Detailed Guide on How To Start Your PhD and Research in Germany
Germany's science and research are characterized by a distinguished infrastructure, a wide variety of disciplines, well-equipped research facilities, and competent staff. Germany offers various career opportunities for international PhD students and researchers.
RESEARCH IN GERMANY
1. Information for Postdocs and Junior Researchers
Prestigious research organizations, universities, and industry collaborate across many sectors, not only enabling the German economy to remain innovative and competitive but enabling you, as a junior researcher or postdoc, to find jobs and fellowships in cutting-edge research projects.
Wherever you wish your career to take you in Germany, it's vital you have an outstanding doctorate, demonstrate commitment and motivation, and have a research project relevant to your future employer.
Discover more about rewarding careers and research in Germany at www.research-in-germany.org.
2. Information for Senior Researchers
Over 600,000 people are employed in Germany´s research and development sector – underlining its marked commitment to research. All in all, there are almost 1,000 public and publicly funded institutions for science, research in Germany, and development in Germany, joined by approx. 450 research and innovation networks and clusters and a large number of research and development (R&D) center run by companies.
In 2014 the gross domestic expenditure on research and development (GERD) was over 84 billion euros with more than two-thirds of this total spent by industry.
What is more, unlike in other countries where a government researcher stays in their position for life, Research in Germany, you have the chance to switch from a research institute to an industry and vice versa.
Organizations such as the Helmholtz Association, the Max Planck Society, the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, and the Leibniz Association are counted among the world´s best research establishments. These institutions are truly international with English being the main language.
More information about career opportunities for senior researchers can be found here: www.research-in-germany.org.
DOING YOUR PHD IN GERMANY
Here are some vital things you need to know before you start doing your PhD Research in Germany;
Ways To Your PhD
You have the choice of two routes to your doctoral title in Germany. Check out the differences.
Individual Doctoral Studies
Most doctoral candidates choose the individual study model. In this model, you need to find a university professor who will supervise your dissertation. You may elect to write your dissertation alone or collaborate with other researchers – it really depends on your subject.
As a doctoral candidate, you have three options as to where you carry out your research: at a university, at a research organization, or in the industrial sector. You can decide which option best fits your goals.
How long it takes to complete an individual PhD is down to your schedule, or the period of your research grant, but the length of this form of PhD usually ranges from 3 to 5 years.
Structured PhD Programmes
An alternative route to your doctorate is via the structured PhD programmes, similar to those in English-speaking countries. This model offers regular and intense supervision by a team of advisors. The programmes include a curriculum of courses, usually with an interdisciplinary focus.
These programmes will advance your skills not only in academic and scientific methods such as presentation techniques but also foster soft skills. This systematic approach allows you to complete your doctoral studies within 3 – 4 years.
Find out more about the two ways to do your PhD: www.research-in-germany.org.
How to Find Your PhD Position in Germany
Are you looking for a doctoral position in Germany? In the DAAD databases, you can find open PhD positions in all fields and all over Germany. When you have found an offer that matches your interests you can apply online at the offering university.
The DAAD database PhDGermany contains a wide range of PhD positions in universities, companies, and research institutions and is continually updated. After entering your criteria you will receive a list of options for you to further explore.
International Programmes in Germany
Amongst others, you will find internationally oriented PhD programmes in Germany. Simply enter your search criteria to retrieve a list of suitable options. The working language is mostly English.
How to finance your PhD Research in Germany
Financing your PhD programme in Germany is very important, especially if you do not have as much money as the rich kids; but luckily there's a solution for you.
How much does it cost to get a doctorate in Germany?
Tuition is free for doctoral studies for at least the first 6 semesters at all public universities in Germany.
The German Studentenwerk (German Student's Union) says an average student in Germany needs around 800 euros per month to cover living expenses such as rent, food, clothing, transport, work supplies, recreation, etc.
Students enrolled at university also have to pay a “semester contribution” every semester. This fee covers the cost of the important student ID card.
The student ID card serves as a semester ticket for cheap or free use of public transport and allows you reduced rates at the student cafeteria and many other places such as swimming pools, museums, cinemas, etc.
Scholarships and funding programmes
Research is a serious business in Germany with funding programmes available from several sources. The DAAD alone, Germany's largest provider of scholarships, provided funding for more than 51,600 foreign scholars around the world.
In addition, much other public and private bodies provide financial support to doctoral students. Important donors include Germany's federal and state governments, the European Union, and a large number of charitable foundations that have set themselves the goal of supporting research and junior researchers.
Job offers for doctoral students and roles for scientists
In addition to scholarships and funding programmes, there are employment opportunities at universities and research organisations. Furthermore, you may want to consider the private sector with many German companies having generous research budgets.
Find out more about employment opportunities at: www.research-in-germany.org.
Important Steps to your PhD Application in Germany
Before starting your doctoral studies in Germany there are some important steps you have to follow:
- Have your post-graduate degree recognized
- Apply for a residence permit
- Find a doctoral position
- Finance your research stay
If you have questions regarding this subject on PhD Research in Germany, feel free to let us know in the comment section so we can help you out with more clarification.
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