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What is a Doctorate?

A doctorate (Latin docere - to teach) is the academic degree of the "Doctor" in a specific area of research. It is awarded in the form of a doctoral certificate.

The doctoral mainly consists of the dissertation, an independently researched and written scientific paper and its defense in the form of an oral exam (in Germany referred to as the "Disputation"). Other proofs of performance are listed in the promotion regulations.

  • Dissertation: the dissertation is a scientific paper, which documents an independent research achievement that concludes with new scientific findings.
  • Defense: after the dissertation has been accepted by the faculty or the board of examiners and the experts have submitted their reports, a scientific debate is held the theme of which is that of the dissertation. This oral defense of the doctoral thesis is most often open to anyone at the university.
When a topic of research is chosen as a topic for a dissertation, the person interested in pursuing a doctorate in this subject area will look for for a suitable supervisor at a university or department that hold the right to award doctorates. Afterwards, the person interested in pursuing a doctorate puts in an official request to be accepted as a doctoral candidate with the head of the board of examiners or the head of the department. In the next step, the application is examined and the applicant is accepted. Then, the doctoral candidate may begin work on his or her thesis. Scienitific standards are kept through regular consultations with the supervisor.
  • Usually, the pursuit of a doctorate will take three years
  • The doctorate is concluded by publishing the doctoral thesis

What is the Doctoral Platform?

The Doctoral Platform is a joint institution of Geisenheim University, Justus-Liebig-Universität Gießen and Philipps-Universität Marburg. It is aimed at those interested in starting a doctoral research project and those that are already young researchers, associated with one or more of the three universities.

Is Pursuing a Doctorate the Right Choice for Me?

Pursuing a doctorate is a fundemental and possibly life-changing decision as it means taking on an independent task and thus should be well-considered. Ideally, you should feel passionate about your research topic  and about science in general. Furthermore, you should consider your perspectives on the job market as well as financial incentives. Thorough planning and a clear definition of your goals that should also include your plans for after having completed your doctoral studies are important factors in the decision making process as writing a doctoral thesis is not a minor task.


To facilitate this process, the cooperating universitites' graduate schools are offering events to help shed light on the advantages and disadvantages of a doctorate:

Which Areas of Research Are Available for a Doctorate Coordinated by the Doctoral Platform?

Doctoral projects coordinated by the Doctoral Platform Geisenheim - Gießen - Marburg are jointly conducted among the partnering universities Geisenheim University, Justus-Liebig-Universität Gießen and Philipps-Universität Marburg. These doctoral projects are concerend with the areas of research targeted at Geisenheim University, as well as at the university's cooperating department.

Coordinating the doctorate at the Doctoral Platform Geisenheim - Gießen - Marburg is possible should the supervisors' areas of expertise from Geisenheim University correspond with those of professors of departments 08 and 09 at Justus-Liebig-Universität Gießen and department 17 at Philipps-Universität Marburg.


The Doctoral Platform Geisenheim - Gießen - Marburg coordinates doctoral projects in the following research areas:

  • Biology (receiving the title of Dr. rer. nat.)
  • Agricultural Sciences or Oenology (Dr. agr.)
  • Food Science and Food Technology (Dr. oec. troph.)
  • Nutrional Sciences (Dr. troph.)

What Does Training Young Scientists Mean?

In order to lastingly implement innovative capabilities, research expertise and tertiary education in Germany, it is essential to offer qualification opportunities and trainings to young scientists.

  • Young scientists are those who have successfully completed their studies and have subsequently decided to start their doctorate studies as well as those scientists who have remained in the scientific field as researchers after completing their doctorate.
  • Apart from professional qualifications, interdisciplinary competences are a significant advantage in order to become an established researcher.

To provide the best support for young researchers, the Doctoral Platform Geisenheim - Gießen - Marburg supports Geisenheim University's Graduate School.

Together, the two institutions are designing offers in the area of good scientific practice which completend the graduate school's curriculum.


You can find further information about the training and qualification measures here.

What Does the Doctoral Platform Geisenheim - Gießen - Marburg Gave to Offer for Me?

As the only "Hochschule des 'Neuen Typs'" (= "New Type" University), Geisenheim University holds the right to award doctorates, which it excersies together with Justus-Liebig-Universität Gießen and Philipps-Universität Marburg. Qualified graduates whco have decided on a doctoral research project in cooperation Justus-Liebig-Universität's departments 09 or 08 or Philipp-Universität Marburg's department 17 will receive assistance from the Doctoral Platform Geisenheim - Gießen - Marburg.

What we offer to you:

  • Guidelines for joint doctoral projects at Geisenheim University with Justus-Liebig-Universität's departments 09 or 08 or Philipp-Universität Marburg's department 17
  • Overview of the universities' requirements for doctoral candidates
  • Access to professional and interdisciplinary training and qualification measures for doctoral students, researchers and supervisors