PhD in Germany

PhD in Germany Promovieren

You want to do doctoral studies in Germany and need a PhD position or a PhD scholarship? You need to get accepted by a PhD supervisor at a host institution or by a research group/graduate school? proWiss assists you in getting a PhD supervisor and a place for doing your PhD in Germany.

The individual PhD and the structured PhD in a doctoral programme

There are two main ways of doing a PhD in Germany: an individual PhD or a PhD as part of a structured doctoral programme.

The individual PhD When doing the individual doctorate, you will write a PhD thesis (also: doctoral thesis or dissertation) under the supervision of a professor with whom you will meet for consultation on a regular basis. However, you will work mostly independently – which gives you a lot of flexibility. The best way to do an individual PhD is to have a PhD position at the university (i.e. an ‘internal individual PhD’). But you can also work independently on your PhD thesis without a having a position at a university. In this case you will need to secure funding for your living expenses elsewhere. This is known as an ‘external individual PhD’.

The structured PhD in a doctoral programme In a structured doctoral programme, you will write your PhD thesis under close supervision of a team of supervisors and you will attend seminars and lectures – similar to PhD programmes in English-speaking countries. Structured doctoral programmes focus on a specific overarching research topic into which your PhD topic has to fit.

PhD supervisor / PhD position / PhD scholarship

One of the biggest challenges when planning a PhD in Germany is to find a PhD supervisor and, ideally, to obtain a paid PhD position at a German University or a position in a structured PhD programme. If you are successful, you will usually receive a salary or a doctoral scholarship and do not have to seek other funding for your PhD. Regardless of whether you are applying for a PhD supervision, a PhD position, or a PhD scholarship –you need to write a convincing research exposé. A research exposé is a brief document in which you present your research idea for your doctoral thesis to a potential PhD supervisor. Its purpose is to convince the addressees that you are the right person for the PhD position or scholarship.

proWiss can support you with your PhD in many ways:

When applying for a • PhD supervisor and host institution in Germany (individual PhD) • PhD position at a German university (internal individual PhD) • PhD scholarships or PhD fellowships for doing a PhD in Germany (PhD funding or research grant for an external PhD) • Position in a structured PhD programme (structured PhD)

Who we are

Dr. Birte Kathage and PD Dr. Reinhard Klein-Arendt provide consulting services for over 20 years – for PhD-candidates not only from Germany, but also for PhD-candidates from countries in Africa, Southeast Asia, the Middle East, and Latin America (from all academic disciplines).

Find more information

Find more information on our consulting services for grant proposal writing at

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We look forward to hearing from you.