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Doctorate

Doctorate

The Doctorate is linked to the award of the PhD-degree supplemented by the respective scientific subject. Among the more than 400 universities in Germany, about 100 have the entitlement to award PhD-degrees - which means that they are research universities or "universities" in a stricter sense. To those also Chemnitz University of Technology counts. In the following, you find an overview of the procedure of a doctorate.

 

Preparation

In general, the so-called "classical" doctoral procedure is practised at Chemnitz University of Technology: This is based on the obligation of the doctoral candidate that he is searching on his own for a topic for his PhD-project which is not yet explored and that he applies then individually at a professor of Chemnitz University of Technology for supervision of his PhD-project. Solely under the condition that a professor or a person delegated by him agrees to take over the supervision of your PhD-project, you can proceed with the further steps!

At first, you should check whether Chemnitz University of Technology is dealing with the subject area of your PhD-project. Is this the case, search for the faculty and the professorship whose research profile is the closest to the topic of your PhD-project. The research profiles of the professorships can often be found quite easily on their website by selecting the category "Research".

Subsequently, contact the holder of the respective professorship directly (by email). You should mention in your email i.a. that you would like to do your PhD at Chemnitz University of Technology and that you would like to apply for supervision of your PhD-project by the professorship. Furthermore, you should indicate when you intend to begin your PhD-project and describe the topic as well as significant contents of your PhD-project. Attach to the email the common application documents (transcript of records and certificate of your Master-degree, CV, short description of content and planned schedule of your PhD-project etc.)

With regard to the prospects of success of your application for supervision of your PhD-project, you should pay special attention to the following aspects:

  • Contact always the holder of the professorship (you find his email-address on the homepage of the respective professorship mostly under the categories "Holder", "Staff" or "Team")
  • Address the holder in your email always with his titles (Prof. Dr.) and surname
  • Keep your email short and simple by concentrating on the most important facts that the professor should know about your PhD-project. Attach not so many, but significant documents!
  • When you describe your PhD-project, establish a connection between its contents and the research profile/ research projects of the professorship
  • In the case you have already held presentations on scientific events or that you have scientific publications, enumerate them in any case in your CV (if there are especially significant scientific achievements, mention them explicitly in your email, if applicable)
  • Also recommendation letters of teachers of the university where you have acquired your Master-degree, which you attach in electronic form to the email as well, can be very useful
  • and last but not least a recommendation of organizational kind: Concede to the professor sufficient time for the examination of your application. As the professorships get very many applications for supervision of PhD-projects from Germany and abroad, it should not worry you when you have not received an answer until a month after you have submitted your application. After this time has passed by, you may - by forwarding your first application email - ask carefully if your application is still being processed or if maybe a decision has already been taken on it.

Admission

The regulation of doctoral aspects in Germany belongs to the respectively responsible faculties at the universities by their doctoral regulations. They decide in their Doctorate Committees also about the admission of candidates and the recognition of acquired academic degrees. Further information regarding the doctoral degrees awarded at Chemnitz University of Technology with links to the different doctoral regulations of the respective faculties may be looked up here.

In general, to the basic formal requirements for the admission to a doctorate count normally on the one hand a very good university degree corresponding to a Master degree which is recognised in Germany and on the other the agreement of a professor to supervise the PhD-project. By the so-called aptitude test procedure it is also possible to admit holders of a bachelor degree of a university to a doctorate without precondition to acquire another degree.

For admission to a doctorate, an application for admission has to be submitted to the Doctorate Committee of the respective faculty. Among the documents to be handed in count normally a CV, degree certificate(s), a description of the PhD-project as well as the agreement of a professor on the respective scientific area to supervise the PhD-project. Further details can be looked up in the respective doctoral regulations.

