1. Evaluating your eligibility, motivation and resources

A doctorate is a challenging long-term commitment having a lasting impact on the candidate’s life for several years. Candidates should therefore evaluate their own circumstances before applying for the Rudolf-Diesel-Medal Postgraduate Program. In particular, they should enquire about the subject-specific and methodological competencies required within the research area in question and critically evaluate their own skills in this respect. Candidates are required to devote themselves to a research topic on a long-term and continuous basis and remain persistent without losing track of their solution as a result of the complexity of the issues involved. Your motivation will above all be determined by your long-term career aspirations, in particular via the Rudolf-Diesel-Medal Postgraduate Program.

2. Finding a dissertation topic

As a general rule, it is the doctoral candidate’s responsibility to choose a dissertation topic and to formulate a suitable research question or hypothesis. Various sources are available for formulating such hypotheses.
The existing range of topics within a research area can be derived from the literature as well as previous research conducted in the field. A previous Master’s thesis, for instance, can provide a topic to be dealt with in more depth within the scope of a dissertation.
It is generally advisable to discuss your topic with your supervisor in the respective research area and to adapt it if necessary. The exact topic will be defined in your Supervision Agreement (see Supervision Agreement). It should reflect the applicant’s area of interest and meet the above-mentioned quality criteria.

3. Contacting a scientific supervisor

Your scientific supervisor will act as the head of your research area in the context of the Rudolf-Diesel-Medal Postgraduate Program. Their task is to advise doctoral candidates in all aspects related to their doctorate. The intensity of that relationship may vary between research areas depending on organisational size. With large research areas, it may involve direct technical support by experienced academics in the form of a delegation.

After a first orientation meeting with a potential supervisor, you are ready for the application process.

4. Applying for the Rudolf-Diesel-Medal Postgraduate Program

Please click below for the relevant application form:

5. Supervision Agreement

Upon clarification of your eligibility for the Postgraduate Program as well as all personal, formal/administrative and content-related questions with your supervisor, you will sign a Supervision Agreement. (see Supervision Agreement)

6. Explanatory note – Rudolf Diesel Medal Postgraduate Program

Download Explanatory Note (German)