Admission / Application

The Helmholtz Research School on Security Technologies at the German Aerospace Center and the Technical University Berlin offers 

PhD Scholarships (M/F) for three years

The mission of the Research School is to contribute to civil security by excellent research and by training and education of young researchers in technology fields which are highly relevant for civil security. Examples are: optical and photonic systems for identification and authentication, sensors, spectrometers and cameras for surveillance applications, optoelectronic and semiconductor components, and information and communication technologies for implementation of security systems. Societal impacts of security are an integral part of the training and research program.

We offer

  • a PhD scholarship paid according to the rules of the German Research Foundation (DFG)
  • a top‐level research environment
  • an interdisciplinary training program
  • stays at labs at partner institutions or abroad
  • Berlin – a lively city with a vibrant cultural scene, successful scientific centers of innovation and dynamic business activities

The PhD students are members of one of the participating research groups at DLR or TUB. They will get their PhD degree from the TUB.

We expect

  • study in physics, electrical engineering, computer science or social sciences finished with high marks and a Diploma or Master degree that qualifies for starting a PhD study in Germany. Candidates who are about to earn their degree are welcome to apply.
  • fluently spoken and written English is essential
  • basic laboratory experience (dependent on research topic)
  • high motivation and dedication for scientific working
  • ability to work creatively in a multidisciplinary team

Available scholarships

  •  -


Please download the Application form and the Referee’s Report form and follow the instructions given in these forms.
After filling in the forms, please send by e-mail to Barbara Stracke (address below):

  • the Application form  (as Word file with the following file name: "Family name"_"First name"_hrsst_Application.doc) and
  • the CV and Certificates (in one pdf file with the following file name: "Family name"_"First name"_CV_certificates.pdf)

Only applications arriving in this form can be processed.

If there is no possibility to sign the e-mailed application, please, send us in addition a FAX of the last page of the application form (p. 9) bearing your signature. Without signature the application is not valid.

Please make sure that your referees use the report form and do not send a letter of recommendation of their own style. The referee's reports should carry file names composed as described here: "Family name"_"First name"_Referees_Report_"Number".pdf

For application it is imperative:

  • We do not accept any hardcopies/paper copies sent by ordinary post or fax (excluding the copy of the signed main application form).
  • Regardless of the outcome of your application we are unable to return any documents you send to us.

When will you be hearing from us:

A decision on your application will be made within six weeks after the deadline by which you have to submit your completed application. During the admission process the key faculty members in the academic field for which you are applying may contact you for a telephone interview.

Financial assistance:

During the doctoral studies, the Research School can provide up to 14 candidates with a stipend that is limited to maximum 3 years, enabling the students to exclusively work on their research project. A stipend requires at the beginning of the doctoral thesis that the graduation must not date back longer than 3 years. The stipend is paid without any taxes.

Additional funding for children till their 12th birthday can also be granted:

 - one child

154 €

 - two children  205 €
 - three children  256 €




At the moment, the scholarship amounts to 1.177,- € (basic amount) plus 103,- € (material expenses grant). 

Income tax:  The stipend is not charged with income taxes.
Social insurance:  With your stipend you are not included in the social insurance system in Germany ("Sozialversicherungspflicht") because you are not an employee. You have to contract your mandatory health insurance, optional pension insurance and occupational disablement insurance and pay them by the supplementary allowances listed above.

The Helmholtz Research School on Security Technologies offers the program without tuition fees. However, doctoral candidates might have to be enrolled at one of the member universities. Here, each semester you might have to pay an enrollment fee.

Please be aware that living expenses in Germany might be higher than in other countries. It has been estimated that students will require approx. 800,- € per month to cover the costs of living and study.

Estimated costs include:

  • Accommodation: 400,- € per month on average (deposit: one to two month rent, returned on expiry of the duration of rent if there is no cause for complain)
  • Health insurance: mandatory, but on your own responsibility
  • Third party liability insurance: 25,- € per year
  • Other costs: varies from person to person but is unlikely to be less than 300,- € per month (food, books, stationery, travel, clothes, sport/leisure, etc)

If you have any questions concerning your application, please contact:
The Helmholtz Research School on Security Technologies

Dr. Ute Böttger:

Dr.rer.nat. Dipl.-Physikerin Ute Böttger
Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt (DLR)

Institut für Optische Sensorsysteme
, Arbeitsgruppe LIBS, Raman- und THz-Spektroskopie
Tel: +49 30 67055-645

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