Excellent supervision, clear prospects

Doctoral funding contracts at Max Planck

The doctoral funding contracts combine research in scientific freedom with social security. They allow doctoral researchers to devote themselves independently to their scientific work without any constraints. The agreed working time currently amounts to 39 hours per week. Payment is based on the Collective Wage Agreement for the Civil Service (TVöD) and currently amounts to a minimum of just under €2,700 gross. Depending on the subject or on the basis of an individually granted bonus, payment for doctoral researchers may also be higher. The offer is complemented by an annual bonus.

Funding contracts are concluded for a duration of three years, with the possibility of extension for another year. Research visits - also abroad - within the framework of the doctorate are also supported with funding

Support at a glance

  • Scientists do not generally supervise more than eight doctoral students at the same time.
  • The scope of doctoral studies is selected in such a way that the work can be completed within the usual period of time: generally three years (plus a possible one-year extension)
  • The rights and obligations incumbent on both sides are defined in a support agreement. Doctoral students are expected to discuss the schedule for completing their dissertation regularly with their principal supervisor.
  • The support contract represents a commitment to finance the doctoral student for the entire duration of their doctoral studies, provided that they achieve the expected level of scientific performance.
  • In addition to their principal supervisor, all doctoral students are supported by a second, independent scientist. They are also monitored by a Thesis Advisory Committee.
  • Supervisors encourage doctoral students, even while still pursuing their doctoral studies, to publish their research results.
  • Doctoral students have the opportunity while training to refer queries or differences of opinion locally to an independent authority.
  • The Scientific Advisory Board as part of its regular evaluations of the Institute will investigate the quality of training provided for doctoral students and compliance with the Guidelines.
  • Doctoral students receive support in continuing their professional training, acquiring soft skills and gaining experience of teaching. Financial support is also available for events such as peer coaching and self-organized retreats.
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