Support for Junior Researchers/PhD Students

Completing a Ph.D. at the Kiel Institute prepares for all kinds of career objectives ranging from a classi­cal scientific career via getting ahead in non-university research organizations, think tanks, international or­ganizations or ministries, to occupations in the private sector.

Ph.D. candidates are involved in the specific proj­ects of their research areas and often are additionally supporting projects of one or more of the Centers. This may include project-related research, contributions to the think-tank activities, education or to the Kiel Institute publication activities, or the acquisition of third-party financed projects. Dissertation topics are integrated into the research program of the Kiel Insti­tute to ensure a timely completion of the dissertation. Additional tasks are allocated in line with career aims and support relevant skills, e.g., for policy or consult­ing careers.

Doctoral candidates have a standard employment contract with 75 percent. In some exceptional cases, for instance in third-party-funded projects with a tight work schedule they also have a full contract. The ini­tial duration of contracts is three years, and at least two further one-year extensions are possible. In typi­cal cases the target is to finish the dissertation within about four years.

Most of the Ph.D. candidates participate in the Ph.D. program in Quantitative Economics at Kiel University, while some pursue their dissertation projects at other universities or at other faculties at Kiel University, such as the Agricultural Faculty. The Quantitative Economics program’s focus on quantita­tive methods fits well with the empirical research focus of the Institute. To avoid conflicts between the project work at the Kiel Institute and the Ph.D. program, there is an agreement that the courses that normally have to be taken within one year can be stretched over a longer period for Kiel Institute’s employees.

For questions regarding the support for junior researchers please contact
Two young women embrace to celebrate their graduation.

How to further pursue your career

The Kiel Institute also offers career opportunities for postdocs. They typically receive two-or three-year contracts, with one or two extensions. The Institute en­sures that there is room for pursuing own research in­terests and supports external stays of various lengths at universities as well as research and policy institutions, which are also open to advanced Ph.D. students. A limited number of junior professorships are available.

Many postdocs eventually leave the Institute and accept positions at universities, ministries, interna­tional organizations, and private firms. Recently, post­docs have, e.g., taken up professorships in Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States or joined the European Central Bank, the Swiss National Bank, the OECD, the FAO and German federal ministries. Postdocs also have the opportunity to apply for inter­nal tenure positions. This involves a competitive pro­cedure in which candidates are chosen based on per­formance criteria such as academic record, acquisition of third-party-funding, contributions to think-tank activities, and a medium-term research strategy.

All junior researchers have access to numerous additional training programs, which include:

The Advanced Studies Program, which offers Ph.D. students the opportunity to attend courses by internationally renowned scholars and to discuss own research issues with them.

The Kiel Institute Summer School on Economic Policy (KISSEP), which addresses topics that are closely related to the activities of the research areas.

Several seminar series which keep junior academ­ics up-to-date with ongoing research; they also give them a platform to present their own research work.

Junior researchers also use the opportunity to ob­tain in-depth knowledge by attending further courses and summer schools outside Kiel or external courses on quantitative methods.