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Ernst-Ising Award for the best PhD thesis in Physics founded by the Wilhelm and Else Heraeus Foundation

Picture Credits: © krizZz -

Cologne offers a broad range of possibilities to participate in cutting-edge research in some of the most exciting fields in physics. Typically, a doctoral degree is obtained 3 years after the Master?s (or diploma) degree (or 5 years after the Bachelor).

The most important part of a PhD is a research project at the forefront of science under the supervision of a professor or research group leader. Our PhD students can participate in several different research networks on the national and international level. In many cases, our PhD students spend several months during their PhD abroad in leading research institutes and take part in international workshops and conferences.

How to apply for a PhD position
Students which have already obtained a bachelor degree in physics but not yet a master should first enrol in the master?s program of the physics department. Note that you can also apply simultaneously to the Bonn-Cologne Graduate School of Physics and Astronomy (BCGS), a special program directed to especially gifted students.

For students who have already obtained or are about to obtain their master?s degree (or, equivalently, their diploma), the first step towards the PhD is to find a PhD advisor. The best way is to contact directly one (or several) of the professors or other research group leader. In most of the cases, one can apply throughout the year (even if no PhD positions are advertised). For applicants from outside of Cologne it is useful to send a CV, information about previous academic achievements and research experience. To avoid unnecessary delay, one can apply before one has completely finished the master?s (or diploma) degree.

The advisor can provide information on the salary, possible research areas and projects. There are also a number of formal requirements (depending on the previously obtained degrees) which your advisor will discuss with you. After having found a PhD advisor, the most gifted and ambitious students are welcome to apply also to the Bonn-Cologne Graduate School (BCGS).

Ernst Ising

Ernst Ising 1987, picture kindly provided by Thomas Ising

Namenspatron des Preises ist Ernst Ising (1900-1998), der in Köln geboren wurde, und in seiner Dissertation das zentrale Modell der statistischen Physik und der Festkörperphysik begründete. Unter den Nationalsozialisten verlor er seine Lehrstellung und emigrierte schließlich mit seiner Familie in die USA.