As a PhD student at AWI

The education and individual support of PhD students is part of the major concerns of promoting young scientists at the Alfred Wegener Institute (AWI).
About 180 postgraduates from more than 30 different countries are currently part of our institute's staff. They are working towards their doctoral degree under the supervision and scientific guidance of AWI colleagues in the various research departments. Our PhD students find excellent technical and administrative facilities, and through their close involvement in numerous national as well as international research projects they significantly contribute to the institute's scientific output.

Dissertation subjects

In principle, a doctoral thesis can be conducted in all research divisions and sections at AWI. More information on specific fields, research themes and projects can be found here.


As a general rule, the financing of doctoral studies takes place within the scope of fixed-term contracts of employment for mostly three years.

Alternatively, the financing can be acquired via national or international scholarship schemes. Independently raised doctoral projects must be consistent with the overall research programme at AWI.


Applications for a PhD study at AWI are either directly handled via job postings on our webside (jobs) or proactively by personally contacting scientists in the respective departments or sections.

Doctoral programme

Participation in a structured postgraduate programme or a graduate school is compulsory for all doctoral candidates at the AWI. Participation is an integral qualifying element for PhD students during their supervision. All PhD students have the possibility to become members of the Helmholtz Graduate School for Polar and Marine Research (POLMAR). Besides a comprehensive training and further education programme, it provides a large number of advisory services and support measures.

PhD students' representation

All PhD students at AWI are represented by the DokTeam. The PhD students' representation is elected once a year by all doctoral candidates. The DokTeam promotes the contact and exchange between all candidates and generally stands up for the interests of all PhD students at AWI.


General inquiries & coordination POLMAR:
Dr Claudia Sprengel
Dr Claudia Hanfland

International Office:
Andrea Bleyer

PhD students' representation: