Due to the excellent reputation in research and development (R&D), Germany has been a great attraction for companies and scientists globally looking for research opportunities.
According to the Federal Statistical Office (Destatis), a budget of 100 billion Euros (2017) was allocated for R&D in Germany and 17 million euros was spent by higher education sector. (Source: R&D Expenditure per sector). The Research in Germany Portal indicates that roughly 30,000 PhD students complete a doctorate in Germany with over 5,000 international scholars. (Source: Info)
PhD Programmes in Germany
There are two types of PhD programmes in Germany; structured and individual based programmes. In the case of individual doctorate programmes, a candidate works independently under a supervisor.This programme can be freely structured to fit into the individual research project. For the structured PhD programm, the programme is clearly defined and a candidate works with a team of supervisors.
Dr. Benson Kemboi, a geomatic engineer and a lecturer at the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, did his PhD at the Technical University in Darmstadt, Germany. Dr. Kemboi shared with us about the two doctorate programmes: Read more about it here: >> How to apply for a PhD: Structured PhD vs PhD by Research.
Finding a PhD Programme in Germany
There are many databases where one can search for the phd programmes. The DAAD is the most common database which also targets international researchers. Check these databases and research organisations for more information:
- DAAD International doctoral programmes in Germany
- PhDGermany Database
- Higher Education Compass Doctoral Study Programmes
- Helmholtz Research for Grand Challenges
- Fraunhofer Institutes and Research Units
- International Max Planck Research Schools
- The Leibniz Association
Scholarships for PhD Programmes in Germany
There are a good number of PhD and Postdoctoral Research Scholarships in Germany. National Commission for Science, Technology and Innovation (NACOSTI), a collaboration between the Kenyan Government and DAAD, has been funding Kenyan students looking for PhD opportunities in Germany. For more information, visit the DAAD Office in Kenya. Once a year, there is a call for application (DAAD Research Grants) targeting East African academics and scientists. The scholarships are open to all fields and there is no age limit. However the master's degree must not be older than 6 years. For more information about the scholarships, click here: >> Scholarships
Several Kenyan researchers have managed to successfully complete their doctorate programmes in Germany. DAAD, NACOSTI, KAAD, ZEF, Hans Böckler Foundation are some of the scholarship organisations which funded the doctorate programmes. Read more about their success stories here: >> Kenyan Researchers in Germany
Other helpful links
- Research location in Germany
- Funding opportunities in Germany
- Finding a supervisor and how to write a proposal