- © DAAD / Volker Lannert
There are many reasons for doing research in Germany. The country in the heart of Europe has an excellent research landscape: over 380 institutions of higher education and over 700 non-university research institutions as well as numerous research laboratories and development departments in industry offer experienced researchers attractive career opportunities in international surroundings. Researchers from abroad are very welcome. They find excellent working conditions in Germany as well as a cosmopolitan society with a high standard of living.
Germany’s research landscape
Universities and other higher education institutions
Germany has a large number of internationally renowned research-oriented universities. They offer senior researchers high-quality infrastructure, excellently equipped research facilities, well-trained staff and an international orientation. This applies especially – but by no means exclusively – to Germany’s outstanding Excellence Universities and Excellence Clusters where brilliant researchers from all over the world work in an interdisciplinary way on questions of social and economic relevance.
Germany’s universities of applied sciences (Fachhochschulen) offer students a practice-oriented higher education and are characterised by application-oriented research and close ties with industry. In addition to the traditionally strong focus on research in the engineering sciences, universities of applied sciences are increasingly covering a broad range of subjects within application-oriented research and development – from biotechnology and robotics to applied social and economic sciences.
Non-university research institutions
Germany’s four large internationally renowned research organisations – the Helmholtz Association, the Max Planck Society, the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft and the Leibniz Association – with their tens of thousands of employees and budgets of billions of euros are at the top of research. These non-university research institutes are internationally oriented and, as a result, one third of the researchers at Max Planck Institutes come from abroad, rising to half in the case of visiting researchers. Outstanding scientists and scholars have access to an exceptional research infrastructure: here they can work on internationally unique large-scale projects – for example, the German Electron Synchrotron (DESY).
Germany’s research landscape is characterised by the close cooperation between universities, non-university research institutions and industry. Research institutions and business enterprises join together at the regional level in so-called Leading-Edge Clusters which concentrate the innovative force of business, research and society.
The German labour market
Germany is a highly developed industrialised nation with one of the world’s most powerful economies. It is an international leader not only in mechanical engineering, vehicle manufacturing, electrical technology and the chemical industry, but also in relation to the technologies of the future, such as biotechnology, nanotechnology and information technology. Engineers, IT specialists and other highly qualified researchers are therefore very much in demand in Germany.
Living in Germany
People in Germany enjoy a very high standard of living. With its moderate climate, its diverse landscapes, its idyllic villages and pulsating metropolises, Germany offers suitable surroundings for every lifestyle. Whether as a family with children, as a couple or on your own, Germany is a tolerant and cosmopolitan society providing freedom and space for people to lead their own lives.
Special residence and employment regulations apply to highly qualified foreign employees – including researchers with specialist know-how and expertise, teachers and research assistants in higher positions – and family members.