In accordance with the regulations governing doctoral proceedings, a doctoral thesis must be supervised by an authorized person (usually an RWTH professor). Therefore, the first step that a prospective doctoral candidate must take is to find a professor who is prepared to be that person’s supervisor. In most cases, doctoral candidates simultaneously work as assistants to the respective professors. Most of the assistants have a clause in their employment contracts which grants them sufficient hours for working on their doctoral theses. Doctoral candidates also receive support by way of discussions, doctoral seminars and special courses and workshops, which are provided by the Center for Doctoral Studies (CDS).