Structured Doctoral Programs

  Researchers at the Lab Copyright: © Central Facility for Electron Microscopy

RWTH Aachen offers excellent graduates the opportunity to participate in a structured doctoral program. Research Schools and Graduate Research Training Groups give early-career scientists the chance to receive a structured doctoral education within an interdisciplinary and competitive research environment.


The close interlinkage of education, training and research activity in Graduate Schools contributes to keeping the University internationally competitive.

Typically, doctoral candidates in structured programs receive funding through scholarships or are hired by the involved institutes as research assistants.

Scholarships and Job Positions

Scholarships and job positions are administered by the spokespersons for the doctoral programs. If you are interested in applying for a sholarship or a position, please contact the spokesperson for the program in question.


DFG Graduate Schools

Graduate schools provide an essential addition to education and profiling of strong research and international competitive sites in Germany. Within a broad research field, they offer outstanding national and international doctoral students a structured education within an interdisciplinary and competitive research environment.

DFG Research Training Groups

Research training groups are university institutions that support young scientific talent. The goal is not only a concentration of research activities focused on a narrowly defined research topic, but also an organizational structuring of doctoral education.

International Research Training Groups –IRTG

International Research Training Groups are joint institutions by German and international educational and research institutions, offering an internationally oriented structured doctoral education and training.

NRW Research Schools

These research schools, which receive funding from the Federal State of NRW, make it possible for outstanding doctoral candidates to take part in a targeted, fast-track doctoral program. In order to guarantee an excellent doctoral education and training, these schools involve high-profile research institutions of the University.

Marie Curie ITN

Marie Curie Initial Training Networks promote the structured education of early-career researchers, especially doctoral candidates, by providing them with opportunities to be part of an international research network of European partner institutions that works on a specific scientific topic.

Other Doctoral Programs

RWTH participates in four other institutions offering structured doctoral programs: the German Research School of Simulation Science or GRS, the Erasmus Mundus program EXTATIC, the Helmholtz Graduate School HITEC, and the SusChemSys research cluster.


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