New ideas often result from unique experiences. As a leading research university, we support doctoral candidates in developing their potential and harnessing it for scientific work. People’s individual experiences are a valuable reservoir of motivation and knowledge: professional practice, experiences in the family, but also the experience of social grievances and foreignness can inspire research projects.

enlarge the image: Junger Mann schaut mit einem Kleinkind auf dem Schoß in ein Bilderbuch
Juggling a doctorate with parenting? We will gladly advise you on this and other topics. Photo: Picsea, Unsplash

Openness, diversity and freedom are prerequisites for science

Successful research and teaching as well as the participation in international scientific discourse require freedom, diversity and openness. This is why at Leipzig University we feel committed to gender equality, preventing discrimination, promoting a family-friendly environment, integrating disabled people and nurturing internationalisation. Therefore, only professional and formal requirements should be relevant to the start or continuation of a doctoral research project – and not the person’s gender, origin, physical impairments or family status. The professional and formal conditions are regulated by the faculties’ own doctoral reguations.

Special circumstances demand tailored solutions

Pursuing a doctorate is a challenging phase in any academic career, but our lives do not take this into account. We at Leipzig University strongly encourage doctoral candidates to continue their academic projects even if their personal circumstances change. The University and its partner institutions as well as the Studentenwerk Leipzig offer a wide range of advisory and support services.

Family, children and doctoral research – a challenging combination

The Studentenwerk Leipzig and the service for families at the University’s Equal Opportunities Office offer special advisory services for doctoral candidates with children.

The Studentenwerk Leipzig, the service for families at the University’s Equal Opportunities Office and the Research Academy Leipzig can arrange various childcare options. These are aimed at different target groups of doctoral candidates.

Returning to your doctoral research after a period of childcare can be made easier by a so-called re-entry scholarship from the Free State of Saxony.

Support to help you complete your doctorate is available in the form of a subject-independent scholarship from the FAZIT Foundation or through subject-specific scholarship programmes, for instance from the German Center for Art History, the German Association of Foreign Language Research (DGFF) or the Richard Winter Foundation for students of natural sciences.

Although holding a doctorate increases your employment prospects and earning potential, the Employment Agencies and Job Centres do not regard doctoral research and doctoral studies as proper further education measures and thus do not support it. This also means that – despite working on your doctoral project – you are not released from the obligations of a registered job seeker.

Leipzig University offers students as well as doctoral students support and advice through the Career Service. In addition, the Team Akademische Berufe of the Employment Agency Leipzig regularly provides advice in the offices of the Career Service and also the agency.

In order to promote research and young academics with above-average qualifications, Leipzig University has established an award programme. The Pre-Doc Award aims at facilitating the transition of graduates to doctoral studies by selecting and funding innovative doctoral projects. The Research Academy Leipzig is in charge of this award programme.

The family service at the University’s Equal Opportunities Office offers advisory services for family caregivers. Doctoral researchers who are employed by Leipzig University can contact the following person at the Department of Human Resources:


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Dr. Alexander Ciesek

Section Head

Grundsatzangelegenheiten, Hilfskräfte, Reisekosten
Goethestraße 6, Room 623
04109 Leipzig

Phone: +49 341 97-33003
Fax: +49 341 97-33099

Leipzig University offers specific advisory and support services for disabled doctoral researchers. Enrolled doctoral candidates have access to the same services that are available to other students – for example compensation for disadvantages. For further information, please contact the Study Office at the relevant faculty.

There are different contact persons for doctoral researchers who are employed by Leipzig University – one for the University and one for the Faculty of Medicine.

Also, an employer’s representative for the affairs of persons with disabilities has been appointed.

The University Library, the University Computing Centre and the Equal Opportunities Office at Leipzig University offer specific support.

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Thomas Arndt

Employer’s Representative for Persons with Disabilities

Goethestraße 6, Room 713
04109 Leipzig

Phone: +49 341 97-30086

Our university strives for equal opportunities and diversity among doctoral candidates through various measures based on its constitution (Grundordnung) and its Equal Opportunities Concept. Support and advisory services are usually developed and coordinated by the Equal Opportunities Office.

Promoting young academics, the Research Academy has its own Equal Opportunities Programme and provides offers for female doctoral candidates.

The Halle-Jena-Leipzig Central German University Alliance has developed a special mentoring programme – called “t.e.a.m.” – to support female doctoral candidates.

Doctoral projects often mean pressure and stress. Protecting the mental health of doctoral candidates is therefore a particular interest of Leipzig University. Doctoral students can get support from the psychosocial counselling service run by the Studentenwerk Leipzig. Doctoral candidates working at the University can participate in internal stress prevention training, details of which can be found on the intranet.

The Research Academy Leipzig plans on developing special services that target the needs of doctoral candidates.
Outside the University, the association Leipziger Bündnis gegen Depression e. V. – for people suffering from depression – offers counselling and support.

Our university strongly encourages refugees to pursue a doctoral project. In principle, refugees and non-refugee applicants are treated equally. This means that the generally binding requirements and criteria apply for when taking up doctoral research. The International Centre vises refugees and asylum seekers and has also appointed a Commissioner for Refugees.

Since refugees do not have German citizenship, they have only very limited access to scholarships. Certain political and trade union foundations offer refugees the opportunity to apply for doctoral scholarships.

More information about services for refugees



Doctoral Candidates With a Disability

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Opportunities for Doctoral Research

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Qualification and Networks

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Guidance for Doctoral Candidates

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