Candidate Support Concept

The foremost concern of the Research Training Group is to provide its doctoral candidates with an optimum working environment and the best possible support during the doctoral stage. In addition to intensive support, different funding instruments are available. It is important in addition to guarantee high quality standards.


Each doctoral candidate accepted onto the research training programme will be looked after by a team of two professors taking part in the Research Training Group, of which one, if possible, should belong to the University of Bonn and the other to the University of Cologne and who, as far as possible, represent different subjects. Of these two supporters the doctoral candidate chooses one of them as the main supporter who is best able, according to his or her own scientific orientation, to bear specialist responsibility. Apart from justified exceptions, the dissertation is required to be submitted in Cologne or Bonn. If, exceptionally, the doctorate is awarded externally, the doctoral candidate will be co-supported by a third university teacher at the university concerned.

Doctoral agreement

At the end of the first semester at the latest, doctoral candidates sign a doctoral agreement. Besides the rights and obligations of the participating sides, the agreement contains the title of the dissertation, the names of the supporters, and an exposé of the project of about 5 pages in scope. In particular, a work and time schedule will be jointly compiled, in which the individual working steps are set down.

Research agreement with post-doctoral candidates

Post-doctoral candidates agree, with the applicants, the scientific objectives of their work as well as the tasks and obligations associated with the Research Training Group.

Progress checks

At least once a year, Group members report on the progress of their work in a Research Training Group colloquium. They are also required to hold a lecture once a year in the institutes’ (respectively departments’) in-house colloquia. In the colloquia scientific approach, methodical procedure, focus of contents and realisation, along with partial results, are to be discussed and additional instructions given. Once a semester the Research Training Group members hand in a short report (approx. 2 pages) on the progress of their work. This report will be used as the basis for a monitoring interview with the supporters, which is to take place once every semester.

Studies / libraries

In order to promote dialogue within the Group, the participating universities will set up suitable work premises for the Group members. In addition, Group members will receive unrestricted access to the respective subject libraries and will be able to use photocopiers, other institute equipment along with the distance lending system free of charge. They will receive their own e-mail accounts and individual storage disk capacity.

Travel and material resources

In order to carry out their respective dissertation projects, Group members will be able to obtain additional resources for travel and other expenses.

Continued training offerings

At both universities, interested Group members will be able to take a wide range of additional continued training offerings (including language lessons, working and presentation techniques, etc.)

Equality measures

Separate resources to support them during the doctoral stage are available to Group members with children.