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Research and Qualification

Why is research phase more than writing a thesis?


During the research phase you develop numerous qualifications and skills important for your further career path within and beyond academia. You should enhance and strengthen your competencies through participation in training opportunities to successfully complete the doctorate and to support your further career development.

On the one hand you can acquire research and method skills necessary for your research work. On the other hand, it is advisable to gain training in professional skills as today they are indispensable for pursuing a career both within and beyond academia. 

During the research phase particular emphasis is placed on professional competencies:

  • management of the dissertation project,

  • communicating and presenting research findings,

  • self-management.


Furthermore, qualification during research phase facilitates transition to the job market after the completion of doctorate. Think about time after completion of the doctorate.


If you are interested in pursuing an academic career, you should develop a realistic picture of challenges and opportunities related to working in an academic environment. Be aware that nowadays professors need to meet higher requirements than keywords „research“ and „teaching“ might suggest. Look for opportunities to talk to professors to have a specific idea of academic professional life.

As a comparatively low proportion of doctoral graduates gain a professorship, you should explore career options beyond academia early during the research phase. Many doctoral candidates decide late to leave academia, i.e. during the completion of doctorate or in the early postdoc phase.

Therefore it is highly recommended to think early about what professional path you want to take after your PhD. You should analyze what skills and competencies are necessary for the envisaged profession and which of them you should still develop or acquire. Suitable training and building up a network is important so you should plan time for these activities.


For the transition to a career with a doctorate following topics are important:

career counseling, potential analysis, DRS / career exploration

  • written job applications and job interviews, DRS/ job application

  • job related topics such as leadership, economic fundamentals, DRS / training for the job.