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FAQs of our Doctoral Program

How can I do a doctorate at MSH?

How can I do a doctorate at MSH?

MSH currently has an individual, cooperative right to award doctorates, i.e. you have the opportunity to do your doctorate at MSH in cooperation with a university of your choice that is entitled to award doctorates. In this case, your second supervisor is a full-time professor working at the MSH, who is also responsible for supervising the content of your work. The formal first reviewer is based at the cooperating university, and your procedure is based on their doctoral regulations. 

How do I find a supervisor for my doctorate?

How do I find a supervisor for my doctorate?

Current research topics and projects are advertised on the MSH website. Please feel free to get in touch with the respective contact person of the research cluster. 

Your supervisor at the MSH will then support you in finding a partner university and a first reviewer. 

How long does a doctorate take?

How long does a doctorate take?

On average, a doctorate takes four years. The aim is to complete academic further training in the form of a doctorate through structured doctoral programs within three years. 

What requirements do I have to meet to start a doctorate?

What requirements do I have to meet to start a doctorate?

Proof of a relevant university degree in the form of a diploma, master's degree, state examination or master's degree is required in order to be able to start the doctorate. You should also have sufficient knowledge of English, usually at least language level B2. With regard to further requirements or suitability criteria, please inform yourself about the doctoral regulations of the cooperating university. 

Which milestones do I have to reach during my PhD?

Which milestones do I have to reach during my PhD?

1. The exposé: finding a topic, working out the scientific question as a basis for the dialogue between doctoral candidate and supervisor, content and time project plan.


2. The supervision agreement: Reflects the requirements and expectations of the doctoral students and the supervisors. 


3. Acceptance as a doctoral candidate*: drafted supervision agreement between doctoral candidate and second supervisor as well as enrollment at the partner university including notification of the topic and the first supervisor 


4. Writing a dissertation*: monograph - 200 to 300 pages or cumulative dissertation - writing of the research results in the form of articles for publication in specialist journals, with various requirements for the publication status (submitted / under review / accepted).


5. Submission and review: The dissertation is reviewed and graded by the MSH supervisor and the primary reviewer from the partner university.


6. Defense and grading*: Defense/disputation (oral examination) - presentation of the results of the written work and a subsequent scientific discussion between the doctoral candidate, the supervisors and, if necessary, other faculty members as well as external experts, rigorosum - in addition to the dissertation topic, other subjects are also considered checked. 


7. Publication of the dissertation*: Depending on the type of doctorate, you may incur publication costs. When publishing a monograph in a book publishing house - 2,000-3,000 €, for a cumulative dissertation, the cost depends on the particular journal in which the scientific articles are planned to be published. These costs may be covered by third-party funds. The dissertation may count as published if the university library makes a certain number of copies available. In general, it is also possible to publish dissertations online free of charge (please refer to the doctoral regulations of the partner university). 

he doctoral regulations of the universities often provide for an electronic publication option, which is usually handled by the respective university library and causes very little or no costs. 


8. Awarding of the doctoral title: the doctoral title may only be used after publication and handing over of the doctoral certificate. The title designation depends on the partner university. phil. (primarily in the humanities and social sciences), Dr. medical (in medicine) or Dr. re. of course (especially in the natural sciences) or the Anglo-American title PhD (a common title for doctoral studies in Anglo-American countries, it is also increasingly possible to acquire it in Germany). 

*Please inquire further details at the university of your first reviewer. 

Which events do I have to attend during my doctorate?

Which events do I have to attend during my doctorate?

The cooperation university of the MSH may specify a structured doctoral program in which you have to collect a certain number of credit points. Please inquire about this at the university of your first reviewer. 

The MSH offers its own courses, which you can have credited for at the cooperating university. Please inquire in advance with the university of your first reviewer whether crediting is possible. 

In addition to a regular journal club and research colloquium, MSH offers the opportunity to attend many other events to present your dissertation, to discuss and exchange ideas in everyday research. 

What are the structural requirements for a doctorate?

What are the structural requirements for a doctorate?

In the following we present various framework conditions for undertaking a doctorate:

In the case of an independent doctorate: You dedicate yourself to your doctorate whilst being employed with a professional position outside the university. This is considered to be the most flexible approach in terms of time. Besides, you have the greatest freedom in choosing a doctorate topic of your choice.  

Scholarship: Here, the doctoral topic can be chosen freely. Scholarships are awarded, for example, within the framework of graduate schools or colleges at state universities, but also by the twelve state-sponsored organizations for the promotion of talented students. There are also foundations from companies or private individuals, where the funding opportunities often relate to a specific topic. Requirements: very good grades in your studies, extensive social commitment.

Position as a research assistant: The thematic orientation of the dissertation is often defined by the research cluster in which the position is located, e.g. in the context of third-party funded projects. In addition, activities in teaching are often desired. 

What costs will I incur during my doctorate?

What costs will I incur during my doctorate?

The costs of a doctorate are dependent on the doctoral degree regulations of the cooperation university of MSH. For example, tuition fees may be incurred as part of structured doctoral programs. Please inquire about this at the cooperating university.

As a rule, the salary of PhD students is often lower than that of fellow students who are directly on the path to working life. With that you have to be able to arrange yourself - and possibly the whole family - for the next years.

Depending on the type of promotion, publication costs may come to you. When publishing a monograph in a publishing house costs from 2,000 to 3,000 € may arise. In the case of a cumulative dissertation, the costs depend on the journal in which the scientific articles are to be published. These costs can be covered by third-party funding.

Very often, the doctoral degree regulations of the universities provide for an electronic publication option, which is usually handled by the respective university library and causes very little or no costs whatsoever.

Is there financial support in the form of a doctoral scholarship?

Is there financial support in the form of a doctoral scholarship?

MSH supports highly motivated and dedicated doctoral candidates in the successful completion of their doctoral work.

Fellows receive a monthly contribution to the cost of living. The application will be submitted with the following documents:     

  • Expose     
  • Time schedule     
  • CV    
  • Financing plan     
  • Graduation certificate     
  • if applicable letter of recommendation     
  • if applicable proof of social commitment (both remunerated and honorary)

In which area can I do my doctorate?

In which area can I do my doctorate?

In all research clusters existing at the MSH a promotion is possible. Current research topics and projects are advertised on the homepage of MSH. Please contact the respective contact person of the research cluster.

Which title is awarded to me?

Which title is awarded to me?

The title designation depends on the respective cooperative university. For example, Dr. phil. (primarily in the humanities and social sciences), med. (in medicine) or dr. rer. nat. (especially in the natural sciences). In doctoral projects involving an international university, there is also the opportunity to acquire the Anglo-American title PhD.

Your contact

Dr. Paul Kaiser Nachwuchsförderung
  • German