What kinds of reforms are necessary to ensure that the doctorate maintains its structural role in enabling the innovative development of society and the sciences?

The doctoral degree in its function as preparation for an academic career is undergoing dramatic changes. But what exactly is changing and what kinds of reforms are necessary to ensure that the doctorate maintains its structural role in enabling the innovative development of society and the sciences? Which quality standards are necessary to counter public debates about academic misconduct and plagiarism cases? Are new forms of doctoral training, such as the increasing number of graduate schools intended to function in tandem with direct work underneath a doctoral supervisor, an adequate approach? How do supervision and official doctoral formats influence the career plans of doctoral candidates and the quality of degrees? Can the marking systems and duration of doctoral programs provide any insight on these topics? Do the different fields have anything in common? How can the disciplines learn from one another? As the doctoral degree is often the first qualifying degree in some of the natural sciences, wouldn’t it make sense for polytechnics and other non-university institutes to be granted the power to award doctorates?


The myth of the doctorate. But what is the cost-benefit calculation for the doctorate?

Discussion event in cooperation with the National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina

Many reasons motivate students to pursue a doctorate. Intrinsic motivation is the most significant motivating factor across all disciplines. Nevertheless, many doctoral students abandon their projects, usually for several reasons: In addition to the high workload, doctoral students also drop out due to subject-specific aspects such as funding problems or a critical supervisory situation. Moreover, even after completing a doctoral dissertation, many find precarious working conditions on the way to a professorship.


Stellungnahme „Plädoyer Für Einen Tarifvertrag Promotion“

The doctorate is an important qualification measure in the German science system - but the financing of one's own dissertation and thus the general conditions for entering a research career are very different for doctoral students. Financing and employment contexts vary greatly from one institute and discipline to another and depend on the availability of a budget or third-party funding. This results in differences in income, uneven contract durations, and highly divergent and sometimes precarious working conditions for doctoral students, often within the same research group. In their statement, the members of Die Junge Akademie advocate for the introduction of a separate Tarifvertrag Promotion. This would guarantee all doctoral students the same remuneration within the framework of a full-time employment contract and thus ensure uniform employment relationships and fair conditions for all doctoral students.


Celebration rituals

How is the successful completion of a doctorate celebrated? The research group Pro-Motion was seeking known and unknown, existing and visionary rituals, which rightfully celebrate the completion of this phase on the academic career path. Online-submissions were accepted until June 30th 2019. Submissions were accepted in the form of videos, pictures, texts, or other completely different representations. Five submissions were distinguished and awarded collectively with 3,400 euros. All winners are presented on the German website. Information concerning the competition can be found at (in German only). Press Release (in German)


participating Members

participating Alumnae / Alumni