Needs for Novel Doctoral Training Strategies
The scientific, technological and economic importance of optics and photonics contrasts with its minor role in the German university system. The curricula of the traditional disciplines do not provide a profound optics and photonics education. Thus, the initial stages of diploma or doctoral theses have to serve as “training-on-the-job”, addressing only special aspects rather than the entire field of optics and photonics.
The leading graduate schools that specifically focus on optics and photonics are mainly located in the U.S. (e.g., CREOL, Orlando, Florida; Rochester, New York; Tucson, Arizona) and have developed into world renowned centers for science and technology. Importantly, the optics and photonics research at these institutions is complemented by corresponding undergraduate and graduate education programs. In this respect there is need of a new educational approach in Germany. Hence, we have developed and implemented both M.Sc. and Ph.D. programs in the area of “Optics & Photonics”. The M.Sc. course provides an adequate education, spanning the bridge between undergraduate optics classes and the required in-depth knowledge that is essential for cutting-edge research. The best students enter the Ph.D. program and find the ideal ground for world-class research. Their thesis work benefits from the multidisciplinary character of the “Karlsruhe School of Optics & Photonics (KSOP)”.
Key Facts Ph.D. Program
- You have to apply for a Ph.D. project within the four research areas
- We have 80 places and offer 18 scholarships per year (17.000 Euro/a taxfree).
- All additional training modules are taught in English
- Application possible at any time
Focus of the Program
The candidates who are accepted as Ph. D. students within KSOP are not only part of an excellent research environment but are also trained in a well balanced and structured manner. While the main focus of the Ph.D. training lies on the graduate student research work, we are convinced that additional elements in the doctoral training are needed to reach the optimum academic success and to develop leadership capabilities.
The scientific success and/or an industrial career not only depend on well-developed technical skills and knowledge, but also on several other factors, which are insufficiently considered in existing Ph.D. programs. Scientific excellence and technical achievements in the field of the candidate’s thesis form the basis for any Ph.D. degree. Successful careers in industry or academia, however, often require additional leadership and management skills and/or interdisciplinary knowledge. Depending on the candidate’s orientation, we provide a specific modular Ph.D. training program which comprises units from a catalogue of technical, scientific as well as management modules. Regarding the latter, we benefit from the HECTOR School of Engineering and Management which provides corresponding modules.
There are two possible pathways of a graduate student within KSOP. A direct entrance into the Ph.D. program is possible with a suitable masters or diploma degree. Alternatively, and especially addressing highly talented graduates from international universities, we offer a masters course entitled “M.Sc. in Optics & Photonics”. We admitt approximately 36 students per year in this M.Sc. course.
Candidates for the Ph.D. program are actively recruited from the graduates of the M.Sc. program of the KSOP as well as from other internal and external Masters and Diploma programs. We have a high number of applications from other national and international universities due to the excellent research opportunities in Karlsruhe.
Selection of the candidates is based on the positive statement of the prospective advisors and approval by the executive board of the KSOP.
Ph.D. candidates are either financed from KSOP scholarships or from other financial resources. We encourage a transfer from a scholarship during the first year to third-party funding after typically one year. We have almost reached our goal of 80 doctoral students in the program, out of which 18 can be financed by KSOP scholarships.