Postgraduate Program at the HZDR

About 220 PhD students are currently enrolled in our PhD program. The programs offered by the HZDR are in close collaboration with Saxon universities - especially with the TU Dresden. The Graduate Academy of the TU Dresden offers many ways to support doctoral students as well as postdocs. PhD students can take advantage of travel and conference awards, bridging funding or completion grants.

The Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf stands out due to its scientific performance and mulitidisciplinarity. Our scientists specialize mainly in the following fields: physics (i.e., solid state physics, materials research, quantum, laser and subatomic physics, and nuclear physics), chemistry (i.e., radiochemistry, radiopharmacy, and biochemistry), biology and computer science. At our Helmholtz Institute Freiberg for Resource Technology  geo sciences are the main focus, at the HZDR Institute of Radiooncology – OncoRay medical doctors, physisists, computer scientists, pharmacologists and biologists work closely together.

What we can offer:

Luftbild des HZDR (Jürgen-M. Schulter/

The objective of a PhD is independent scientific research, which should be completed within three years. To achieve this goal, the HZDR offers an ideal environment.

In particular, our PhD students can take advantage of:

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  • individual supervision by experienced scientists
  • integration in junior research groups
  • participation at international conferences, colloquia at institutes, as well as participation at the department seminars – with contributions such as talks or posters
  • organization of special "Students Competition Sessions" within international conferences
  • Graduate Academy of the TU Dresden: qualification program, travel and conference awards, bridging funding or completion grants
  • cycle of lectures on scientific topics or comprehensive questions covering topics such as how to write grant proposals, manage project funds, or how to register patents
  • language courses: German courses for foreign PhD students and English courses for our German students
  • accompanied training as "Junior Manager in Science"
  • communication courses, media training, etc.
  • HZDR Summer Student Program
  • yearly PhD Award by the HZDR

Dresden concept Logo (ref.)Engage in Networking

  • central PhD workshop of the HZDR, attended also by directors as well as the heads of the various departments and projects
  • PhD seminars in the institutes and departments of the HZDR
  • integration in Helmholtz Juniors which represent the views of some 8,000 (2016) PhD students from the Helmholtz Association's 18 research centers across Germany
  • participating in the network DRESDEN-concept, for example in the following clusters of excellence:
    • IHRS NanoNet: International Helmholtz Research School for Nanoelectronic Networks
    • DIGS-BB: Dresden International Graduate School for Biomedicine and Bioengineering
    • cfaed: Center for Advancing Electronics Dresden
    • OncoRay Postgraduate School: National Center for Radiation Research in Oncology – OncoRay

What can highly qualified young scientific academics expect after graduation?

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We need / expect:

  • We are looking for graduates at the top of their class with degrees in natural sciences and engineering.
  • Graduates from Universities of Applied Sciences are able to obtain a doctoral degree through a PhD thesis at our institute. Certain preconditions need to be met such as excellent grades and your university of applied sciences has to support your promotion in a special collaborative procedure.
  • During your PhD you are expected to publish in reviewed journals, as well as to participate in the process to apply for grants.

Click here to find more information about application and contacts.

Some other things you should know

  • Our directors are at the same time professors at the TU Dresden or TU Bergakademie Freiberg.
  • Moreover, several HZDR senior scientists hold professorships at the University of Leipzig, the TU Chemnitz or the Dresden University of Applied Sciences –  Hochschule für Technik und Wirtschaft (HTW).
  • The graduation is obtained by meeting the requirements of the respective university.
  • As a student of the TU Dresden, for example, you are subject to its rules and regulations. While pursuing you doctoral degree, you have to meet the entrance criteria of the TU Dresden for your chosen discipline, e.g. your degree has to be recognized by the respective faculty of the TU Dresden. Alternatively, you will have to absolve special courses or exams.