In the case that the Doctorate Committee of the faculty considers all requirements of the doctoral regulation as fulfilled, the candidate is being admitted to a doctorate. If subsequently you should or have to enrol as PhD-student at Chemnitz University of Technology depends on your country of origin:

  • If you are coming from a country of the European Union (EU), you have the opportunity to enrol as PhD-student but it is not mandatory.
  • If you are coming from a Non-EU-country (so-called "Third-party country"), you have to enrol as PhD-student because this counts among the requirements for the issue of a visa resp. a residence permit for the implementation of your PhD-project in Germany.

Enrolment

You can submit an application for enrolment as PhD-student at any time via the Application Portal of the Student Service. Please have ready the agreement of a professor of Chemnitz University of Technology to supervise your PhD-project and his statement that your German language proficiency is sufficient for PhD-studies at the university as well as the degree certificates that you acquired so far. 

As enrolled PhD-student, after having paid the semester contribution ("Semesterbeitrag"), you have the equal rights as regular students. This means that you can profit i.a. from the following benefits:

  • "Semester ticket" for the free use of public transport in the whole Free State of Saxony
  • Meals for favorable student prices at the dining halls.

The regular duration of enrolment as PhD-student is normally three years. Prolongations are possible but require an application which has to be confirmed by the responsible Doctorate Committee. For further information please contact the Student Service.

Further Procedure

The same like the admission to a doctorate, also the process of a doctoral procedure is determined by the doctoral regulations of the respective faculties. The regular duration for working on the selected doctoral topic is normally three years but prolongations are possible.

Also the detailed preconditions, the required components and the procedure of the final examination at the end of a doctorate are determined in the doctoral regulations of the respective faculties. One of the basic requirements is the acceptance of the doctoral thesis by the faculty. Frequently, the theses developed within the doctoral thesis have to be defended in an oral examination (Disputatio). Furthermore, there is quite often an additional non-public general examination regarding other themes of the respective area of science (Rigorosum) but this can partially vary a lot from subject to subject.

Even after successful completion of the final examination, you are not yet entitled to use your PhD-title publically because you first have to publish your doctoral thesis. For this purpose, Chemnitz University of Technology offers attractive opportunities with an own publisher and an own electronic document server. For further information, please address to the University Library. After you have published your doctoral thesis, you will get your PhD-certificate and are finally entitled to publically use your doctoral title with your name.

Offers for Support

With regard to academic questions in preparation and during your doctorate, your academic supervisor at the faculty is your first contact person who is responsible for the academic support of your PhD-project.

With regard to organizational questions in preparation or during your doctorate, the International Office of Chemnitz University of Technology is at your disposition. With its PhD-Assistants, it offers a special service for international PhD-students and postdocs at Chemnitz University of Technology: They can f.e. being "booked" for accompanying to authorities by their contact address. Additionally, they organize a variety of networking events for international PhD-students, postdocs and (guest-)researchers. If you would like to be kept on the run about those (and other) offers, please simply register in the mailing list of the PhD-Assistants.

The International Office offers short-term-scholarships in a limited scope for international students and PhD-students deriving from acquisition of third-party-funding. Those scholarships are awarded within a competitive procedure by the Scholarship Commission of the International Office.

In addition, there is a great number of organisations and foundations which are funding within a variety of programs stays of international PhD-students and postdocs at German universities. You find an overview in the category "Funding opportunities".

The International Office offers in cooperation with the Center for Foreign Languages regularly German Language Training Courses for international PhD-students and postdocs. You will receive current information (incl. documents for registration) by registering within the mailing list of the PhD-Assistants. Furthermore, you may take part in training courses also in other languages at the Center for Foreign Languages.  

The Center for Young Scientists of Chemnitz University of Technology offers regularly a variety of workshops regarding generic competencies and qualifications, i.a. writing and presentation skills, effective teamwork or target-oriented elaboration of applications for third-party-funding. In addition, also the International Office organizes some workhops, particularly regarding intercultural topics. You will receive current information about these (and other) offers by registering within the mailing list of the PhD-Assistants of the International Office. 

When you have general questions or ideas/ issues regarding the promotion of young scientists at Chemnitz University of Technology in general, you are welcome to address to the Commissioner of the University Management for Junior Researchers at Chemnitz University of Technology.

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