How to interview for a PhD?

With every interview there comes a time when you can ask your own questions. This is exactly why our PhD representatives have prepared this little guide for you, which is intended to help you find the right PhD position.

  1. Is the PhD funding secured for at least 3 years, or preferably 4 years?
  2. Where does the funding come from? (third-party funding, stipend, budget of research institution) Is the funding equal to the current DFG standard for life-sciences (E13 /65 % position)?
  3. How many PhD students are currently working in the lab?
  4. Is it possible to individually discuss current PhD students of the lab?
  5. How long does a doctoral thesis take on average in this lab?
  6. How many students have already graduated from the lab, and where are they working now?
  7. How many students have dropped out or changed supervisors in the past 5 years?
  8. Is it possible to prepare a supervision agreement?
  9. How often does the supervisor meet with the PhD students per month?
  10. Who would the student be working with on a day-to-day basis?
  11. How many publications does a PhD student get on average in this lab? (first author / second author, impact factor, …)
  12. Is the lab using Individual development plans to foster the careers of the PhD students?
  13. Is there a qualification program (workshop and course offers, conference attendances,…) PhD students can benefit from?
  14. How is traveling to conferences, summer schools, and workshops funded?
  15. Is it possible for students to do internships or external research visits?