Starting your PhD in Vienna

We highly recommend you to read this information as soon as you are selected under the VCQ PhD Program. 

A quick reminder: The Vienna Center for Quantum Science and Technology (VCQ) is a joint initiative of the University of Vienna, the Vienna University of Technology, the Austrian Academy of Sciences, and the Institute of Science and Technology Austria. Depending on your research group, you will be joining one of the above four institutions as a PhD student/research fellow. If you are not from Vienna the following information will be very useful for you.

(for a more detail description with helpful links please scroll below)

Selected in VCQ?

Follow the process

You are a European Union (EU) citizen

You are not a European Union (EU) citizen

Non EU citizen with a valid residence permit from one of the EU nations

Let Nadine Hilmar and the student speakers know that you are selected at VCQ

Let Nadine Hilmar and the student speakers know that you are selected at VCQ

Let Nadine Hilmar and the student speakers know that you are selected at VCQ

Find accommodation and come to Vienna

Get a visa appointment and check the list for required documents

If your permit from the other EU nation is expiring within 6 months: apply for an Austrian visa

Apply for a Meldezettel

Find accommodation in Vienna, it is essential for your visa

Find accommodation in Vienna, it is essential for your visa

Register with your institution for your PhD position and contract

Once you have your visa – move to Vienna

Once you have your visa – move to Vienna

Get your student card and avail your discounts for your bank account and public transport

Book an appointment for your residence permit and apply for a Meldezettel. 

Book an appointment for your residence permit and apply for a Meldezettel. 

Register with your institution for your PhD position and contract

Register with your institution for your PhD position and contract

Get your student card and avail your discounts for your bank account and public transport

Get your student card and avail your discounts for your bank account and public transport

If you are selected under VCQ PhD program, first step would be to contact Program Coordinator and Student Representatives. The current VCQ Program Coordinator is Nadine Hilmar. Each one of the four institutes has one Student Representative. You should email to Nadine and CC Student Representative of your respective institution. You can find them on VCQ website. Follow the tabs: PHD PROGRAM/People.

After that, you need to get in touch with the secretaries of your respective institution because they will provide you with all the necessary documents like contract and terms & conditions. You will be contacted automatically, if not then you can also ask VCQ coordinators. 

Next big thing would be to find an accommodation. As VCQ does not provide you with any accommodation, you need to find it on your own. Accommodation is discussed later in this info page.  

If you are non-EU student (student with non-European Union citizenship), you have to take care of few additional things. Important is to look at the visa and permit regulations.

It is important to note that the Austrian visa is usually valid for short duration (e.g. 6 months) and authorized only outside Austria. Once you move to Austria, you cannot apply for visa but only for the residence permit. The Austrian residence permit can be granted only if you apply with the valid visa/valid residence permit from other European country. 

There might be two situations in your case:
a) Your residence is already in Europe and you are moving to Vienna
b) Your residence is outside Europe. Here residence means your official residence.

For case a): If you have a non-EU citizenship and a residence permit from some other EU country, even if your residence permit from other EU nation is valid, we usually recommend to get a Austrian researcher visa (valid for 6 months) from your country of residence. This step allows you to have appropriate amount of time to apply for permit, if your permit from some other EU nation is expiring within 6 months. After moving to Austria, immediately apply for a long term Research Permit.

If you are coming for a PhD position then apply as a researcher (Forscher) for visa and also for permit. Visa should be free of charge. Having a visa makes everything very smooth. In this case, you don’t have to worry about leaving Austria if your residence permit from other EU country is expiring.

For the purpose of visa, you need to show necessary documents. You need to check the list of documentation and ask your institute for all the documents they can provide. One important thing for Visa or Permit is the accommodation. Following we discuss accommodation.

You need some extra documentation, if you are going to live in a shared apartment (it is called Wohngemeinschaft (WG) in German). You need few extra documents (you can check the list of documents on the consulate website). If some apartment owners may not be willing to give you all the required documents for Visa, you can also temporarily move in the dormitory. It is easier because they provide you with all the necessary documents immediately. Following are among few portals to look for WG and student Hostel/Dorm. You can also check University websites for that. 

https://www.wg-gesucht.de/ 

https://www.willhaben.at/ 

https://www.home4students.at/ 

https://www.housingaustria.com/student-dormitories-vienna/ 

TU Wien accommodation info

Once you have visa and accommodation, you need to get an appointment for the city registration (it is called ‘Meldezettel’ in Austria). We recommend estimating times for various processes and booking appointments beforehand. 

Once you move to Vienna, immediately get an appointment for the permit application even before having Meldezettel. Because you require Meldezettel only during the permit appointment and not for booking. The permit you would require is ‘Niederlassungsbewielligung – Forscher’. 

There were some cases in which people faced some issues with MA35 office (they handle permits in Vienna). Just because of miscommunication and misinformation, people had to leave Austria, get visa from somewhere else and come back to receive the permit. 

In some cases, people didn’t have correct documentation, like translation of birth certificate and that led to near deportation situation. So make sure you have the right documentation ready.  

Also, it is important to get the Police Clearance Certificate from your origin country and from the countries in which you were a resident. It takes time to get these.

Frequently check the information on the Visa and MA35 office website. This information sometimes change in regard to the respective policies and it is important that you stay up to date. Some people faced issues in the past, just because they didn’t have the updated list of documents and then the whole process became a bit stressful. 

After arriving in Vienna, first, get all the necessary documents and apply for your PhD in your respective university/institute. 

Once you are here, immediately let Nadine Hilmar know that you are very much part of VCQ PhD program and she will enroll you in the VCQ mailing list.

Once you are part of VCQ:

Once you are part of VCQ, the next thing you need to do is find another supervisor. On VCQ website, follow the tabs: ABOUT Members. You need to contact one of the VCQ Professors and add that person in your Thesis Advisory Committee (TAC). Your other TAC supervisor will supervise your PhD thesis in addition to your main supervisor. Nadine will let you know more about it. 

VCQ Structure: The current VCQ head is Philipp Haslinger and the VCQ coordinator is Nadine Hilmar. 

Then there are the student speakers who can answer all your queries concerning program, visa and much more. If you want to contact them you can finde them here.

VCQ also organizes many events like the student assembly dinner, a Barbeque, the annual Retreat for new students, a Summer School, Sports day, Colloquium, etc. You can be one of the organizers of these events. You just have to be present at VCQ student assembly dinner hosted by serving VCQ Speakers body and volunteer for the tasks. Therefore it is very important for you to get on the mailing list, so please get in touch with Nadine Hilmar at your earliest convenience.