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The traditional individual path to a PhD/doctorate remains the most common in Germany. Here, a professor supervises a PhD/doctoral student, who works on his subject in consultation with the professor, but largely independently. This form of PhD/doctoral study offers a great deal of flexibility, but demands a high degree of personal initiative and responsibility. How long a traditional individual doctorate takes depends on your own time schedule – or on the duration of your work contract. Three to five years are normal.
Depending on the subject area of your thesis, your research can be conducted alone or together with other researchers. Doctoral candidates are also free to choose where they would like to conduct research – either at a university, non-university research organisation or in industry.
In Germany there is no central admissions or selection office for doctoral students. Before you can start on your doctoral dissertation, you have to find a supervisor.
The "typical" PhD/doctoral student in Germany works – usually part-time – as a research associate at his university.
Non-university research establishments offer an excellent research environment to conduct your research.
It is also possible to study for a doctorate while working in a (research) job in industry.
PhDGermany publishes PhD position offers in Germany that specifically target international applicants. Therefore in most cases the working language is English. Fluent knowledge of German is only required for certain special positions. PhDGermany helps you find the right PhD position offer or supervisor for your doctoral thesis and assists you with the online application process.
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