PhD in Wood Biology at University of Göttingen, Germany

University of Göttingen • Göttingen 6 Semesters
Germany Full Time
PhD, Dr forest, Dr rer nat (doctoral studies with a focus on natural sciences) Onsite

The intensive, research-oriented Ph.D. program is taught by internationally renowned scientists. This program is open to highly qualified participants who have studied forestry, wood science, biology, biochemistry, microbiology, chemistry, or a similar subject. Germany has a long tradition in sustainable forestry (more than 300 years) and holds a leading position in woodworking machinery production.
The Ph.D. program is a joint effort of the following research institutions:

  1. Department of Wood Biology and Wood Products (Prof Dr. Holger Militz, Prof Dr. Carsten Mai)
  2. Department of Wood Technology and Wood-Based Composites (Prof Kai Zhang)
  3. Department of Forest Botany and Tree Physiology (Prof Dr. Andrea Polle)
  4. Department of Wood Biotechnology and Technical Mycology (Prof Dr. Ursel Kües)
  5. Department of Forest Genetics and Forest Tree Breeding (Prof Dr. Oliver Gailing)

The core of the program is an independent doctoral research project in one of the participating research groups. At the end of the program, students must submit either a monographic dissertation (in German or English, or in another language if approved by the supervisors) or a cumulative dissertation consisting of at least three publications (plus an introduction, a summary, and a bibliography), provided that in at least two of the articles the doctoral candidate was the sole author or lead author, and provided that at least one article was accepted for publication in a peer-reviewed journal.

Students must attend some courses in addition to their scientific research. By taking these courses, they have to earn at least 24 credit points.
1. Laboratory courses impart the necessary skills for laboratory work. They can be taken in the labs of their working groups, at another university, in industrial labs, or even abroad.
2. Every Ph.D. student has to give four presentations on wood science topics. Students’ presentations are evaluated by the other students according to a checklist in order to improve presentation techniques.
3. Soft skills courses, such as

  1. participation in the management of the Ph.D. program
  2. teaching and supervision of a Master’s thesis
  3. responsible management of a scientific project or acquisition of funding for a research project
  4. seminar in interdisciplinary research management
  5. presentation of research results at a scientific conference
  6. language courses: most students require some improvement in their knowledge of English, as it is the language of instruction
  7. communication and change management
  8. statistical and other data processing courses
  9. patent law
  10. scientific writing

Read More: Ph.D. in Optics & Photonics at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Germany

Course Details:

Practical courses, seminars

Enrollment Requirements:

Applicants must hold an above-average MSc, “Diplom”, or equivalent degree in a subject related to the fields of forestry or wood science, biology, or chemistry.
Applicants will be screened and must take a test (via the Internet for international applicants). The application should be made online using a form, which is available on the homepage of the program.

Teaching Language:


Costs/Tuition Fees:

Free of ost

Level/Field(s) of Study:



No application deadline

Language Requirements:

Candidates are required to document their proficiency in English (e.g., TOEFL: iBT at least 81 points; IELTS: band 6; or Cambridge English Scale: min. 160 points).

About the University/Institution:

The University of Göttingen is an internationally renowned research university. Founded in 1737 in the Age of Enlightenment, the University is committed to the values of social responsibility of science, democracy, tolerance, and justice. It offers a comprehensive range of subjects across 13 faculties: in the natural sciences, humanities, social sciences, and medicine. With over 30,000 students and offering up to 212-degree programs, the University is one of the largest in Germany.

Application Deadline:

No application deadline


Submit application to Georg-August-Universität Göttingen Faculty of Forest Sciences and Forest Ecology Prof Dr Carsten Mai Büsgenweg 4 37077 Göttingen Germany

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