Are you are planning to do a doctorate and would you like to do so in cooperation with GIZ? Read on to find out everything you need to know about doctorates and different forms of cooperation.

Choosing to do a doctorate is an important personal decision

Doctoral theses take between three and five years to complete. This means that doctoral students have a lot of potential as specialists, drivers of innovation and future staff members.

However, there are many uncertainties involved in the long time scale over which research work is conducted, and this makes it difficult for GIZ to actively seek cooperation. An issue that is topical today, for example, might not be so relevant two years down the line. Candidates might abandon their plans for personal reasons. And colleagues who are working on particular issues at the moment might take up new posts next year. This means that it is only practical and possible to do a doctorate in cooperation with GIZ in specific individual cases.

Doing a doctorate means showing initiative

GIZ is not a research body. That means that we have no central budget to finance doctoral theses or other research work. Individual projects, programmes and organisational units can decide in specific cases to finance part of a thesis using their own funds. The supervisory workload must be kept to a minimum.

If you would like to do your doctorate with GIZ, you will need to take the initiative. It is up to you to seek contact with specialists and convince them to support your plans.

When deciding whether or not to support a doctoral thesis, GIZ staff will be looking for answers to the following questions:

  • Is the topic relevant for the further development of my field of work?
  • Will I/my project be able to use the interim results of the research in the near future?
  • Is the candidate reliable? Can we expect him/her to complete the thesis?
  • Is the candidate independent? Or will supervisory duties take up a lot of my working time?

In practice, contact with doctoral students generally develops as a result of earlier internships or other forms of employment. The advantage of this previous work experience is that students should already understand the company and its structures. GIZ colleagues are also better able to judge the candidate on a personal level.

Forms of cooperation

We have developed four forms of cooperation:

  1. Doing a doctorate and using data: Your doctorate is financed by sources outside GIZ (e.g. scholarships, research assistant post, etc.) and you use data provided by GIZ. You consult closely with the staff responsible for the topic in question.
  2. Doing a doctorate and working as a consultant: You do your doctorate independently and work as a consultant in areas related to your topic.
  3. Doing a doctorate while working half-time as a junior expert: You do your doctorate independently and finance your research through a part-time job as a junior expert. Please note that it can be extremely difficult to reconcile the demands of your job with your commitments to your doctorate.
  4. Doing a doctorate within the framework of an internship: You do an internship at GIZ lasting up to six months and have access to the relevant data during this time.