.