Call for Applications for Doctoral Degree Program Funding under the Fast-Track Program at Universität Hamburg
Faculty of Mathematics, Informatics and Natural Sciences
Departments of Biology, Chemistry, Informatics, Mathematics, and Physics
from 1 October 2020
With the Fast-Track Program, Universität Hamburg offers early career researchers the opportunity to begin doctoral studies after their bachelor degree. The separate master’s degree that is usually required is instead integrated into the doctoral studies1. Excellent academic achievements and a convincing basis for a doctoral dissertation are required to qualify, along with an interest in working in academia. The program lasts four years in total. The Fast-Track Program is part of the Hanse-Wissenschaftskarriere (Hanseatic academic career) at Universität Hamburg, which is aimed at recognizing talented academics early in their development. The program is funded by the Excellence Strategy, a funding program financed by the federal and state governments.
Two-year scholarships will be awarded to outstanding graduates of bachelor’s degree programs with the funding period beginning on 1 October 2020.
The application deadline is 30 August 2020. Candidates must submit the all documents listed below in Phase I to the relevant academic office or the doctoral studies office in the Department of Physics by this date, in both electronic form per email and in hard copy by post.
The scholarship amounts to EUR 1,300 per month and includes a comprehensive supplementary program with career development and networking opportunities in the Faculty of Mathematics, Informatics and Natural Sciences and the Hamburg Research Academy (HRA).
Prerequisites and conditions:
- Exceptional grades for a bachelor degree in accordance with Section 4 subsection 3 sentence 1 of the MIN Faculty Doctoral Degree Regulations (2018) are required.
- The candidate must have completed the bachelor’s exam in a subject that is materially relevant to the dissertation project.
- For the Department of Biology, candidates must have a bachelor’s degree with a final grade of 1.32 or better, with no module scoring below 1.7.
- For the Department of Chemistry, candidates must be among the top 15 percent of their bachelor’s degree cohort.
- For the Department of Informatics, candidates must be among the top 10 percent of their field of study and their bachelor’s degree cohort. Their bachelor’s thesis must have been graded as “very good” (at least 1.3).
- For the Department of Mathematics, candidates must have a bachelor’s degree with a final grade of 1.0, with no module scoring below 1.3. Their bachelor’s thesis must have been graded 1.0. Candidates must be among the top 3 percent of their field of study and their bachelor’s degree cohort.
- For the Department of Physics, candidates must be among the top 3 percent of their field of study and their bachelor’s degree cohort. Their bachelor’s thesis must have been graded “very good.”
- Admission to the Fast-Track doctoral procedure (see Phase I below) can only occur following assessment in a discipline central to the doctoral dissertation project by at least two faculty members who have completed a Habilitation or full-time university teachers, one of which must be a professor (see Section 4 subsection 3 MIN Doctoral Degree Regulations ).
- The fast-track scholarship program provides for the planned dissertation to be supervised by a three-member supervisory commission panel comprised of a chair, a supervisor, and a co-supervisor (see Section 7 subsection 3 MIN Faculty Doctoral Degree Regulations  for information on who may be proposed and appointed as supervisor, co-supervisor, and chair). The candidates themselves are responsible for finding a supervisory commission panel.
- The fast-track scholarship program requires that 60 ECTS credits of the appropriate master’s degree program will have been successfully completed by the end of the first year of funding and that the master’s degree will have been successfully completed by the end of the second year of funding.
- After the successful completion of the fast-track scholarship program, the candidates may apply for a 24-month fixed term E13 position. The University explicitly advises that this position will not be allocated ad personam in advance; fast-track doctoral candidates must apply and submit to the usual merit-based selection process.
