The Heidelberg University of Education has the right to award doctorates. It awards the doctoral degree (Dr. paed. or Dr. phil.) to candidates who successfully completed their dissertation projects in one of the university’s research fields. The support and further qualification of young educational researchers is of great importance to the Heidelberg University of Education. In 2021 a total of 130 doctoral candidates were working on their doctorates at one of the three faculties, of which 58% were female and 42% male.
Heidelberg University of Education offers a variety of options for pursuing a doctorate:
Individual doctorate – Many doctoral candidates (28%) conduct their thesis while having a position funded by the university’s budget or in a third-party funded research project. These positions are mostly part-time and temporary (usually for three years). Current vacancies can be found at: https://www.ph-heidelberg.de/stellenangebote.html.
Doctorate in a structured doctoral program - Some doctoral candidates do their doctorate within a structured doctoral program, a so-called “Graduiertenkollegs". This path towards a doctorate is structured to a certain extent and doctoral candidates therein can benefit from a systematic range of further training opportunities. In 2021, 17 doctoral candidates took part in such a structured program. Advertisements for open positions in a structured programs at our university can be found at: https://www.ph-heidelberg.de/stellenangebote.html.
External doctorate - External doctoral candidates who are not affiliated to the university can also acquire a doctoral degree. The search for a suitable topic, supervision, and funding is carried out by these doctoral candidates independently.
Binational doctorate - This is another possibility to do a doctorate. In this case, doctoral candidates do their doctorate at two universities in different countries and acquire a joint doctoral degree awarded by both universities. A binational doctorate is possible at all faculties of the University of Education and with all foreign universities worldwide, as far as the legal framework of the countries and universities allow it.
Read the currently valid doctoral regulations (in German). These guidelines form the legal framework for doctoral studies at the University of Education. Check early, to see if your degree meets the admission requirements for the doctorate. Upon submission of your application for acceptance as a doctoral student, a review will be conducted by the responsible doctoral committee. You are welcome to address formal questions to the relevant secretariat of the Dean's Office (see above for contact person).
- Examination of the content of the application for acceptance as a doctoral candidate
- Decision on acceptance as a doctoral candidate and, if necessary, setting of conditions
- Decision on request for extension of the doctoral process
- Decision on the application for a change of supervisor
- Contact person for processing formal questions during the doctoral process
- Notification of decisions of the doctoral committee
Faculty of Education and Social Sciences
Contact: Secretariat of Faculty I, Ms. Schäfer dekanat1☞ Please insert an @ at this point ☜ph-heidelberg☞ Please insert a period at this point ☜de
Faculty of Cultural Sciences and Humanities
Contact: Secretariat of Faculty II, Ms. Gennrich dekanat2☞ Please insert an @ at this point ☜ph-heidelberg☞ Please insert a period at this point ☜de
Faculty of Natural and Social Sciences
Contact: Secretariat of Faculty III, Ms. Schmitt dekanat3☞ Please insert an @ at this point ☜ph-heidelberg☞ Please insert a period at this point ☜de
- Contact person for general questions about doctoral studies and funding
- Offers for interdisciplinary qualification measures
- Individual support and advice
You are interested in a doctorate and are still looking for a suitable scholarship to finance your doctoral project? Do not hesitate to contact us. In order for us to personalize the consultation to your needs, we would like to ask you to send a completed scholarship questionnaire to graduateschool☞ Please insert an @ at this point ☜ph-heidelberg☞ Please insert a period at this point ☜de with the consultation request.
To find a supervisor, you have to become active yourself. Inform yourself about possible supervisors on the website of the University of Education and the individual faculties and contact them via e-mail. Important: Do not send general e-mails. Show that you concerned yourself with the research interests of potential supervisors. Include a short CV and ideas for your PhD project in your e-mail. After the independent search for a supervisor, a doctoral agreement needs to be signed with your potential supervisor. The joint signing of a doctoral agreement is the requirement for the submitting of the application for acceptance as a doctoral candidate. If you need assistance in finding a supervisor, please contact graduateschool☞ Please insert an @ at this point ☜ph-heidelberg☞ Please insert a period at this point ☜de.
After concluding the doctoral agreement with your supervisor, you are required to register in the doctoral portal of the University of Education and to submit the notification of the doctoral agreement. The University of Education centrally manages all doctorates in the doctoral portal. Those interested in doing a doctorate as well as doctoral candidates can initiate all important steps of their doctorate there via a personal user account and have insight into the current status of the doctoral process.
Write an exposé about your planned work and give an overview of the project in it. Please discuss the content and formal aspects of your planned exposé with your supervisor. For guidance, please refer to the instructions for writing a doctoral exposé (in German).
In addition to the application for acceptance as a doctoral candidate, you must also submit an extended certificate of good conduct. You can obtain the form for applying for the extended certificate of good conduct from the faculty with whom your doctorate will be registered. You can then use this form to apply for the extended certificate of good conduct from your authority.
After you have prepared all the necessary documents, submit your application for acceptance as a doctoral student via the doctoral portal. Subsequently, the application for acceptance as a doctoral candidate will be reviewed by the responsible doctoral committee. The decision on acceptance as a doctoral candidate and, if necessary, the imposition of conditions will be communicated immediately after the committee meeting. Important: Please contact the dean's office of your faculty as early as possible to find out about the dates and deadlines for submitting the application for the next committee meeting.
As an accepted doctoral candidate, you are required to enroll as a student during your doctorate (§ 38 (5) State University Act). Only doctoral candidates who have at least a 50 percent position at our university can declare to the rectorate, that they do not wish to be enrolled.
For more information about enrollment, please contact the student office (in German).
The Graduate School of Heidelberg University of Education is the interdisciplinary platform for further qualification of the university's young researchers in educational science and supports young researchers in a variety of ways. Accepted doctoral candidates at the Heidelberg University of Education can voluntarily become members of the Graduate School (registration form) and benefit from numerous support programs. Doctoral candidates in structured programs (“Graduiertenkollegs”) become members automatically. You can find an overview of what the Graduate School has to offer and what requirements a membership brings along on the website of our Graduate School.
As an accepted doctoral candidate, you are required by the doctoral regulations to report any changes during the doctoral process (e.g. address, employment relationship and enrollment at PH) in the doctoral portal.
You may also apply for and manage formal changes to your doctorate in the central doctoral portal. These include:
- the change of the doctoral supervision
- change of the type of dissertation (monograph or cumulative/publication-based)
- the extension of the doctoral project."