FAQ - Graduate Center TH Köln
Frequently asked questions about doctoral research at TH Köln
Interested in doctoral research at TH Koeln
Which requirements do I have to meet in order to carry out doctoral research at TH Köln?
As TH Köln – University of Applied Sciences does not have the authority to confer doctoral degrees, it is only possible to obtain a PhD in cooperation with a university. This cooperative awarding of doctorates is common practice at TH Köln and is currently implemented by more than 180 cooperative doctorates that are supervised by our researchers. The most important requirement for a PhD is to be supervised by two professors: one professor of TH Köln and one professor of the selected university. In addition, you need to have an academic degree, such as a Master’s degree, state examination or a diploma.
How can I find a supervisor at TH Köln?
To find an adequate supervisor at TH Köln, it is recommended to draft a short exposé (short description of research project) of your research idea. In order to find out which researcher is most suitable for your planned dissertation project, you may consult the website of TH Köln where all faculties and professors are listed. You can also find a list of current research in the relevant institutes. Once you have found a prospective PhD supervisor that fits best to your research project and qualifications you can contact him or her with your PhD thesis proposal and ask him or her if they are interested in supervising your doctoral thesis.
How can I find a supervisor at a German or foreign university?
To find an adequate supervisor at university, we recommend you to draft a short exposé (short description of research project) of your research idea. The easiest way is to search for universities that offer a suitable research focus for your thesis. Once you have found a prospective PhD supervisor that fits best to your research project and qualifications you can contact him or her with your PhD thesis proposal and ask him or her if they are interested in supervising your doctoral thesis. If you already have a supervisor at TH Köln, you may ask her/him for advice or contacts which may already exist at this university and could act as a supervisor for you.
Do I need to get enrolled at TH Köln while operating as a doctoral researcher?
If you do not have an employment contract with TH Köln, you have to get enrolled at TH Köln during your research studies. Then you can fully use the training program as well as other support measures for doctoral researchers.
Which service does TH Köln offer for doctoral researchers?
Since January 2016, the service desk of the Graduate Center at TH Köln is signed as central contact point for everyone interested in or already executing a doctoral project at TH Köln. If you have either organizational or interdisciplinary questions – you will always find someone here, who can help you with your belongings. For its members the Graduate Center offers various services (e.g. sessions and coachings), especially to help doctorates in developing individual qualifications and enhancing soft skills, support the network in between the community and guide the doctorates along their way.
Where can I find information about scholarships and funding opportunities?
All information related to scholarships and other opportunities to finance your doctoral study program at TH Köln can be found here:
Doctoral researchers at TH Köln
What is a Supervision Agreement and how is it signed?
Before the start of a doctorate, it can be very helpful to draw up a Supervision Agreement between both TH Köln and the selected university and their belonging professors who will act as supervisors for your thesis. This Supervision Agreement shall serve as a basis for a qualified cooperation and illustrates all rights and duties of both the doctoral researcher and the professors.
May I use the libraries at TH Köln?
As a doctoral researcher you can of course use any library associated with TH Köln. You can either do this with your student card (MultiCa) or with an employee identity card (MultiCa) as an identification to borrow books, access digital media, use the inter-library loan as well as publish open access.
Is it possible to work/teach at TH Köln at the same time while I work on my doctoral research project?
Working/teaching at TH Köln while executing doctoral research projects is also possible. If you are employed as a scientific assistant, you are allowed to be engaged in the teaching process for 4 semester periods per week (provided you are working full-time). With a part-time job the hours per week are obviously reduced. In all other cases, these teaching activities will be handled by another teaching assignment.
What is meant by “Good Scientific Practice“ and where can I find further information?
Good Scientific Practice means to implement and apply certain standards for a qualified research, the publication of research results or intellectual property rights. One of the objectives is to make them obligatory and general for everyone. TH Köln already set up certain standards.
Which possibilities do I have to publish my dissertation thesis?
TH Köln library offers two publication series for electronic documents:
Cologne Open Science
If you like to publish your PhD thesis online, you may publish within a publication series of „Cologne Open Science“:
• Kölner Schriften zur Geistes- und Gesellschaftswissenschaftlichen Forschung (Social Sciences)
• Kölner Schriften zur Ingenieur- und Naturwissenschaftlichen Forschung (Engineering and Natural Sciences)
The service is free of charge. No editing takes place. The library assists you with a title page according to the requirements of the publication series.
The second online publication server is open for all members of the university. It is especially for single publications which are not part of a publication series and for bachelor and master theses.
Where do I find information about travel funds regarding my doctoral research project?
There are various programs which offer travel funds for doctoral researchers:
Is it possible to go abroad during my doctoral research?
Yes, it is possible to conduct research abroad for a flexible time interval, after consulting with your supervisor. The Department of International Affairs advises about funding opportunities.
Is it possible to receive a refund for the local transportation ticket, which I automatically buy when I register at TH Köln, if I do not want to use it?
It is only possible to get a refund if you are already enrolled at another university in North Rhine-Westphalia and therefore paying for the transportation ticket.
May I use the service of the ” Studierendenwerk“? Where do I find more information?
If you are enrolled as a doctoral researcher at TH Köln, you are of course able to use the service of the “Studierendenwerk”. This service includes special offers concerning habitation, gastronomy (canteen), finance opportunities and childcare.
Can I participate in the language courses offered by the Language Center at TH Köln?
Yes. Further information can be gathered here:
What kind of insurance do I need as a doctoral researcher?
As a doctoral researcher you have to insure yourself if you are not at the same time employed by TH Köln. If you are enrolled at or employed by TH Köln, you are automatically insured against any accidents.