Application for doctoral studies

There is no central admission or selection office for doctoral researchers at HHU. The application process differs depending on your preferred way to obtain a doctorate; by an undefinedIndividual Doctorate or within a undefinedStructured Graduate Programme.

Application for an Individual Doctorate
  • A successful application for an Individual Doctorate at HHU involves the following steps:

    1. Check the admission requirements for doctoral studies at HHU:

    Before starting to apply for a doctorate at HHU check if your university education fulfills the requirements for admission. Normally you need to hold an excellent Master's or Diploma degree of the appropriate field. In some faculties you can also get accepted for doctoral studies with a Bachelor's degree (e.g. Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences). Starting a doctorate with a Bachelor's degree often requires participation in specific training courses in parallel to the doctoral research. In most faculties a undefinedgood command of either English or German is a requirement for starting doctoral studies. Further information on approval of your former university education can be found undefinedhere.

    2. Specification of the research topic for your PhD thesis:

    For an individual doctorate you will need to specify the research topic for your PhD thesis on your own or you need to apply for a specific research topic offered by a Professor. Therefore, it's extremely important to identify your research interests beforehand. The next step is to find a Professor at HHU who is willing to supervise your thesis. Supervising a doctoral thesis is always an individual agreement by both - the doctoral researcher and the supervisor. Information on the different research areas at HHU can be found at the websites of the undefineddifferent faculties, departments and institutes. In addition, it might be helpful to check if your home university has any scientific contact or is a partner university of HHU. International scientific conferences are also a good place to make contact with professors from HHU.

    Information on openings for PhD positions and scholarships at HHU can be found at the undefinedHeRA-Jobportal.

    3. Contacting potential supervisors:

    Before contacting potential supervisors make sure you have thoroughly acquainted yourself with the research topics pursued at their institutes. The better you are informed the higher are the chances of a positive feedback. A personalized cover letter stating your motivation to work on the specific research topic is very important in Germany. Sending bulk emails to potential supervisors makes an extremely negative impression. Attach a short summary of your planned research project and a good structured CV providing information about your education and professional competence. In addition make clear, if you can finance your thesis yourself or if you would like to get funding through the research institute.
    In case you are applying to a specific research topic offered by a professor (open position), instructions for the application deadline and procedure will be given. Follow the instructions carefully because normally only complete and timely submitted application documents will be accepted.

    4. Financing of the PhD thesis:

    In good times before starting your PhD thesis you need to take care about the financing. Application times for individual scholarships can take several months. Information on scholarships and PhD funding at HHU can be found undefinedhere.

Application for Structured Graduate Programmes
  • For applications to structured graduated programmes its advisable to inform yourself about the various programmes in good time before graduation, since usually there are application deadlines for admission. 

    A successful application for a doctorate in a structured programme at HHU involves the following steps:

    1. Check the requirements for admission to the specific graduate programme:

    Before starting to apply for a specific programme check if your university education fulfills the requirements for admission. Normally, you need to have an excellent Master's or Diploma degree of the appropriate field. In some graduate programmes you can also get accepted with a Bachelor's degree. Starting a doctorate with a Bachelor's degree often requires participation in specific training courses in parallel to the doctoral research. Normally, a good command of either English or German is a requirement for acceptance. Detailed information on the admission requirement are given on the individual graduate programmes websites.

    2. Applications for graduate programmes:

    Information about the application process and the required application documents can always be found on the website of the respective programme. Often there are specific application forms. Follow the given instructions carefully because normally only complete and timely submitted application documents will be considered.

    In general make sure you have thoroughly acquainted yourself with the research topics pursued within the graduate programme. The better you are informed the higher are your chances of a positive feedback. A personalized cover letter stating your motivation to work on the specific research topic is very important in Germany. Sending bulk emails to the admission offices makes an extremely negative impression. 

    An overview of all structured graduate programmes at HHU is given here.

    3. Financing of the PhD thesis

    Normally, programme specific scholarships or jobs secure funding of the doctorate at least for three years. Further information on available scholarships or job offers can be found at the individual graduate programmes websites or at the undefinedHeRA job portal.

    In case you have your own funding by a scholarship and the topic of your thesis fits to the research focus of a structured programme, you can apply for association.

International Researcher Center (JUNO)

Universitätsstr. 1
Building 16.11, Level 04, Room 30

Tel.+49-211-81-13405

undefined e-mail

Study in Düsseldorf
Study in Germany - Land of ideas

Doing Your Doctorate in Germany - A Great Idea
Information of German Research Foundation

Info for PhD students -
Research in Germany

The ProFile Study
iFQ- Research Information and Quality Assurance

PhD in Germany

Responsible for the content: E-MailJunior Scientist and International Researcher Center