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Career orientation and development for doctoral candidates

The University of Cologne (UoC) is committed to creating the best possible conditions for doctoral studies. With approximately 3,300 registered doctoral candidates (ca. 700 degrees per year), the scientific qualification of doctoral candidates and their career advancement are an important task of the UoC. This requires a coordinated interaction of subject-related and interdisciplinary expertise. The UoC has therefore created a sustainable, comprehensive network of currently 47 graduate schools and doctoral programs. It builds on the UoC graduate schools of the six Faculties and the Centre of Teacher Education and also includes the graduate schools established together with non-university research institutions as well as doctoral programs funded by third parties.

Graduate Schools, Individual Doctorate, Research Training Groups, Collaborative Research Centres

Graduate schools are also known as ‘Structured Ph.D. Programs’. The researcher will be supervised by a group of people and will attend classes, lectures, and seminars with other Ph.D. students. There are deadlines to apply to a Graduate School. The list of Graduate schools at the University of Cologne can be found here.

Individual Doctorate

Individual doctorates are earned through an independent study conducted under the supervision of a single professor. There are no deadlines to apply for an individual doctorate.

Research Training Groups (RTG)

Research Training Groups are established by universities to promote early career researchers. They are funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG) for a period of up to nine years. They are sponsored for a maximum of nine years by the DFG. Their main focus is on doctorate researcher qualification within the context of a focused research program and a well-structured training approach. The list of Research Training Groups at the University of Cologne can be found here.

Collaborative Research Centres (CRC)

Collaborative Research Centres are long-term university-based research institutions, established for up to 12 years, in which researchers work together within a multidisciplinary research program. The list of Research Training Groups at the University of Cologne can be found here.

Offers for Post-Docs

The possible career paths during and after the postdoctoral phase are varied, both inside and outside the university. In its Strategic Guidelines on Career Paths for Early-career Researchers in the Postdoc Phase, the University of Cologne describes transparent and clearly defined career paths with a focus on research, teaching, and research management. Postdocs can also opt for non-university career paths, e.g., in business, public administration, foundations, politics, culture, media, and education.

Female Career Program

The Female Career Program offers female students, doctoral candidates, postdocs, and other employees of the University of Cologne and the University Hospital of Cologne the opportunity to specifically address their individual career development - within academia as well as in preparation for the non-university labor market.

Global Responsibility Team, International Office

Global Responsibility projects of the International Office seek to link actions of global and local networks and communities in order to contribute to solving global challenges, such as climate change and migration. On a global level, the International Office builds up cooperation that facilitates and enhances exchange with academic partners in Asia, Africa, Latin America, and the Middle East.



Dr. Amisha Jain
Head of Regional Office- India, South Asia & South East Asia


German House, 21, Jor Bagh
New Delhi, 110003 India

Telefon +91-11-46063410
E-Mail amisha.jain(at)uni-koeln.de