Information about the doctorate


Are you interested in the topic of doctoral studies? Are you thinking about doing a doctorate, but don't yet know what (financing) options are available? Are you unsure how to approach your doctorate and what steps are necessary?

You have come to the right place!

We can advise you on all aspects of doctoral studies and support you in your steps towards your own doctoral project. You will find initial information below. Feel free to contact us by email or phone. Have fun exploring!


Doing a doctorate at BHT

In Germany, universities and equivalent institutions of higher education have the right to award doctorates. At the Beuth University of Applied Sciences Berlin, as at most universities of applied sciences (HAW), a doctorate can be completed cooperatively.

Frequently Asked Questions

The award of a doctoral degree is referred to as a "Promotion". Within the framework of the doctoral thesis/promotion, doctoral candidates demonstrate their ability to conduct independent scientific work in a defined field of research, also by independently writing a scientific paper. The aim is to gain new scientific knowledge. The doctorate is the highest academic degree. Scientific training is considered to have been completed once it has been obtained. The doctorate is in Germany the prerequisite for an academic career.

The doctorate consists of two parts: a written thesis followed by an oral defence or examination ("Disputation" or "Rigorosum").

In a cooperative doctorate, one professor from a university of applied sciences and one professor from a university work together on the supervision and assessment of a doctoral project.

In Berlin, only the universities have the right to award doctoral degrees . Therefore, all doctoral candidates who work on their doctoral project at a university of applied sciences or/and are supervised by a professor at a university of applied sciences must go through the doctoral procedure at a university. The university professor agrees to supervise the doctoral project at the university, to represent the admission of the doctoral project in front of the doctoral committee of the respective department, to organise the doctoral procedure and to write the first report on the dissertation.

A distinction is made between 2 types of doctorate: monographic or cumulative. Most universities and higher education institutions with the right to award doctorates offer both types of submission. Detailed information can be found in the doctoral regulations of the faculty/department.

The prerequisite for a doctorate is usually an above-average Master's, Magister or Diplom degree from a university or university of applied sciences/HAW. The admission requirements and conditions are laid down in the so-called doctoral regulations of the respective faculty of the university. The doctoral regulations differ according to subject and university and also specify, among other things, the conditions under which graduates of universities of applied sciences are accepted. In some cases, additional requirements must be met, such as attending certain courses. The final decision lies with the university's doctoral committee. It is not obliged to grant the applicant admission.

The most important thing is to find a research topic that you are extremely interested in and that you can imagine spending several years working on. There are various ways to find a doctoral topic.

  1. A doctoral position that matches your research interest is offered. Doctoral positions run for 3-4 years and are usually paid with a 50-100% (depending on the department) TV-L E13 position. Some positions are so-called university budget positions and usually include a certain number of hours of teaching. Some positions are third-party funded positions, e.g. by the DFG or the BMBF. Doctoral positions can be found on the websites of the universities. Many universities also publish their job advertisements on academics, in the Zeit-Zeitung or on the job portal of the respective federal state. Once you have successfully obtained a doctoral position, your funding and supervision at the university are assured.
  2. You have identified a doctoral topic that you would like to work on. Sometimes the topic is already hidden in your previous Master's thesis or arises from your professional activities. It is best to prepare an initial exposé. Pay attention to the existing literature, the relevance of the topic and the delimitation of the doctoral topic. Identify the skills you already have. You can obtain guidelines and advice from the doctoral office. Whether it is worthwhile to do more in-depth research in this topic should be discussed with your doctoral supervisor. Funding must also be clarified here.
  1.  In the case of an announced doctoral position with a fixed topic, the doctoral supervision at the university is fixed and thus secured.
  2. As soon as you have developed a rough idea/a first short exposé on the research topic (see above), start looking for a suitable supervisor. If you want to do a cooperative doctorate, it is best to start with professors at the university of applied sciences. Ideally, this could be the supervisor of your Master's thesis. Have the courage and write to the person. Discuss your project idea in a personal meeting. In the best case, the person will find your topic suitable for a doctorate, agree to supervise you and work out work packages and milestones together with you. We advise against working on a doctoral topic alone without supervision. In the worst case, the work will be in vain if no supervisor accepts your topic and your work on it.

Since the cooperation with the supervisor should work well over several years, the decision for supervision should be well thought out. The supervisor should be well experienced and, ideally, should have already published in the subject area. Mutual trust and effective support from the supervisor, even in difficult phases of the doctorate, are essential. It is therefore also worth signing a supervision agreement before the start of the doctorate, in which the joint cooperation and the common goals are agreed.

In the case of a cooperative doctorate, you should arrange for further supervision at a university as soon as possible. Consult your doctoral supervisor at the FH/HAW about this. A cooperation agreement is recommended.

If possible, a preliminary discussion with other doctoral researchers of the supervisor is advisable. Some professors even suggest this on their own.

There are different ways and possibilities for financing a doctorate:

  1. Via a temporary doctoral position at the university. The BHT invites applications for doctoral positions from academic staff every year until 2022. The term is limited to 3 years (75% TV-l E13).
  2. About a doctoral position at a non-university research institution. These include the Leibniz Association, the Max Planck Society, the Helmholtz Association or the Fraunhofer Society.
  3. Through funding with a doctoral scholarship. Good sources for doctoral scholarships are the search portals, and
  4. The BHT also offers 12-month doctoral scholarships, which are ideal for starting or completing a doctorate.
  5. Working part-time in a company that finances you and supports your doctorate (also called an industrial doctorate). In a company-based doctorate, scientific and economic interests must be brought together. It usually offers good contacts for your further professional career.
  6. Via a (part-time) job unrelated to the doctoral topic.This type of funding usually offers greater freedom but usually less time to devote to the doctoral project. This doctoral path should be well considered, as the time frame for the doctorate is usually longer than with all other financing options.

Good scientific practice is the basic prerequisite for credible, comprehensible and thus excellent research. Therefore, universities, research institutions and funding organisations have established rules and guidelines that must be followed by all scientists. It is essential to work "lege artis". This means that all experiments and investigations must be carried out according to the latest state of research in the respective field. All methods and results must be documented in detail, protocols and primary data must be stored securely. One's own research performance, methods and results must be scrutinised self-critically.

Furthermore, the correct declaration of sources and the appropriate consideration of preliminary work, the independent preparation of qualification work and, in the case of a publication, the consideration/mention of all authors who have made a significant contribution to the original scientific work and have agreed to the publication must be taken into account. Honorary authorship is not permitted.

The guidelines for scientific practice of the Beuth University of Applied Sciences can be found here. The Code of Conduct of the DFG (German Research Foundation) is available here.

There are various ways to access scientific publications for your research:

  1. (University) library. Here, in addition to the availability of academic books and journals, you usually also have access to academic databases, e-books and digital journals, which are usually not available free of charge. Information on the campus library of BHT can be found here. The public libraries of the state of Berlin can be used free of charge by pupils and people receiving state transfer payments. Students pay 5 €/year for a library card, all other persons over the age of 18 pay 10 € per year.
  2. Internet. It is recommended to use Google Scholar or subject-specific databases (e.g. NCBI PubMed or WISO-net).

Please contact the doctoral office of BHT for further questions.

Dr. Stefanie Blankenburg

BHT Young Scientists Coordinator


Center for Research & Innovation

Berliner Hochschule für Technik (BHT) – University of Applied Sciences

Luxemburger Straße 10

13353 Berlin


E-Mail: promovieren[at]

Teams: sblankenburg[at]