FAQ prospective PhD students
PhD – Is that something for me?
The question of your personal expectations, goals and perspectives should be at the forefront of the decision-making process. In addition, formal requirements and questions about funding should be taken into account.
The Hamburg Research Academy also offers information events and general advisory services for those interested in doctoral studies: https://www.hra-hamburg.de/unser-angebot/beratungsangebot/promotionsinteressierte.html
What types of doctoral degrees are available at the HFBK?
At the HFBK Hamburg you can choose an
• artistic doctorate in conjunction with a theoretical-scientific one or a
• theoretical-scientific doctorate.
The HFBK Hamburg awards on the basis of the ordinary doctorate the academic degree Doctor philosophiae in artibus (Dr. phil. in art.).
What requirements do I have to meet to get a doctorate?
You have a diploma or master's degree from a German university (at least an overall grade of "good") or an equivalent degree from a foreign university as well as the proven ability to work scientifically. This can either be proven through scientific study components in the degree program already completed or acquired in the doctoral program. In the latter case, the PhD committee requires the applicant to provide evidence of academic achievement within a certain period of time.
How do I find a PhD topic?
Your doctoral topic should be from a subject area about which you have sufficient knowledge and of which you believe you can add a new aspect/knowledge with your research. It may be useful to explore the topic of your thesis in more depth, or you may develop an idea for a doctoral project against the background of a seminar you attended. Discuss your idea with scientists or artists working in this field and consult with your potential supervisors.
How do I find a PhD supervisor?
In order to find an initial supervisor at the HFBK Hamburg, we recommend that you first write a synopsis (short description of your project) of your artistic or scientific research idea. For the initial supervision, you must select a university lecturer with a doctorate from the department of theory and history. Look for a person who is a professional match for your research project and talk to him/her* about your synopsis. In the case of an artistic-scientific doctorate, a university teacher representing an artistic subject must be selected as second supervisor.
What does "good scientific practice" mean?
The principles of good scientific practice concern the essential functional conditions of science as well as its ethical dimensions. Their observance, control and communication is the core task of science. The principles of academic working at HFBK Hamburg formulate the institutional commitment to which all academically active university members and staff also commit themselves. Scientific work at the HFBK should be carried out in accordance with the principles at all times.
The chairwoman of the PhD committee, the vice president for research and teaching and the ombudspersons are available as confidential contact persons for questions regarding good scientific practice and for indications of possible scientific misconduct.
How long does a PhD take?
The duration of a doctoral project is individual. At the HFBK Hamburg you will be enrolled for a standard period of study for ten semesters for doctoral studies. An extension is possible upon application for a maximum of four additional semesters.
What are the costs associated with a PhD?
The costs of a doctoral project can vary greatly, also depending on the individual projects. In addition to covering your living expenses for the duration of your doctorate, you should consider the following costs when planning your doctoral project:
semester fee for enrollment at the HFBK Hamburg including semester ticket (without semester ticket if desired)
• technical literature, software, etc.
• artistic materials
• travel expenses for conferences, colloquia, meetings with supervisors, stays abroad if necessary
• costs for publications and other publications
Can I also do a doctorate part-time?
A part-time doctorate is generally possible. We recommend that you plan this well and coordinate it with your employer
What are alternative funding options for the PhD?
You can pursue employment outside or at the HFBK Hamburg, see Current Job Offers.
An alternative to pursuing an gainful employment is the financing qua scholarship of a foundation. An overview is available in the scholarship database of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF): www.stipendienlotse.de (currently only available in German) Your supervisors will support you with a letter of recommendation for your scholarship application.
At the HFBK, the Pro Exzellenzia Scholarship is awarded annually to promote women in research (with residence in Hamburg). In addition, the scholarship for the promotion of young academics and artists at Hamburg universities is aimed at graduates with a master's degree from the HFBK Hamburg and is awarded for artistic development projects or doctoral projects.
How and when do I apply for a doctorate at the HFBK Hamburg?
Applications are only possible online and with the start of the summer semester. The application period is September 1 to 30 of the previous year. Details on the application procedure can be found here.
What if I missed the application deadline?
Then you will unfortunately have to wait a year. Applications in advance or after the fact cannot be accepted.
How is the selection made among the applicants?
The PhD committee decides on the acceptance of the applicants on the basis of the submitted documents, in particular the artistic/scientific quality of the exposé.
When will I know if I have been accepted?
You will be notified in January/February if you have been accepted for graduation.
Will I be enrolled as a doctoral student?
Applicants admitted to doctoral studies are enrolled as doctoral students at the HFBK Hamburg. The admission is valid for ten semesters. Doctoral students are exempt from paying tuition fees for the duration of their enrollment.