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Conditions and support for doctoral researchers

Due to the specific situation of the PhD candidate, there are different types of employment contracts for doctoral researchers at Forschungszentrum Jülich. Almost 70 % of our doctoral researchers have signed the “Jülicher Doktorandenvertrag” (a contract for doctoral researchers at Jülich). This contract specifies that the doctoral research shall be completed within three years. It allows you to concentrate solely on your research project and there are no teaching obligations. In addition, it specifies the topic of your research, a detailed project plan, your scientific supervisor at Jülich, and your doctoral supervisor at the university you are enrolled at. You will be trained and supervised at Jülich in close collaboration with the university. In this way, you will receive optimal tuition from two supervisors. Once your thesis is accepted by the relevant bodies of your university and all other applicable requirements are met, your university will confer the doctoral degree.

More information under “Find your PhD position”
Framework conditions for doctoral researchers

Extensive training courses

Forschungszentrum Jülich expressly encourages its doctoral researchers in their professional development, helping them to gain new competencies and broaden their minds. As a doctoral researcher at Jülich, you will undertake extensive training courses on good scientific practice, subjects related to your research, soft skills such as project management, presentation techniques, and literature searches, etc.

The figure shows the basic curriculum available at Forschungszentrum Jülich in 2019. All doctoral researchers will participate in this structured programme. In addition, thematically focused graduate schools or institute programmes will offer methodological and scientifically focused modules in their specific research fields.

Conditions and support for doctoral researchersTransferable skills courses for all Jülich doctoral researchers from 2019

Training courses which you have completed at Forschungszentrum Jülich or university during your doctoral research will be mutually recognized by both institutions.

Reach your goal within three years

Most doctoral researchers reach their goal of handing in their thesis within three years as they are able to concentrate on their doctoral research, while also benefitting from two supervisors and structured PhD programmes. Close monitoring of your progress ensures that you can keep to your deadline. At regular intervals, you will present your project results to your supervisors. In addition, you can talk about your research project with fellow researchers in order to receive external feedback. You regularly review and adjust your project together with the supervisors, ensuring any major delays can normally be prevented. Further possibilities regarding the extension of a contract are discussed individually.

Requirements for international PhD candidates

International students may have to provide additional information (about their education, university degree, reference letters), request work permits, or apply for a visa. You are welcome to contact Forschungszentrum Jülich for individual guidance. For detailed information, please refer to International Advisory Services.

Requirements for international doctoral researchers

Advanced English – good German

For the research projects at Forschungszentrum Jülich, team members mainly communicate in English. Theses are also mostly written in English. Furthermore, the majority of publications and conference proceedings are published and presented in English, as this is the lingua franca of science. Doctoral researchers have to be intermediate or advanced speakers of English. For all non-native speakers of German, it is useful to acquire some knowledge of the language. This makes it easier to get around, communicate with your neighbours, meet friends, and to make the most out of your stay. Forschungszentrum Jülich offers you help in learning German through language courses or tandem partners, where two people support each other in learning their respective languages.


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