PhD application and funding in Germany

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Annygrant
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Report Thread starter 10 months ago
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I'm hoping to apply for a PhD in Germany this year. If you're also doing the same or have done in the past, I would like to know how it's going or it went.
My undergraduate GPA is 3.63/5.0. My Masters program is still ongoing but I'm expecting at least a GPA of 4.0 on a scale of 5.0. The only research experience I have is from my undergraduate and MSc programs. The only 2 presentations I've done are academic requirements for undergraduate and MSc. Will my little research experience affect my application? Do I have a chance of receiving a PhD place with funding?
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Annygrant
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(Original post by Annygrant)
I'm hoping to apply for a PhD in Germany this year. If you're also doing the same or have done in the past, I would like to know how it's going or it went.
My undergraduate GPA is 3.63/5.0. My Masters program is still ongoing but I'm expecting at least a GPA of 4.0 on a scale of 5.0. The only research experience I have is from my undergraduate and MSc programs. The only 2 presentations I've done are academic requirements for undergraduate and MSc. Will my little research experience affect my application? Do I have a chance of receiving a PhD place with funding?
Any help I can get right now would be appreciated.
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Anndee
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First of all, it's important to stress that in Germany (as in many other continental European countries), PhD researchers are generally university employees. There is no such thing as a "PhD student", with exception of some small private institutions, but I guess you're talking about the big public universities. This setup has big advantages - you're basically an employee at a state institution, usually classified at 50 - 65% of the E 13 salary band, you get full employee benefits, etc - but it also means, from the institutional side, it's much more expensive to pay a PhD researcher compared to, for instance, the UK stipend for PhD students. Consequently, fewer places are available and applications are very competitive.
As a PhD researcher (with exception of some new research cluster arrangements and graduate schools), you tend to be directly employed at a "Lehrstuhl", where the professor, who holds a personal chair in their field, has final decision over everything: funding, courses taught, who gets the contract, what exact topic they work on, when they are permitted to submit. You'd also be expected to take over labour for the professor, for instance teaching courses or seminars, helping with their publications, etc. Thus, while grades obviously play a big role in the application process, it's even more important that your research experience and proposed topic fits with the specific professor's research agenda and interests, and the more experience you have in terms of research assistant work and so on, the better.
It's difficult to give more detailed advice as it depends very much what field you're in, what state you're considering, etc. Depending on field and institution, there may also be a strict German language proficiency requirement as you may be expected to teach in German at some point.

(Original post by Annygrant)
Any help I can get right now would be appreciated.
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