On this page we answer general questions about pursuing a doctorate and provide you with information and links to services for current and prospective doctoral researchers in Leipzig.

Foto: stehnd an einem Tisch unterhalten sich Menschen
If you have specific questions about organising your doctorate, we will be pleased to assist with our range of advisory services. Photo: Swen Reichhold

Questions and Answers About Doing a Doctorate in Leipzig

A doctorate is an independent academic endeavour which culminates in the publication of a written dissertation. This whole process is known in German as Promotion. It involves conducting your own scholarly project, which is documented by the award of a doctoral degree.

It is supervised by experienced researchers, whereby the quality and scope of the supervision have a significant influence on the success of the doctorate. The faculties’ individual doctoral regulations contain full details of how the doctoral procedure is structured.

It is possible to do a doctorate in all of the subjects offered at Leipzig University. Doctorates are awarded by a university’s faculties either on a topic chosen by the candidate or, as is common in the natural and life sciences, on a given topic. The research question for the dissertation may also be derived from the researcher’s master’s thesis.

When choosing a supervisor, it may be necessary to clarify beforehand whether the person has the necessary subject-specific expertise for the planned dissertation or whether there may be other colleagues more suited to supervising your doctorate.

Regardless of your academic background and funding, you can enrol as a doctoral student. This will mean you have to pay the semester fee, but you can enjoy all the benefits of student status. Some scholarship providers require applicants to have the status Promotionsstudierende/r (“doctoral student”) in order to be eligible for a scholarship.

Some faculties offer fast-track doctorates. The prerequisites for this are usually an excellent academic record at bachelor’s level and passing an aptitude test. For more information, please refer to the faculties’ individual doctoral regulations or contact the faculties’ assistants to the deans.

Some faculties offer fast-track doctorates for bachelor’s graduates. The prerequisites for this are usually an excellent academic record at bachelor’s level and passing an aptitude test. For more information, please refer to the faculties’ individual doctoral regulations or contact the faculties’ assistants to the deans.

Special rules apply in the case of the doctoral titles Dr.med. and Dr.med.dent at the Faculty of Medicine. Students of medicine or dentistry at Leipzig University may pursue a doctorate once they have successfully completed the Erster Abschnitt der Ärztlichen Prüfung or the Zahnärztliche Vorprüfung respectively. To be awarded a doctorate, they must have successfully completed all state examinations required for registration.

More information about doctorates at the Faculty of Medicine

The choice of a doctoral places is usually directly related to how the doctorate will be financed. There are a number of ways to find out about doctoral places and funding options for your doctorate:

  • Vacant doctoral positions are advertised on the Job Opportunities page of the Leipzig University website. Information about vacant positions or announcements in connection with graduate programmes can also be provided by supervisors at the faculty where you would like to do your doctorate.
  • Our doctoral programmes at the Research Academy Leipzig offer doctoral researchers positions or fellowships to begin a structured doctorate. Applications are made directly to the individual programmes, which decide on the application and admission procedures. Members of the Research Academy Leipzig can benefit from special services. These include financial assistance for travel and self-organised conferences as well as childcare facilities.
  • With the Pre-Doc Award, we at Leipzig University support graduates in preparation for doctoral research as well as postdocs in their ability to supervise doctoral candidates. During the funding period, the aim is for recipients to jointly develop a doctoral research project and to acquire funding for it.
  • Leipzig University and the Free State of Saxony support doctoral researchers with positions for doctoral students, state postgraduate funding and Sylff fellowships.
  • The University’s Doctoral Council (ProRat) is the elected representation of all doctoral researchers at Leipzig University. Its members provide general advice on funding opportunities for doctorates.
  • The guide to pursuing a doctorate in Leipzig published by the Research Academy Leipzig and the Doctoral Council provides a detailed overview of (external) funding options
  • A very good overview of scholarships can be found on the Stipendienlotse website.
  • If you are from abroad and interested in doing a doctorate, you can apply directly to the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) for funding.
  • The Ratgeber Promotion by ZEIT CAMPUS and the Klaus Tschira Foundation also provides a good overview of funding opportunities for doctorates.
  • The Begabtenförderungswerke offer funding for doctorates. An overview is provided by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research.

The University awards positions for doctoral candidates twice annually. The application deadlines are 5 July and 15 November each year. Funding starts on 1 October and 1 April respectively. Successful applicants are employed as research assistants for three years.

More information about positions for doctoral candidates

Services and Support for Your Doctorate

  • Contact person for general questions about doctorates: Verena Jochmann
  • Our services for you:

    Advice on specific opportunities for funding doctorates:

    • State (graduate) scholarships

    • Positions for doctoral candidates

    • Sylff fellowships

    • Re-entry scholarships

  • We’d be happy to assist you...  with questions regarding the above funding opportunities.
  • More information is available here:
  • Contact person for general questions about doctorates: The team can be contacted by email.
  • Our services for you:
  • We’d be happy to assist you...  on all issues relating to open science, such as open-access publishing, handling research data, funding opportunities and legal and technical aspects..
  • The following partners from our network may also be of interest:
  • More information is available here:
  • Contact person for general questions about doctorates: Anique Hadeler, Carsten Seemann
  • Our services for you:
    The ProRat’s tasks include representing Leipzig University’s doctoral researchers both externally and internally, but in particular:
    • Representation of the interests of doctoral researchers
    • Participation in matters concerning doctoral researchers
    • Promotion of networking among doctoral researchers
    • Assisting doctoral candidates in matters concerning the doctoral process, if requested by the doctoral candidate.
  • We’d be happy to assist you...  if you have any difficulties or general questions concerning your doctorate
  • The following partners from our network may also be of interest:
  • More information is available here:
  • Contact person for general questions about doctorates: Georg Teichert
  • Our services for you:
    • Mentoring project for female doctoral researchers: t. e. a. m.)
    • Guidance and contact point for doctoral researchers with family ties and/or who care for relatives

    • Child day-care places

    • Holiday care programme
    • Mobile nursery

  • We’d be happy to assist you... with planning your career and questions of juggling a doctorate with family commitments.
  • More information is available here:
  • Contact person for general questions about doctorates: Betina Sedlaczek
  • Our services for you:
    • Guidance and support for international doctoral researchers on the subject of application, enrolment and starting a doctorate at Leipzig University
  • We’d be happy to assist you... you have questions about doctoral applications, starting your doctorate (semester fee, enrolment, registering with the authorities and residence permits, accommodation, opening a bank account) and funding your doctorate.
  • The following partners from our network may also be of interest:
  • More information is available here:

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