Excellent researchers, efficient training, close supervision, supportive environment

Highly trained young graduates embark upon one of the most productive and creative phases of their scientific career during work on their PhD. The HITEC programme intends to create optimal conditions for these talented young researchers. Joint lectures and practical training encourage their understanding of topics and the related methods, including joint use of the scientific infrastructure. A good supervision concept creates a supporting environment for successful thesis work. Doctoral candidates will learn to place their own research in an international and application-relevant context, when they visit their external mentors at international research institutions or in industry or present their results at international conferences. Training courses in professional skills round off the three-year PhD period.

Thesis Work in the Institute

As a doctoral candidate you perform the research for your thesis project in one of 9 sections of the Institute of Energy and Climate Research in Jülich or at a partner university. In the institute you discuss your results with your supervisor and your scientific advisor; you participate in seminars; you present your results at conferences and visit summer schools. The doctoral degree is conferred by one of the participating universities.
→ For specific information of the universities for the doctoral candidates check here

Basic Training Programme

Accompanying your research you complete the basic HITEC training programme which is based on a modular concept: doctoral students can select from a variety of HITEC events on specialist topics and methods. HITEC lecture days, hands-on methods training in laboratory placements, or the yearly retreat, which is organized by the Phd fellows, broaden the scientific qualification beyond the narrow scope of the individual research projects. HITEC will also include training courses in transferable skills specially developed for HITEC students. These courses include presentation techniques, project management, communication, and scientific writing.

  • Scientific Programme             
    Orientation Week
    HITEC Days
    HITEC Labs
    PhD Students Retreat
  • Professional Skills Programme
    Scientific Presenting
    Project Management
    Communication in Interdisciplinary and International Teams
    Scientific Writing


HITEC Training Opportunities

Efforts at integrating PhD students into the international scientific community will include involving them in international projects, offering opportunities for research abroad and a visitors programme for foreign senior or junior scientists. PhD students will be granted a large degree of responsibility in organizing and implementing measures. At the yearly HITEC Symposium distinguished PhD students have the opportunity to communicate their science to an interdisciplinary audience and to win the HITEC Communicator Award. Read more...

Supervision and Mentoring

Particular significance is attached to a good supervision concept: In addition to your PhD supervisor and your scientific advisor who supports you in your day-to-day thesis work you have the opportunity to choose an internal mentor from another HITEC institute. This internal mentor will serve as a sparring partner for questions around your thesis and your career and will broaden your interdisciplinary perspective. Furthermore an external mentor who is a leading scientist abroad or in industry improves your international high level networking. Read more...

Networking and Exchange

Venkatesh Sarda, IEK-9: „To me, the main benefit is already reflected in the programme’s title: it is ‘interdisciplinary’ doctoral training. I am learning a lot more about energy technologies than what merely relates to my own field. In the end, you realise that the solution of the energy problem will not come from one sector alone, but will be a combination of all energy technologies.“


PhD students from various disciplines and institutes participate in the HITEC programme. During HITEC events, in the coffee breaks and during the get-togethers they have the opportunity to talk about their research, to obtain new methodological ideas, and to establish a network for future energy and climate topics. Networking and interdisciplinarity are the declared guiding principles of HITEC, where the methodological bridge spanning all major topics should be used as a common platform for this interdisciplinary exchange.