Doctorate as a Research Associate

In most subject areas, an assistant doctorate is the traditional way to earn a doctoral degree in Germany. This is also the case at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) where the majority of our doctoral candidates are employed as research associates at the chairs and research groups. With this path to a doctorate, you will be part of the university academic staff and your doctoral supervisor will be your boss as well.

Being a research associate at the TUM, you will be closely involved in the various teaching, research and administrative tasks of your chair/research group while conducting your individual research for your dissertation. In addition, as a teacher and supervisor for student work (e.g. Bachelor thesis), you are responsible for undergraduate and graduate students. That gives you significant on-the-job skills and insight into the daily affairs of a chair/research group that will be especially beneficial towards a further career in academia. On the other hand, please note that employment as research associates may prolong the duration of your doctorate, as you will mainly work for the chair/research group during the day instead of focusing on your own doctoral research. Usually, the general research area for the doctoral research is already defined by the specific position as research associate. However, in most cases you will develop your final dissertation topic together with your thesis supervisor during the course of your employment.

As a research associate, you are employed by TUM and receive a monthly salary. Salaries for research associates are normally based on the pay scale for Civil Service in the States (West), at wage level E13. Depending on the department and the available funds, jobs are generally listed as full-time (100%) or part-time (50-75%) positions. Most open positions as research associates at TUM are announced in the TUM Job-Portal at on a regular basis. Furthermore, jobs openings are often directly advertised on the websites of the specific chairs/research groups. In case of application, please follow the application instructions mentioned in the job advertisement.   

Please note that in case of successful job application, you still have to apply for doctoral admission at TUM. Further information on how to apply for a doctorate can be found in the section “application”