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Several universities and research institutions in north-western Germany offer PhD positions in various disciplines of marine sciences. Such positions are announced on the respective websites of the institutions. Since funding for PhD positions is limited, prospective PhD students often need to apply for a scholarship. Information about funding for PhD positions can be found at www.research-in-germany.org.

During their doctoral studies, PhD students are offered the opportunity to participate in structured doctoral programmes (see below). These so-called graduate programmes or graduate schools aim to improve the qualification of the participating PhD students and provide an ideal research environment towards their doctoral degree by offering team supervision, further education and a network structure.

PhD Programmes


© Karin Plage

Prerequisite for conducting a PhD in Germany is generally a Master’s degree. In exceptional cases, a Bachelor degree might be sufficient (fast-track programme). For more information on formal requirements, please have a look at www.research-in-germany.org.

Study topics include for example:

  • Biosciences
  • Geosciences
  • Climate Sciences
  • Palaeoclimatology
  • Microbiology
  • Law of the Sea
  • Social Sciences