Fakultät Informatik

Employment/study models

There are different models for a Ph.D. project, varying in terms of status, obligations, duration, and payment. The first step, which is common to all models, is to come to some kind of arrangement with a professor who agrees to act as the supervisor of your Ph.D. project.

Positions funded by the state of Bavaria or by the TUM

Positions funded by the state of Bavaria or by the TUM

There are research and teaching associate positions provided by the State of Bavaria or by the TUM respectively. In our department these are typically, but not necessarily, full-time positions. Under such a working contract, you have teaching obligations and other duties but no mandatory courses to earn credits.
The department strives to reach 4 years as the maximum duration for a doctoral program. Should a graduate student not have completed his or her doctoral thesis after 4 years, the Ph.D. adviser must apply to the managing director of the Informatics Department for a period of extension.

Positions funded by Research Agencies

Positions funded by Research Agencies

There are positions of research associates funded by agencies such as Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG), European Union (EU), state or federal ministries etc. In our department, these are typically, but not necessarily, full-time positions. Here, the topic of your research is defined by the successful project proposal. Your obligations beyond the project-related research depend on the chair’s or group’s habits, but there are no mandatory courses you have to attend in order to earn credits.
The department strives to reach 4 years as the maximum duration of a doctoral program. Should a graduate student not have completed his or her doctoral thesis after 4 years, the Ph.D. adviser must apply to the managing director of the Informatics Department for a period of extension.

Positions funded by Industry

Positions funded by Industry

There are positions of research associates funded by industry. In our department, these are typically, but not necessarily, full-time positions. Here, you have a rather rigid research schedule depending on the needs of the customer from industry, but the amount of further obligations is smaller. Again, there are no mandatory courses you have to attend in order to earn credits.
The department strives to reach 4 years as the maximum duration of a doctoral program. Should a graduate student not have completed his or her doctoral thesis after 4 years, the Ph.D. adviser must apply to the managing director of the Informatics Department for a period of extension.

PhD Scholarships

PhD Scholarships

Furthermore, there are Ph.D. scholarships in the framework of either Research Training Groups (Graduiertenkollegs) such as PUMA or the recently established Graduate Schools such as TUM’s International Graduate School of Science and Engineering (IGSSE). Here, your status is that of a Ph.D. student and not of a TUM employee. Hence, there are no working obligations, but there is a structured doctoral study program you participate in where you have to attend courses and earn credits. Instead of a salary, you may receive a stipend, and the duration should be below 3 years.

External Scholarships

External Scholarships

There is also the possibility to do a Ph.D. at our department with an external scholarship, for example from your home country or from a foundation such as Studienstiftung des Deutschen Volkes. Here, you also have the status of a Ph.D. student. However, since you are not (automatically) a member of a graduate school etc., there is no defined course program – your focus is just on your individual research.

Industry based Projects

Industry based Projects

Finally, there is the option of an industry-based Ph.D. project. In that case, you have a contract with a company (either a scholarship or a working contract) which defines the rules. In the framework of this contract, you pursue research at the company but in close contact with our department. In that case, the duration may vary largely depending on the individual contract (and hence the time you have for research).

Hybrid models are also possible: You may have an assistant position as a TUM employee but also join a Graduate School such as the IGSSE or a structured doctoral program such as  CeDoSIA and hence combine the advantages of both tracks to Ph.D.

Which model suits you best (or, in other words, which is the model you are best suited for) depends on many parameters such as – and most important – the availability of an open position but also the topic attached to the position, your language skills (in general, teaching requires German language skills), your future plans etc. Hence, when you start looking for a Ph.D. project at our department, you should be aware of the various models and their implications.

 

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