FAQs

Who is my contact person?

Any requests or questions are in the first place sent to the RTG's coordinator. Our coordinator will attend to all your affairs and can get in contact with every office of Johannes Gutenberg University if necessary or forward to whomever it may concern.

How many years does a doctorate in Germany take?

Completing a doctorate in Germany usually takes three years.

By which organisation and for how long are the doctoral positions funded?

The doctoral positions are funden by the German Research Foundation (DFG) for a maximum of three years with evaluations after the first and second year.

Are the doctoral positions also open to non-German applicants?

Of course all doctoral positions may be applied for by non-German applicants.

Is there a maximum age when applying for a doctoral study as part of the RTG?

There is no age restriction.

Which language is the working language of the RTG?

The RTG's working language is German. Some special courses will also be taught in English. It is also possible to submit a doctoral thesis in English or French, if your thesis director agrees.

Is it possible to send in my application in English?

Most certainly, you are welcome to apply in English. But note that the RTG'€™s working language is German.

Which qualification papers should I send with my application?

Please send us with your application your university-entrance diploma, your bachelor's and your master's degree certificates with an certified English or German translation of each.
We also ask you to send in university transcripts of courses attended while studying for a Bachelor's and Master's degree showing your academic records, including a certified English or German translation. If the grading system is not shown on your transcript, please send us also a grading key with minimum and maximum passing grades.
Furthermore, please provide us in your application with a score concerning your German and English language proficiency, that means which level according to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) you reach in which language.

Should my qualification papers be validated/recognized by the International Office - Incoming at Johannes Gutenberg University?

At the time of application you don't need validated certificates. Validation will only be necessary after your admission to the RTG.

Should the letters of recommendation be sent directly to the RTG?

Yes, the recommendation letters should be sent by your referees directly to the RTG's e-mail.

Do you accept applications from students who will finish their degree after the application deadline?

Yes, we accept your application also without final certificate but we expect you to send us your certification as soon as you get it. In this case, we ask you to send in documents from which your proficiency will be evident.
Please be aware that your degree must be completed approximately two month before the doctoral position starts because the process of validation takes up to 8 weeks and is required for the enrollment at Johannes Gutenberg University.

How good do I have to speak German and English? Which language certificates do I need?

Your German language skills have to be good as the RTG's working language is German. If the doctoral thesis is submitted in German, you have to prove your German language skills by passing the "German Language Proficiency Examination for Admission to Higher Education of Foreign Applicants" (DSH-2, level C1) or an equivalent before enrolling at Johannes Gutenberg University.
Your English language skills also have to be very good because some courses, workshops or lectures of the RTG will be taught in English.

Can I write my doctoral thesis in English?

If your thesis director agrees it is also possible to submit a doctoral thesis in English or French but we expect you to speak and understand German in order to participate in our research and training programme.

Are there regulations concerning the supervision of my doctorate?

With your application you have to propose two thesis directors for your doctorate from the RTG'€™s core faculty. As a rule, the principal thesis director will be the professor of the subject in which you will graduate. The second director must come from another discipline. You should propose your two thesis directors in the application form.
Research for the PhD may in individual cases also be co-directed by staff at a university that is part of our network.

Do I have to propose a topic for my doctoral thesis at the time of application?

Whether a doctoral topic must be mentioned at the time of the application, determines the respective call for applications.

Does the proposed topic for my doctoral thesis fit the RTG's research programme?

If you are not sure if the topic of your doctoral thesis fits to our research programme please contact the RTG's coordinator.

Are stays abroad possible? And are they obligatory?

The RTG's training programme provides for a stay abroad for a maximum of four weeks at one of our associated departments in foreign countries. We encourage you to make use of this opportunity but it is not obligatory.