Geography (PhD programme)

(Ph.D./Dr. rer.nat)

    In general there are the following application deadlines:
  • 31st of January for the following summer term
  • 31st of July for the following winter term

Application and admission

Information concerning the application:

  • For the preconditions for admission (among others the proof of sufficient English language skills) and further information about the application for this PhD programme please read the Application regulation ("Zugangsordnung").
  • For further questions please contact your prospective PhD supervisor.

Application step by step:

2. Fill in the GAUSS admission application form. The link to the application form can be found in the section "Admission package" on this GAUSS website.
(Enrolment in GAUSS is a compulsory part of the doctoral studies.)

3. Hand in the completed application, signed by all relevant persons, together with the following documents to the Dean's Office (Ms. Sandra Beckmann, Goldschmidstr. 3, 37077 Göttingen, EG, Room 16, Lageplan):

  • Degree certificates in English or German / translation in single copy or indication of achievements to date (credits / grade point average).
    A certified copy of the documents must be submitted or the originals presented before enrolment.
  • a curriculum vitae written in English, which also provides information about the scientific career.
  • proof of sufficient (English) language skills by means of an internationally recognised test or equivalent performance.
  • suitable documents to prove additional achievements (publications, internships, professional experience, teaching activities), which demonstrate the special suitability for the doctoral programme; in the case of already existing publications, simple copies of the publications.
  • a doctoral candidate declaration ["Promovierenden-Erklärung"] (will be generated with the GAUSS application for admission)
  • a description of the research project

Doctoral examination

The PhD examination in mathematics consists of:

  • a written exam (dissertation thesis) and
  • an oral exam (disputation).

It is carried out referring to the GAUSS PhD regulations ["RerNat-O"] of 2018--01. Your thesis and accompanying documents have to be submitted electronically via Göttingen University's Lucom system. We kindly request that you inform the dean´s office at least 6-7 weeks in advance that you intend to submit your dissertation and apply for admission to the oral doctoral examination (disputation). You will receive detailed information regarding the process, what kind of documents will be required and how to ultimately be admitted to your disputation. All relevant information can also be found on the GAUSS homepage. For further information, please carefully study the checklist "Countdown to doctoral degree" provided by GAUSS.

About this PhD programme

The PhD programme "Geography" is based on a research focus on "Resource Analysis and Assessment of the Geosphere" in the context of geographical research on human-environment relations. The doctoral students benefit from a number of international collaborative projects in which the Institute of Geography participates.
The general theme associates process mapping and modelling, creation of material balances (water, air, sediment, carbon, nitrogen and pollutants), the reconstruction of past environmental conditions and the analysis and modelling of the consequences of the use of interventions in biogeochemical cycles.
The social science methodology is included in the context of human ecology, political ecology, and institutional analysis and resource use conflicts. At present, the Institute of Geography is involved in several international collaborative projects.
The ongoing project carbiocial (Carbon sequestration, biodiversity and social structures in Southern Amazonia: models and implementation of carbon-optimised land management strategies) was started in August 2011 under the auspices of the Department of Landscape Ecology BMBF. The subject of the comprehensive joint project (with 14 sub-projects), which will be conducted in a German-Brazilian cooperation, is the study of climate and socioeconomic factors with the aim of controlling C-optimised land use strategies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In order to create decision support systems (DSS), this can be transferred for use in other regions.
The Department of Human Geography is integrated with the project "Political and institutional impacts on cultural landscape transformation in Sumatra, Indonesia" in the socioeconomic programme area of the CRC 990 "Ecological and socioeconomic functions of tropical lowland rainforest transformation systems in Sumatra (EEFFORTS)" (2012 - 2015). Furthermore, the Department of Human Geography is linked with the Centre for Modern Indian Studies (CeMIS) and integrated in the application of a new CRC (CRC 1122 "Agricultural Transition in the Indian Rural-Urban Interface").
In addition, the Department of Cartography, GIS and Remote Sensing is integrated in the regional project "Bioenergy in Tension". This cooperative project examines social and natural changes which are associated with the increasing use of biomass for energy recovery.
By participating in these international collaborative projects, doctoral students learn to carry out autonomous scientific work. They also acquire knowledge and skills that go beyond a curricular programme of study, namely, through active participation in the academic affairs of the Faculty and Institute of Geography.
At the department of Geography and High Mountain Geomorphology (GHG), PhD- and doctoral theses are supervised which specialize in research that is focused on mountain ranges around the world. These research activities may encompass the entire breadth of geography.