Doctoral Candidates


Before you can officially apply for admission to doctoral studies, you must first find a supervisor for your doctoral project. In order to submit the application for admission, you must provide proof that a professor has agreed to be your supervisor.


We have compiled some information for you here, which will help you to find a supervisor.



  • As a first step, you should have some definite ideas about your doctoral research project, before looking into the matter of finding a suitable supervisor. Write a first project proposal.
  • Collect detailed information on the individual faculties, institutes, departments, and professors at HU to find out which professor would be the most appropriate supervisor in your case. Someone whose field of research covers the same or similar topics to your own would be ideal.
  • Please consult this overview of the ein roter Pfeil faculties and departments at HU, which will refer you to the relevant websites for obtaining the information you need on the respective departments, research areas and professors.
  • Please consult this overview of the most important ein roter Pfeil research centers, -projects and -cooperations at HU.
  • You can also search for a supervisor in external databases, e.g. this ein roter Pfeil DAAD database.


How do I contact potential supervisors?

  • Once you have found the ideal potential supervisor for your doctoral project, you can contact him or her directly via email, enclosing a letter of motivation, your curriculum vitae, list of publications and an outline of your proposed project or statement of purpose.
  • The more precisely you set out your reasons for believing you can accomplish your project optimally with this particular host at HU and how you intend to finance your stay, the greater your chances of succeeding.
  • If you have the opportunity, you can also approach potential supervisors in person, e.g. at a meeting or conference.


Who can I contact if I need help?

At Humboldt-Universität and at other German universities, the search for a suitable supervisor is generally the responsibility of those interested in pursuing a doctorate. However, if you have general questions about finding a supervisor, you are welcome to contact the ein roter Pfeil consultation service of the Humboldt Graduate School.


In addition, we also recommend contacting your former professors for discipline-specific advice. Talking to former fellow students who are now doing their doctorate can also be helpful.


Who can be selected as a supervisor?

Please refer to the ein roter Pfeil doctoral regulations of the faculties to find out who is generally eligible as a supervisor. Generally, professors of the respective faculty and the respective discipline are eligible. Exceptions can be found in the doctoral regulations.

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