PhD advice

The Graduate Academy will be happy to advise you on all questions regarding your doctorate. If you are interested in a doctorate and its process or if you would like advice in the context of an individual curriculum development, please feel free to contact us.

  • Purpose and course of a doctorate

    "The doctorate serves as proof of the ability to carry out in-depth independent scientific work."

    You may be motivated by a variety of reasons to consider a doctorate as the next step in your career. Reasons could be that you

    • are fascinated by science or enjoy delving into specific scientific issues
    • you want to pursue a career in science
    • a doctorate is common in your field or
    • hope for a higher income or better chances when choosing a career.

    If you decide to do a doctorate, however, you should in any case have the motivation and stamina for time-intensive scientific work in addition to a fascination for your research topic. Before you begin a doctorate, you should consider whether a doctorate is

    • makes sense or is even necessary for your intended career path
    • fits in with your life planning, also with regard to the time that has to be invested
    • it can be financed or how this career phase can be financed

    In addition, you should think about which type of doctorate is right for you: If you prefer thematic integration into a doctoral or research programme with an accompanying specialist training programme, then anstructured doctorate in a doctoral programmecould be particularly interesting for you. Doctoral programmes at Clausthal University of Technology, further information and contact persons can be foundhere.

    If you are more interested in choosing your research topic completely freely and in dividing up and planning your research activities individually, anindividual doctorate may be for you. If necessary, you can take part in interdisciplinary further training. However, there is no obligation for you to take part in qualification offers.

    A doctorate is essentially divided into four main phases:

    1. theorientation phase, in which you work out the topic, supervision, funding and type of doctorate. This phase usually lasts one to three months.
    2. theintroductory phase, in which you acquire the basic knowledge, the state of the art of science. This phase usually lasts three to nine months.
    3. theresearch phase, in which you work on your research project, work out results on your questions and write them up. In this phase, which usually lasts two and a half to three years, the first results of subprojects are often published in scientific journals, at scientific conferences or as book contributions.
    4. thefinal phase, in which you write up your findings and place them in the larger scientific context. The doctorate ends with the publication of your research work and the awarding of the doctorate. For this purpose, you will take an oral examination as a dsiputation, viva voce or subject examination.

    You can find more detailed information here. If you would like advice on the topic of doctoral studies or if you have decided to do a doctorate and are now wondering what the next steps are, we would be happy to support you.

    Contactplease contact us and arrange a

  • Individualpromotion

    The individual doctorate is often regarded as the classic path to a doctor ate. An individual doctorate means independently approaching a professor who will take on the supervision of a suitable research topic or dissertation. You conduct research and work on your dissertation without being tied into a doctoral programme in terms of content and organisation. As soon as you have received a confirmation of supervision, you can apply for "admission to doctoral studies" in the chosen subject at the relevant faculty. Further information on the administrative steps after receiving the confirmation of supervision can be found in the section "Step by step".

    Since individual doctoral candidates do not usually have to complete a compulsory training programme, the individual doctorate allows great freedom in the choice of topic and in the pursuit of individually set goals. The basis for a successful individual doctorate is the special relationship of trust between the doctoral candidate and the supervisor as well as a close connection to the doctoral subject. Research colloquia and seminars within the research groups and institutes enable the exchange with other scientists, the presentation of one's own work progress as well as the discussion of one's own ideas and theses.

    Further reading: academics article "Traditionell Promovieren" (Traditional doctoralstudies)

  • Doctoral Programs

    Clickhere to go to the doctoral programs.


Dr. Jacqueline Le├čig-Owlanj
Phone:+49 5323 72-2972