RWTH Aachen University Copyright: © Martin Braun

Aachen as a Ph.D. location – An overview of the content and local advantages

Doctoral students have many possibilities at their disposal. Some universities offer structured doctoral programmes, others rely on self-organisation, strong internal networking or doctoral positions. Financing also needs to be clarified. Those who do not receive a paid doctoral position always have the opportunity to look around for scholarships or to finance their own doctoral time with a position in the industry.

Finding the right supervisor

The first step, however, is always to clarify the question of supervision. Professors at German universities and equivalent colleges always have a supervision right, so that ACCELS can also offer possible supervision for M.A. graduates with a cognitive-empirical research focus. We recommend a thorough examination not only of your own wishes and goals but also of the biography of the possible supervisors. In this way, one can identify at an early stage whether or not the possible supervisor would be a good fit.

ACCELS – Cognitive-empirical research questions

The Aachen Center for Cognitive and Empirical Literary Studies (ACCELS) conducts innovative research in the humanities by empirically investigating literary reception processes among readers. Even though our doctoral students have different research focuses, we are all united by the use of cognitive-empirical approaches. International networking as well as inter- and transdisciplinary joint projects are always at the forefront so that we can conduct excellent national and international research.

CDS - Center for Doctoral Studies

In addition to professional supervision, doctoral students at RWTH Aachen University have the opportunity to attend courses on further education and personal and professional development at the Center for Doctoral Studies free of charge.

One of RWTH Aachen University's goals is not only to impart excellent professional skills to our young scientists but also to enable them to look beyond their own discipline. The CDS therefore offers more than 200 seminars, workshops and continuing education events with around 3,000 places every year.

Doctoral students can obtain confirmation of all achievements in addition to their dissertation in the doctoral supplement of RWTH Aachen University.

Aachen – An international city with flair

Even though the city of Aachen is better known for its picturesque old town and the border triangle, our location has some advantages. Our proximity to the borders of Belgium and the Netherlands allows us an intensive, international exchange. In addition, RWTH Aachen University was again honoured as one of eleven German universities of excellence in 2019. Thus we stand nationally and internationally for outstanding teaching and research.


Doctoral Studies at RWTH Aachen University