Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Can I apply even if I did not receive my degree yet?
Yes. However, you must hold or anticipate receiving your university degree before starting your thesis work.
Can I apply for a PhD position with a bachelor’s being my highest degree?
We cannot accept applications by students with a bachelor’s being their highest degree at the time of potentially taking up a PhD position. A completed or imminent Master’s degree is a prerequisite for the application as a PhD student in our program as well as for being awarded a doctorate by TUD.
Is there an age limit?
We do not have a strict age limit. However, we would like to point out that we expect a coherent career path and most of our 1st year students are on average 25 years old.
What is the working language within the DIGS-BB?
Our working language is English and you can follow our program without any knowledge of German. However, we strongly encourage learning German while you are here.
What documents do I need to provide during the application process?
You need to upload the official certificates and academic transcripts (BSc, Masters) in order to complete your online application. It is not necessary to upload your CV, course certificates, language certificates, thesis, publications, a GRE result, or any other document that is not requested.
Do I need to provide my certificates translated into English?
No. However, please provide English documents if available.
Do I need to provide a GRE result?
No, we do not a GRE result from you. Our faculty and staff will assess your application based on your provided texts and certificates.
Do I need to provide TOEFL or IELTS results?
No. But if available we recommend uploading TOEFL or IELTS results to your application, since high proficiency is required.
I have my own funding. Does this guarantee a place in the program?
No. All applicants must successfully pass the admission procedure in order to be eligible to join.
Can I modify my application?
You can modify your application before you submit it to us. Thereafter, changes are not possible. Note that this includes the addition of materials (certificates, transcripts, test results). No modifications or materials can be accepted outside our online application system.
Can the PhD Office add or revise information of my application?
No. The program does not add or change information within applications.
How many reference letters are required for my application?
Your application needs to be supported by a minimum of two academic reference letters submitted to us. We can only consider recommendations that are submitted via the online recommendation form and not via email.
My referee did not receive your invitation for submitting a reference letter. What can I do?
We do send out the invitation to your referees right after your registration to the email address you indicated. You need to make sure that you provide correct information and should also inform your referee about the time of registration to ensure that our email is not in the spam filter or alike.
What can I do if I provided faulty contact information for my referee?
You are able to use the function “add referee” and give the correct information in this section. Please note that after finishing your registration (the first part of our online application forms), you can only add a maximum of two additional referees.
How will I know that my referee submitted a recommendation letter?
The online application will give you the status of the recommendation letters, additionally you’ll receive an email after we received a recommendation letter. However, you will not see the recommendation letter itself.
Does the DIGS-BB charge an application fee, and how much is it?
We do not charge an application fee.
Do I need to contact research group leaders before applying?
No, it is not necessary to contact group leaders. You will be applying to the program as a whole, not to a particular group. However, in the online application you will find a form in which you can list up to six research groups you are interested in.
Which group leaders are currently offering thesis projects?
We publish a list of group leaders looking for PhD candidates. However, please note that this list is subject to constant modification due to probable changes in the group leaders’ funding situation. Thus, during your application, you are not limited to the groups from that list.
What happens to my application if I select a group leader of interest who isn’t listed as recruiting?
When an application is submitted, it will be evaluated following a series of assessment steps. Candidates with successful applications will be contacted within four to eight weeks and will be invited to participate in a video interview with the Admission Panel. Those who pass this step qualify for one-to-one interviews with group leaders, and therefore, to enter our PhD program upon finding a hosting group for their PhD.
If the group leader of interest does not yet have a vacant position, they will be contacted to see if there is mutual interest with the candidate and any possibility of him/her joining the lab. If this is not the case, the candidate will be given the opportunity to find another suitable project and lab within up to six months. We believe that this system offers everyone the flexibility and possibility to find the right host lab within DIGS-BB.
After submitting my application: When will I be informed whether I will be invited for interviews?
We will inform you whether you qualify for an Admission Panel interview approximately 4–8 weeks after you have submitted your application. The interview is generally scheduled for couple of weeks after. We will inform you whether and when you are invited latest 1 week before the scheduled interview.
Admission Panel interviews: How do they work?
Specific instructions regarding the contents of the Admission Panel interview will be sent to the candidate together with the interview invitation. Invited candidates will receive a scheduled time and a link to connect to our videoconferencing system.
Admission Panel interviews: Can the date be shifted?
For organizational reasons, we expect candidates to make arrangements to accommodate a 20 minutes interview at the allocated time. We do consider time zones when scheduling. However, if there are justified reasons, we will find alternative dates or times for the interview. This may prolong the admission process by several weeks though.
Admission Panel Interviews: When will I be informed about the result?
You will be informed about the result 1–3 days after the interview.
Admission Panel Interviews: What happens after passing?
Candidates passing the Admission Panel interview, are in principle qualify for admission to our PhD program and be invited for one-to-one interviews with group leaders. Candidates not passing the Admission Panel interview cannot be further considered for admission to our PhD program.
When will I be informed whether I will be invited for one-to-one interviews with group leaders?
You will be informed as soon as a group leader confirms interest in the candidate’s application. In the best case, this is just a few days after you passed the Admission Panel interviews. However, it might as well take up to six months, e.g. if your preferred group leader first has to secure funding for a PhD position.
Applications are welcome anytime