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Would you like to do research in Germany? Here you will find out how to get started in your career as a researcher in five steps.

Career in research in Germany

Germany offers many opportunities to advance in your research career.

Guest lectureship at a higher education institution: as a guest lecturer, you can carry out teaching and research activities at German higher education institutions for a limited period of time. A guest lectureship has advantages for everyone: the students benefit from your expertise and intercultural perspective, while you, in turn, gain useful experience at a German university as well as professional and methodological impulses for your own work.

Employment at a higher education institution: of course, you can also apply for a job position at a German higher education institution. Many traditional universities as well as universities of applied sciences and arts are looking for international reinforcement. You could also combine a job as a research assistant with a doctoral thesis.

Employment in the R&D sector of a company: international researchers have good prospects of finding a job in German companies. There is particularly high demand for skilled workers in areas with an insufficient number of qualified applicants in Germany, such as engineers and IT specialists.

If you are interested in doing research in Germany, feel free to visit the “Research in Germany” portal.

How to do research in Germany in 5 steps

1. Job-hunting: 

If you want to conduct research in Germany, it is best to start looking for a job while you are still in your home country. Numerous job portals online provide a job database specifically for research and science. You can find an overview of them on the Research in Germany website.

2. Financing and funding:

To work as a researcher in Germany, you must prove that you are able to support yourself financially. Many academic employees in Germany are paid according to collective wage agreements and can therefore easily finance their research stay, if they have a full-time job. You can also secure funding for your research stay through a research scholarship. This is especially worthwhile if you want to carry out a project for a limited time period. Many institutions support international researchers from all disciplines. You can find an overview on the Research in Germany website.

3. Visa: 

The “Who needs a visa?” section provides information on whether you need an entry visa or a residence permit for your research stay in Germany. As a rule, a visa or residence permit is required if you are not from the EU, EEA or Switzerland. The specific requirements for the issuance of a visa are listed in the "Visa for Research" section.

4. Prospects for the family:

As a citizen of an EU country, your spouse and children have the same rights to freedom of movement as you do, and they can move here with you without a visa. If you are not from the EU but have a residence permit as a scientist or researcher, your spouse also has the right to a residence permit with which they can take up any job in Germany. Of course, you can bring your children with you. You can find more information about school and childcare in the "Family life in Germany" section.

Career opportunities for spouses: many universities in Germany will support your partner in their job search. So-called Dual Career Services as well as the universities’ Welcome Centres accompany you and your family on your way to Germany and support you in settling in. About 40 universities are currently represented in the Dual Career Network Germany (DCND). If your employer of choice is not on this list, why not ask them directly about their family support services?

5. Language skills: 

As a scientist or researcher, you usually do not have to prove any skills regarding your proficiency in German due to English being the default language in international research teams. Your spouse does not need to know German either. However, the German language will help you tremendously in your exchanges with German colleagues, students or employees in companies and administration. Language skills also help you and your family in settling in and finding a new home and friends in Germany. Here you can find useful tips concerning the German language.

Do you have any questions?

Let us advise you on your opportunities to work and live in Germany. Our experts will support you with questions regarding job search, visa, recognition and learning German. 

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