Before the Doctorate
The decision to obtain a doctorate after graduation needs to be considered very carfully. A doctorate is earned by an independent research contribution in form of the doctoral thesis or dissertation. The dissertation must have been written by one’s own and needs to contain new scientific findings. A doctorate can lay the foundation for a scientific career and is a prerequisite for almost all positions in university and non-university research.
Even if a career outside any science or in scientific management is planned, the acquired research competence and the doctorate can be necessary, useful or advantageous. However, a doctorate in a subject in the humanities, social sciences or cultural studies, as represented at the University of Erfurt, takes on average four to five years.
First of all one should check their own motivation and their career management as well as life planning (academic or non-academic career, career path, family situation) before deciding for a "doctorate" career path. If obtaining one’s doctorate is intended, the following things should be considered:
- the requirements of the university and faculties,
- the selection of a field of area and a dissertation topic,
- the selection of the supervisor(s) and, if necessary, a structured programme,
- the financing of the doctoral period.
Qualified for being a supervisor are all the professors of the relevant faculty, but also private lecturers or, if applicable, employees and teams in the Graduate Centres / the Max-Weber-Kolleg.
By focusing on the essential specialised literature of the field of research respectively the doctoral topic, a concrete problem should be formulated within three to six months and lead to a written outline, an (so-called) exposé, which should be regulary discussed with potential supervisors or supervising teams, while it's still in the process of writing. This way it can be worked out in time at whom and where the project would be best located and whether and how the path to a doctorate can be taken best.
Please note the information sheet on data protection for docorate advice (only available in German).