Finish the Doctoral Thesis after the end of the working contract?

For my doctorate, I compiled and evaluated all relevant data and measurement results. But my contract only runs for 3 more months and I have more than enough to do at the chair, even without worrying about my Diss. I do not really need a doctorate in my next position and wonder if the effort is worth it, especially since I do not want to be unemployed while writing. What do you think?

Hello Mr T.,

It is not uncommon that an actual research project does not lead to a doctorate for similar reasons . "No time!" "No money!" "No need" But keep in mind one thing: to do a PhD for years without submitting a dissertation is like baking cake without turning on the oven to save electricity.

On the job market you will surely be asked if you have successfully completed your job, which in the end is handing in a dissertation. Whereas a gap in employment up to half a year is not relevant and, if applicable, the receipt of unemployment benefits is not visible in the CV. On the long run you will probably also benefit from the title.

In most cases, it is possible to create suitable conditions in short periods of time in order to complete the doctorate. Discuss with your supervisor what conditions are exactly what you need to get done:

    Which other appointed tasks can you fulfill and which not?
    What support do you need to get done? Who do you want as a lecturer? Which training (for example by the Graduate Academy) would be helpful?
    Which institutions of the chair or the university do you need to use after the end of the contract to finish the work? What status do you have to have?

Your supervisor rightly expects you to come up to him with these planning questions and with appropriate solutions. This is part of the management of your own doctoral project and of the skills that differentiate you from the master's graduate as a doctoral candidate.

The (career) counseling and seminar offers of the Graduate Academy are available to you as a doctoral student regardless of the contract status.

I wish you every success for the final spurt!


Alex Guericke-Sommer

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