Starting in the Lab

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Starting in a new lab at the Geography Department of Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin is an exciting moment, but it does entails some bureaucracies, especially if you are relocating from another city or country to join us. To make the process of starting a little easier, we have gathered a checklist of essential (and not so essential but still useful) steps one will have to go through to settle in the Lab and in Berlin.

Before you arrive in the lab

Get a Visa
Apply for a CMS and GEO-account
  • These accounts are essential when working with us, as they provide you with an institutional email address, and access to the departmental server infrastructure. Activating these accounts may take a few days, your lab assistant will be in contact with you to organize all necessary signatures.
Personal page on website
  • You will be asked to contribute a personal webpage for the Lab's website, your lab assistant will be in contact with you for this.

Living with the Covid-19 pandemic

Pay close attention to the current rules and regulations.

Some information can be found here:

A digital entrance form is required from those entering into Germany during the pandemic. It can be found here:

After you arrive in the Lab

Room key and Chip card

Once you arrive in your Lab, we will welcome you with a little tour of the Institute and settle you in with your room keys and chip card. The rooms keys will be provided by your lab assistant and the chipcard  you need for accessing the building by the IT administrator of the Institute. The chipcard provides access to the key boxes (each keybox belongs to one office) and access to the Institute outside of opening hours.

CMS HU-account and GEO-account

If all goes well, prior to your arrival, you will already have a CMS HU account. The CMS HU account will give you access to many services (e.g. Webmail, Library, Moodle and VPN (check link). You are also expected to have a GEO account that gives you a email. Both accounts will be organised for you by the IT administrator


Getting acquainted with Lab life

Each lab has its own formats for exchange, be it at weekly team meetings, colloquiums or other group activities. Please refer to your lab assistant.

Enroll as a PhD

For new PhD students your first months are likely going to be spent working to enroll as a doctoral candidate. You will have first to be admitted to the doctoral examination process in the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences (what you need for this is found here - most importantly, it requires a PhD proposal). Once this is done, you will be able to enroll as a student in the HU-University (info here). It can also be good to check the Doctoral Degree Regulations of the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences - available here in German and here in English.