Do you still have questions about applying to DLR? We have the answers. Copyright: fotolia, Robert Kneschke
Do you still have questions about applying to DLR? We have the answers. Copyright: fotolia, Robert Kneschke


1. General questions about the application process

2. Questions about internships at DLR

3. Questions about course papers and final theses

4. Questions about career opportunities

5. Questions about PhD


1. General questions about the application process

How can I apply to DLR?
You can apply via our online application form. Please submit your documentation as PDF files. Find out more on ways to apply on our information page. Some institutes and facilities also offer an application via regular mail, addressed to the relevant HR department.

May I submit a speculative application?
We are happy to receive speculative applications for PhD positions, course work, final thesis, internships and student jobs. Permanent positions are always posted on our career site, so we would recommend going there to search for vacancies that match your qualifications.

If you are submitting a speculative application, you should already have a clear idea of which institutes or facilities match your area of expertise, and where you want to work. We have put together additional information for you, to ensure that your speculative application reaches us in good order.

What kind of documents am I asked to provide?
We expect a complete application for all vacancies – online as PDF files only: a cover letter (introduction to yourself and motivation for working at DLR), your CV, and copies of your most important certificates and letters of reference (for example: grade sheet, Bachelor or Master certificate, internships, any work-related qualifications). There are specific requirements for speculative applications.

When must my application be submitted by?
We generally stipulate an application deadline in our vacancy listings. Please apply within the period specified. Do you want to undertake an internship at DLR? If so, enquire sooner rather than later. Each institute has a limited number of internship vacancies available, and these are very popular. You should plan at least one term in advance.


2. Questions about internships at the DLR

How can I apply for an internship?
You have two options:

Search for internships posted among our current job offers and apply directly via the 'Apply online now' button. This will take you through the application process. For technical questions, you can contact the pertinent institute directly.

You may submit a speculative application to the institute or facility of your choice. If you are applying speculatively, you should already have a clear idea of which institutes or facilities match your area of expertise, and where you want to work. We have put together additional information for you, to ensure that your speculative application reaches us in good order.

Our general notes on applying should also be considered when applying for an internship.

How long does an internship at DLR last?
This mainly depends on the study conditions of your course, but it also depends on the individual DLR institutes and facilities as well as the project you want to work on. We recommend spending at least three to six months with us as an intern to get a good insight into the scientific work.

Will I be paid as an intern?
Yes. The amount varies according to the type of internship – pre-study internship, mandatory internship, etc. You will get more precise information following your application.

Does DLR offer internships abroad?
The DLR institutes and facilities do not offer any internships abroad

Can I combine an internship with my Bachelor or Master thesis?
If, due to the study conditions of your course, you´re obliged to undertake an internship, you must complete it before starting your thesis. As an intern at DLR, you will benefit from the practical knowledge that you will gain during this time. We will be happy to help you with your thesis within our capacities.


3. Questions about course paper and final theses

Can I write a course paper, Bachelor or Master thesis while working at DLR?
Yes. Every year, we supervise a wide range of course papers and final theses. Topics for theses are posted as vacancies on the DLR jobs portal, where you can immediately check whether one of the many exciting jobs suits you. If you already have a thesis topic in mind, you can also submit a speculative application. Please find out in advance precisely which of our institutes and facilities your thesis topic is suitable for, and pay attention to our notes on speculative applications. Frequently, an idea for your thesis will come out of a previously completed internship – being an intern at DLR offers you the best prospects.


4. Questions about career opportunities

Where can I find vacancies at DLR that match my areas of expertise?
To find job advertisements that match your qualifications, you should go to the DLR career site and select the relevant vacancies via ´Subject area´. Depending on your academic and professional experience, you can start working for us during your course or upon its completion. Find out more about career opportunities at DLR.

Is there a trainee programme for new recruits at the DLR?
No. As a new recruit you will start working on our science projects straight away. However, we offer a range of support and development options such as the DLR_Graduate_Program for PhD students.

Do you offer career opportunities for graduates with a Bachelor degree?
Yes. You will find interesting vacancies for Bachelor graduates on our career site. We primarily employ staff with Bachelor´s degrees in technical support; not so much in scientific research.

Does DLR offer career opportunities for lateral hires?
Yes. The variety and combination of skills and qualifications we ask for is huge and very specific at the same time. Please check the DLR Jobs portal to see which vacancies might match your profile.

As a DLR employee, is it possible to work abroad?
DLR is very well connected in the international research landscape and encourages international and interdisciplinary collaboration – for example, by supporting our scientists to participate in international conferences. Whether or not you will be able to gain international experience with us depends on your research area and the specific project you are working on.

How much will I earn at DLR?
Our employee’s salaries are in line with the German collective labour agreement for public service (Tarifvertrag des Öffentlichen Dienstes; TVöD). You can find out more about pay grades and special payments, for example, on the Ministry of the Interior website.


5. Questions about PhD

Is it possible to work on my PhD with DLR?
Yes. We feel committed to promote junior scientists, and supervise over 960 PhD students in our institutes and facilities every year. We offer the DLR_Graduate_Program as a unique opportunity for PhD students. We have put together all the information on PhD positions at DLR for you in a separate article; we post appropriate vacancies on our career site.

Does DLR have the right to award PhDs?
No. In Germany, only universities and colleges have the right to award PhDs. The PhD is earned after publishing the PhD thesis and passing examinations. You can carry out the necessary scientific work for your PhD at DLR institutes and facilities. We supervise and promote our PhD students with a great deal of commitment and experience.

Is it possible to be employed by DLR while doing my doctorate?
Yes. We post topics for PhD theses as vacancies on our career site. PhD positions come with a 3 year contract, with the option of a contract renewal. The DLR_Graduate_Program for PhD students is also meant to be completed within 3 years. PhD positions are usually part-time positions; however, exceptions are possible.