Finding a Supervisor

Your supervisor supports you and gives advice during your doctoral phase. This makes your supervisor the first person to contact in all matters relating to your doctorate. Supervision may vary depending on the culture in your discipline, the size of the institute, etc. Other experienced scientists may also be involved in supervision.

If supervisors are university members authorized to participate in doctoral procedures, they usually are your reviewers. This means that they will assess your doctoral thesis and oral examination.

Who at KIT is authorized to review doctoral theses?

Persons authorized to participate in doctoral procedures are persons allowed to review doctoral theses. These are professors, Privatdozentinnen or Privatdozenten, and ▶ KIT Associate Fellows.

▶ KIT Associate Fellows are outstanding, independent, non-habilitated (early-stage) researchers recognized as KIT Associate Fellows by a KIT department. KIT Associate Fellows may participate in doctoral procedures of members of their (junior) research group.  

Detailed information on persons authorized to participate in doctoral procedures is given in the ▶ doctoral regulations of your KIT department.

How can I find a supervisor?

There is no central point, where you can apply for an individual doctorate. You have to become active yourself. If you have not yet contacted a potential supervisor at KIT, inform yourself about possible supervisors on the websites of the ▶ KIT departments and institutes and contact them by mail. Do not forget to attach a CV and proposal. Your mail should not be of general character. Show that you are familiar with the research interests of your potential supervisor. Note that a degree in the same or a related discipline may be required for starting a doctorate. As a rule, work on your individual doctorate can be started anytime.

Check whether positions for doctoral researchers that meet your research interests are offered on the ▶ websites of KIT.

Another option is to obtain your doctorate within a structured ▶ doctoral program. These programs have admission requirements and application deadlines of their own. Please inform yourself on the websites and contact the persons indicated there.

What should I consider when choosing a supervisor?
  • Is the communication between you good?
  • Do you have the necessary expertise on the subject?
  • Is there an offer of funding?
  • Are the doctoral candidates supported by the supervisor (publications, participation in conferences and further training, etc.)?
  • What is the nature of the exchange (colloquia, work meetings)?
  • How am I involved at the institute? (Working group, research project, industrial project, etc.)
  • Are there other obligations (teaching, administration)?