Structured Doctoral Training

Helmholtz International Research Schools

Helmholtz International Research Schools focus on one scientific topic and offer a structured program of doctoral education in cooperation with a Helmholtz Center, foreign partner and German university partner.

Helmholtz Research Schools

Helmholtz Research Schools are small units of up to 25 PhD students and their supervisors focused on specific research topics. They provide a highly collaborative, internationalized and invigorating interdisciplinary learning environment for talented researchers. Helmholtz Research Schools are often part of the larger Helmholtz Graduate Schools (see below).

Each Helmholtz Research School has its own selection procedure to ensure that, in its field, the student is a good match with their supervisory team.

Helmholtz Graduate Schools

Helmholtz Graduate Schools have broad subject areas (such as 'Energy', which could cover nuclear safety to photovoltaics and the mathematics of power grid models).  The Graduate Schools can have anything from 150 to 250 students.  Often, the Helmholtz Research Schools (see above) are part of the Graduate School. The curricula for the Schools is varied and interdisciplinarity is highly encouraged.  

All 'students' are funded (mostly receiving a salary, and there are no PhD fees).  PhDs are awarded by partner universities.  The standard of PhD supervision is high at the Helmholtz Association and is designed not only to provide an excellent scientific training but also training in transferable skills (such as business planning, project management and writing skills).

Helmholtz Juniors

Helmholtz Juniors (HeJu) is an initiative launched by doctoral students and PhD candidates in the Helmholtz Association which fosters exchange and networking among peers, represents the view of PhD students to their respective management committees and expand the range of advanced training opportunities available to them.

There are currently (2016) around 8,000 PhD students working at Helmholtz Association Research Centres.



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    • Dr Johannes Freudenreich
    • Promotion of young
      and early-stage researchers
      Helmholtz Association

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