Phase I: Admission to the doctoral procedure
The candidates must apply for admission to the (fast-track) doctoral procedure using Docata-MIN and submit the following supporting documents by 30 August 2020 to the academic office or the Department of Physics doctoral studies office electronically via email (preferably as a single PDF file). The documents must also be submitted in paper form by post to the responsible academic office or the Department of Physics doctoral studies office (see contact in Docata-MIN):
- signed printout of the online application for admission to the doctoral procedure
- uncertified copies of degree certificate(s) (bachelor’s degree): certificate of academic degree, transcript of records, diploma supplement (where available)3
- supervision agreement (for this, please only use the form available on the website of the relevant department of the Faculty of Mathematics, Informatics and Natural Sciences)
- uncertified copy of your higher education entrance eligibility
- research project outline (please only use the following form)
- copy of your identification document (e.g., ID card, passport, visa)
- tabular CV
- where applicable, a statement that you have previously applied for admission to doctoral studies at another higher education institution or in another faculty at Universität Hamburg (with full details)
- only for applications to the Department of Biology for candidates who have completed their degree in a country outside the European Union: Foreign Academic Degrees Questionnaire or certificate of equivalence from the Central Office for Foreign Education (ZAB)
- only for applications to the Department of Physics: list of publications (where available)
- informal assurance from a member of the supervisory commission panel or the relevant head of department that an E13 position can be created to fund the last two years of the fast-track doctoral studies (with at least 50 percent of the regular weekly hours) for which fast-track doctoral candidates can apply after successfully finishing their first two years of study (see above). The University explicitly advises that this position will not be allocated ad personam in advance; fast-track doctoral candidates must apply and submit to the usual merit-based selection process.
- letter of motivation
In Phase I, the assessment process outlined above will be conducted pursuant to Section 4 subsection 3 MIN Faculty Doctoral Degree Regulations (2018).
The successful candidates will receive an acceptance letter from the subject doctoral committee. They then enter Phase II of the application process (see below). The relevant academic office or the Department of Physics doctoral studies office will send you an acceptance letter along with information that you have successfully completed Phase I of the application process and that your application documents are being forwarded to the Hamburg Research Academy (HRA) to decide on whether to award the scholarship. The relevant academic office or the Department of Physics doctoral studies office will inform the supervisory commission panel of their appointment as such and the successful outcome of Phase I.
Candidates who are not admitted to the fast-track doctoral procedure will be sent a rejection letter. They will not continue through to Phase II and are withdrawn from the process at this stage. The relevant academic office or the Department of Physics doctoral studies office will inform the supervisory commission panel of the outcome of Phase I.
Phase II: Decision regarding granting admission to the doctoral degree program
After acceptance to the fast-track doctoral procedure has been granted, the relevant academic office or the Department of Physics doctoral studies office will forward the following documents to the HRA:
- the candidate’s acceptance letter, which lists the conditions for admission (including the condition that the candidate must obtain a master’s degree in a subject relevant to the dissertation)
- a ranking list (if multiple candidates have been admitted)
- the submitted application documents
After a decision regarding the granting of the doctoral scholarship, the HRA will inform the following parties (in electronic form) of the outcome:
- the candidates who have been admitted to the fast-track doctoral procedure (with a request to confirm acceptance of the doctoral scholarship in the case of success)
- the supervisory commission panel appointed by the subject doctoral committee
- the relevant academic office or the Department of Physics doctoral studies office
If you have questions about the Fast-Track Program or the application process, please contact:
- the relevant academic office or the Department of Physics doctoral studies office (see Contact in Docata-MIN) for questions regarding Phase I of the application procedure
- the HRA (Saskia Pfeiffer) for questions regarding Phase II of the application procedure and for general information on qualification requirements
Find further information on the Fast-Track Program website.
Applicants are responsible for the full and timely submission of their application. We ask for your understanding that late applications will be rejected for reasons of form.
1 Admission to the fast-track doctoral procedure pursuant to the Doctoral Degree Regulations of the Faculty of Mathematics, Informatics and Natural Sciences at Universität Hamburg dated 2 May 2018 as amended on 6 May 2020 (MIN Faculty Doctoral Degree Regulations ) is granted on the condition that the applicant obtains a master’s degree in a degree program material to the dissertation proposal during the doctoral procedure.
2 The grades listed in this call for applications are based on the German grading system, whereby 1.0 is the highest grade.
3 If the transcripts, certificates, and diplomas are in a language other than German or English, the candidate must submit a certified translation (in German or English). Where available, the certificate of academic degree, transcript of records, and diploma supplement must be submitted (the latter two are required for degrees obtained outside of Germany)..