The department awards the scientific doctoral degree "Doktor:in der Naturwissenschaften" (Dr. rer. nat.) for independent research in one of the department's research areas. At KIT, doctoral researchers find a stimulating scientific environment for their research that goes beyond their own area of expertise. The research work usually takes place at one of the institutes, in cooperation with a scientific supervisor and other researchers of the research groups.

There is no centrally organized application portal for doctoral researchers at the department. Applications should be addressed to prospective supervisors. The relevant topics and researchers can be found under Research. It is possible to apply even if there is no explicit advertisement.

Doctoral researchers are often involved in further scientific networks, e.g. via the KIT Centers or coordinated research programs, and/or in structured doctoral programs. At KIT there are guidelines for doctoral studies that give an overview of essential aspects to get a doctoral degree.


Structured doctoral programs

The independent research of doctoral researchers is supported by structured doctoral programs such as doctoral schools or research training groups. They offer consistent concepts and the highest standards for the supervision of doctoral theses and for the professional and interdisciplinary qualification of doctoral students as well as support for their career development. Researchers of the department play leading roles in several doctoral schools:

  • GRACE – Graduate School for Climate and Environment
  • KCDS – KIT Graduate School Computational and Data Science
  • KSETA – Karlsruhe School of Elementary Particle and Astroparticle Physics: Science and Technology
  • KSOP – Karlsruhe School of Optics and Photonics
  • KSQM – KIT Graduate School of Quantum Matter
  • MPSP – Max Planck School of Photonics


Formal steps towards a doctorate

To start a doctorate at KIT, some formal steps are required: all doctoral researchers have to register at the Karlsruhe House of Young Scientists (KHYS). As a general rule, all doctoral researchers are enrolled at KIT. Furthermore, they conclude a Doctoral Agreement with their supervising professors and choose a mentor from among the professors of the department (but not of the same institute) to mediate in case of possible conflicts with their supervisors. Finally, they apply to the department for acceptance as doctoral candidates.

Your central contact for all questions concerning your doctorate in the dean's office of the department is Corinna Knodel-Rupp.

Further information and forms can be found here:

  • KHYS – the Karlsruhe House of Young Scientists, is the central institution for the promotion of young scientists at KIT and the contact point for all those interested in doctoral studies, doctoral candidates, postdocs, and supervisors.
  • DOCATA – the web portal for the registration of doctoral researchers at KIT and at the department


Regulations and documents