Why a structured PhD?
A structured PhD in HBRS has many advantages compared to a "normal" PhD (Dr.rer.nat.) at MHH:
-> Please see also the table below!
1. Overall: HBRS takes care that your PhD should not not take more than 3-4 years. Good supervision and funding for the whole duration of PhD is guaranteed.
2. International: you meet and interact people from more than 40 different countries
3. Networking and interdisciplinarity: we have around 250 PhD students as well as 150 supervisors in our graduate school. You get to know students and supervisors from different disciplines. Everyone is willing to assist you in your project.
4. Personal development and Career: The HBRS also provides various opportunities for personal development and social interaction. Previous events organised for our students include:
# Orientation weeks
# Conflict/ Stress/ Project/ Time Management
# The Annual Indian Party and HBRS Christmas Party
# HBRS Career Day
# Intercultural communication, Team Work
# GMP course
# Day/weekend trips to various German cities
# Career advice including special soft skill courses and excursions to industry
# Master Classes and Summer Schools
5. HBRS office/ PhD offices: take care of all personal matters. Every student has got one main supervisor as well as two co-supervisors. Furthermore, you can rely on your fellow classmates as well as senior students. So, you are never left alone in case of problems!
Classical vs Structured PhD
Classical PhD at MHH
Structured PhD at HBRS
One supervisor and one cosupervisor
(more cosupervisors optional)
Main supervisor and two cosupervisors from different departments; annual thesis advisory meetings
Project provided by supervisor
Project provided by supervisor and checked by PhD committee
You start anytime
You start in October. You have classmates (usually a batch of up to 20 students per program per year)
Change of project difficult
Time of probation 6 months; change of project within program possible
You have colleagues in your department and have to take efforts to get to know other PhD students outside your group
You have colleagues in your department and regularly meet fellow PhD students in HBRS seminars as well as other HBRS activities
No special seminars and courses offered
HBRS seminars every week during first two years
You have to look for opportunities on your own; you have to take at least two soft skill cources
Soft skill courses, Master classes, excursions, events, Career advice etc.
Not provided by MHH
German classes and English Conversation
Annual retreat with all members of your program
No intermediate exam
PhD office responsible mainly for registration and handing in thesis; International office helps international students
PhD and HBRS office provide help any time
Orientation weeks and senior student mentors
Organize on your own
Housing, bank account, insurance etc. for international students organized by PhD office
Final PhD defense
Final PhD defense
No PhD degree awarded, only Dr.rer.nat or Dr.biol.hum.
PhD or Dr.rer.nat. degree
Medical students can only do the Dr.med. degree
Medical students can be awarded PhD degree (German students after they have done Dr.med.)
Huge HBRS Alumni network