In Germany the right to award a doctorate is usually reserved for universities or equivalent institutions. The acquisition of the doctoral degree is also possible at "Universities of Applied Sciences" through cooperative doctorates with doctorate-granting partners. At our University of Applied Sciences the amount of cooperative doctorates increased over the last few years.
How do these cooperative doctorates come about? First, the doctoral topic should be introduced to professors of our university. In case of a positive response, a joint request is made to a professor at a university with whom the dissertation is supervised together. Parallel to this, the doctoral candidates elaborate on their topic by writing an exposé. If the university professor is willing to take on the supervision, the doctoral committee of that university will be asked to accept the candidate as a doctoral student.
The doctoral candidates do not necessarily have to have been part of the student body of our university. External candidates are expressly encouraged to apply.
A doctorate lasting several years is a time-consuming affair and usually a formative phase for the rest of one's life. Last but not least, employment and earning opportunities for academics who have completed their doctorate are generally well above average. The high amount of work and time that a doctorate entails therefore makes it necessary to consider financing options in advance and to weigh up carefully which financing model will leave enough time for work on the dissertation. The most common forms are briefly explained below.
For scientists: Employment as a research associate (wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiterin / wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter)
A large proportion of doctoral students are employed at a university. They work here as academic staff in research and teaching or have a special doctoral position. However, such positions are not yet widespread at universities of applied sciences because, in contrast to universities, the classic Mittelbau is only just emerging here. Such scientific personnel at universities of applied sciences are therefore mainly financed by third-party funds.
For practitioners: Funding through a company
Companies finance doctorates that are of particular applied scientific interest to them. The doctoral candidate is usually employed full time by the company or, due to the high workload, part time, and is supervised at the university as an external doctoral student. If the company provides the university with third-party funding, the doctorate can also be completed internally at the university, as described above.
For lone fighters: Support through a doctoral scholarship
Some doctoral students finance themselves through a doctoral scholarship. The largest scholarship providers in Germany are the Begabtenförderungswerke and the graduate colleges of the German Research Foundation. However, many smaller foundations also grant special scholarships in various subject areas. In addition, so-called state graduate scholarships are awarded from the coffers of the federal states. Most doctoral fellowships are awarded by foundations, which usually expect not only professional suitability and a well-founded doctoral project, but also an ideological closeness to the respective foundation. The advantage of this type of funding is that one can concentrate fully on one's doctorate, since one is not employed and does not have to perform any activities unrelated to the doctorate. With a scholarship, however, one is not automatically covered by social insurance, but must finance the insurance from the scholarship. Also, the time and financial scope of a possible side job is often severely restricted by the regulations of the scholarship providers, so that the additional earning possibilities are small. In this model, the focus is therefore on concentrated and rapid work on the doctoral topic.
For "exotics": Secondary activities and other sources of funding
Some PhD students earn their living by working outside the scientific field and without a strong thematic connection to their PhD topic, e.g. as a temp, in catering, etc., or are financed by family members. Others also combine different types of funding, either temporally in parallel or consecutively. Thus, there are few limits to the design of the form of financing. Only the sufficient free time for scientific work remains as a scarce resource in this phase of life the decisive tipping of the scales.
Of course, all doors are open to people in different life situations, also in research and doctoral studies. Our university, which is certified as family-friendly, promotes gender equality, invests in the compatibility of family and career, and supports the sustainable inclusion of people with disabilities or chronic illnesses. The Equal Opportunity and Diversity Coordination Office bundles these efforts and provides general and further information, as well as competent contact persons(link).
We explicitly recognize the diversity and difference of PhD students.
Doctorate with child
A central concern of the Ludwigshafen University of Applied Sciences is the expansion of family-friendly structures for a sustainable compatibility of family, career and research. To meet the needs of students, academics and staff, several options for childcare are offered on campus:
In our kindergarten LUfanten, our university members can have their children from the age of nine months until they start school cared for on a full-day basis or with extended morning services. In addition to this regular care, two parent-child rooms E43/M013have also been set up so that children can be cared for themselves in emergencies. As part of a life-phase-oriented HR policy, an e-learning module "Compatibility of work and family" has been developed.
More information can be found here.
Financial support is provided by special scholarships for female doctoral students with children - for example, the Christiane Nüsslein-Volhard-Stiftung(link; application possible annually by November 30).
Doctorate with impairment
Although many academics live with an impairment, earning a doctorate with a disability is still not a matter of course. A variety of support offers aim to remedy this situation.
In addition to the general funding opportunities for the time of the doctorate described above, various regional and national foundations offer targeted funding opportunities for doctoral students with disabilities and/or chronic illness.
We will be happy to advise you on the selection of a suitable funding program and will also provide you with an overview of suitable foundations on request.