Structured doctorate programs
Structured doctorate programs are especially characterised by fixed periods of time and structured teaching and research schedules. Most doctorate programs award grants to their best applicants. Hiring contracts with institutions of higher education and research institutes are another option in order to protect yourself financially. In addition, doctoral candidates in structured programs profit from a well-developed mentoring concept as well as a wide variety of ways of building up and maintaining scientific networks.
International Graduate Schools
On June 23, 2005, the German federal and state governments launched the "Excellence Initiative" to fund and promote top-level research in Germany and to strengthen research institutions and universities across the country. As part of the three rounds of this competition, 45 proposals for new "International Graduate Schools" or Graduiertenschulen were selected, including 12 in Baden-Württemberg.
These graduate programs are focused on training outstanding doctoral students within a supportive and dynamic research environment, allowing students to benefit from additional resources, training, and a strong sense of academic community. They were designed to transcend disciplinary and institutional boundaries, bringing together doctoral students with researchers working on the same broad area from a variety of perspectives. International Graduate Schools offer PhD programs in English, and most provide scholarships for accepted students.
Contact one of the 12 International Graduate Schools in Baden-Württemberg directly to find out more about their research areas, funding opportunities and application processes:
University of Freiburg
Spemann Graduate School of Biology and Medicine
Karlsruhe School of Elementary Particle and Astroparticle Physics
Graduate School of Decision Sciences
DFG Research Training Groups
The German Research Foundation (DFG), the primary funding body for research in Germany, established the DFG Research Training Groups to provide unique opportunities to young and talented researchers. The Groups provide structured doctoral training within a focused research program, and, while they generally focus on a specific subject, they also strive to take an interdisciplinary approach. The goal of the DFG Research Training Groups is to prepare doctoral researchers for the complexities of future careers in research and academia and to encourage young researchers to begin to conduct their own independent research.
In Baden-Württemberg, more than 30 DFG Research Training Groups have received funding, covering a wide variety of research subjects.
International Max Planck Research Schools
The Max Planck Institutes, located across Germany and with 12 in Baden-Württemberg, are world renowned for their outstanding achievements in basic research. A major goal of the Max Planck Society is to improve the training of highly qualified young scientists. With this goal in mind, roughly 60 International Max Planck Research Schools (IMPRS) have been founded at Max Planck Institutes in the humanities, biology & medicine, and chemistry, physics, engineering, mathematics and information technology. As elsewhere in Germany, the 11 IMPRS in Baden-Württemberg work closely with their partner universities to provide outstanding research environments for their students.
The IMPRS offer structured PhD programs in innovative and interdisciplinary research areas such as molecular biology, neuroscience, demographics, plasma physics, polymer research and computer science. About half of the young scientists come from abroad and can choose whether to do their final PhD exam at a German university or at their home university.
Learn more about the International Max Planck Research Schools in Baden-Württemberg:
Getting your PhD at a University of Education
As institutions dedicated to both teacher training and research, universities of education in Baden-Württemberg are characterized by intensive basic research in the field of education and in teacher training for specific subjects. Structured PhD programs at the universities of education reflect the state’s clear focus on supporting young academics in this field.
The following list includes structured PhD programs at universities of education in Baden-Württemberg that are funded by the state. More information about different options for earning your PhD at a university of education can be found on the individual websites of the Universities of Education in Baden-Württemberg (link in German):
University of Education Freiburg
PhD programme „Pro|Mat|Nat“
PhD Info from Individual Universities
Get information and assistance with finding and applying for a PhD programs at individual universities in Baden-Württemberg:
University of Freiburg