Individual Doctoral Training or a Structured Doctoral Programme?
The University offers two different models of doctoral training: individual doctoral training and doctoral training within a structured doctoral program. The decision as to what kind of training to pursue will depend to a great extent on your chosen discipline and topic as well as on your own personal research and work preferences.
Individual Doctoral Training
This is the classic model of doctoral training in Germany and is still very prevalent in the humanities and social sciences. In this model, the doctoral student chooses a research topic and works more or less on an individual basis with his or her doctoral supervisor. You are not required to participate in a structured program of coursework and there is no additional, formal framework of support or mentoring. To find out how to pursue individual doctoral training, please go to the page: How do I become a doctoral student?
Doctoral Training within a Structured Doctoral Program
This model has become increasingly popular since 1989, especially in the natural and life sciences. In Heidelberg, there are many different kinds of programs ranging from small research training groups with 3-5 researchers up to large graduate schools with 100 or more members. In all cases, the structured program of courses and workshops and the supervision by more than one professor or even a doctoral committee are vital components of the programs. In many programs, candidates must pass through a multi-stage application procedure in order to be admitted. There is a list of all structured doctoral programs at the University of Heidelberg here (link). For more detailed information on the application process and the various programs in Heidelberg, please go to the pages: