Diverse career prospects
Aeronautics, space, energy, transport, digitalisation and security – DLR addresses numerous issues relating to interesting subjects with a high degree of societal relevance and excellent future prospects. The spectrum ranges from designing the aircraft of tomorrow, using satellites and sensors for environmental research, through to exploring the Solar System. It also includes designing the transport system of the future and implementing renewable energy technologies. The professions and scientific disciplines at DLR are equally diverse – from atmospheric research to aerospace medicine, adaptive systems, mechatronics and robotics to planetary research, and from propulsion technology to materials physics in space. DLR makes significant contributions to numerous national and international projects and institutions. These include the International Space Station (ISS), the European satellite navigation system Galileo, the German-Dutch Wind Tunnels (DNW) foundation, as well as Europe’s biggest solar power plant in Almería, in southern Spain. In addition to the research it conducts, DLR, in its role as a space agency acting on behalf of the German Federal Government, plans and implements the national space programme. DLR also functions as an umbrella organisation for one of the largest project management agencies in Germany.
Opportunities for students
DLR offers very special opportunities for the next generation of researchers. Students can complete internships at DLR institutes and carry out their degree projects, where they may even have the opportunity to get involved in international programmes. In addition, DLR invites students to participate in academic competitions, such as the ‘NASA/DLR Design Challenge’ in the field of aeronautics, or the REXUS/BEXUS programme, which is about conducting experiments on board sounding rockets or during balloon flights. In cooperation with local universities, DLR also involves students in flight-test campaigns, parabolic flights, or other spectacular projects. A number of DLR_Summer_Schools regularly provide students with important insights into current research projects and the corresponding practical knowledge.
Support programmes for doctoral candidates
Doctoral candidates get a high level of supervision and support from the DLR institutes. The DLR_Graduate_Program is a high-quality qualification and support programme, which was designed specifically for doctoral candidates at DLR. The three-year-long, voluntary programme teaches the candidates key interdisciplinary skills – from project management to preparing scientific publications and presentations, acquiring third-party funding and other core expertise. The knowledge and skills acquired can be already be used efficiently during the doctoral phase and will also help with future career planning.
The doctoral phase can be followed by further steps, such as leading groups of young researchers at one of the DLR institutes, or even secondments abroad. DLR also offers mentoring programmes and schemes to develop young talent.