PhD Program

Academic training and career development are core objectives of the Peace Research Institute Frankfurt (PRIF). As a non-university research institution of the Leibniz Association, PRIF is committed to offering doctoral candidates optimal work and study conditions, in order to create promising career opportunities for them both inside and outside scientific settings. These conditions include intensive supervision – both individually and in groups – of doctoral projects, integration as young researchers into the research, public relations and political advisory work of PRIF, promotion of their national and international networking activities, achieving a more visible profile for young researchers, training in methods and key competencies, as well as measures to increase equal opportunity and to promote a healthy work-life balance.

The PhD Program is thus organized fully in the sense of the Leibniz motto theoria cum praxi. It offers doctoral candidates a holistic education which promotes competence in the scientific, science-related and practical domains. 

PhD candidates are integrated as researchers in the research projects at the institute. The PhD program is structured according to PRIF’s Guidelines for PhD Candidates: The PhD program is based on a four year timeframe. In principle, doctoral students are initially employed as researchers on a three-year contract (min. 50% TV-H 13). The acceptance as PhD candidate requires a positive evaluation of their dissertation outline. Our doctoral program places great emphasis on integrating PhD candidates into the institute’s work at an early stage ensuring that a balance is kept between active, individual work in research projects and freedom in terms of the PhD candidate’s own dissertation. The supervision agreement defines the rights and duties of each PhD candidate. 

The core of the general academic supervision provided at PRIF is the monthly doctoral colloquium attended by all of the institute’s PhD candidates and supervisors. At the beginning of the program, all PhD candidates acquire core skills in the areas of methodology/research design and knowledge transfer. Moreover, the institute provides a wide array of individual trainings and courses in professional development as well as regular thematic workshops. The PhD Program cooperates with similar programs at the Goethe University Frankfurt in order to provide even more diversity in academic development (IGP ClusterGRASOCFB 03). Once a year, the institute holds a retreat for the PhD candidates and supervisors on a cross-cutting theme. 

The PhD candidates are also integrated in all of PRIF’s decision-making structures. All of the institute’s PhD candidates are voting members of the PRIF Research Council and elect two PhD representatives (currently: Antonio Arcudi and Max Lesch) to promote their interests. They also nominate a PhD officer (currently: Dr Thorsten Thiel) to work in close cooperation with the Executive Directors on issues of training and professional development at PRIF.

Applicants should hold excellent degrees and relate their PhD project thematically to PRIF’s research program.