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HZB doctoral researchers are obliged to enroll as doctoral researcher at a university at the start of their doctorate at HZB. Admission/acceptance as a doctoral student is sole responsibility of the respective university. HZB doctoral researchers enroll at the university to which their main advisor is affiliated.

For job advertisements within HZB, the main advisor, backup main advisor, daily advisor, the topic and a short proposal including aims and tasks of the planned doctorate must be stated and confirmed by all involved parties (in written form) when the candidate initiates their HZB contract.

Employment contracts at HZB are usually issued for at least three years. Salary is subjected to the regulations of the funding bodies as well as the German public service pay scale. As of January 1, 2020, all new doctoral researchers at HZB receive a standard basic salary of 75%, salary group 13 TVöD (federal government). The department for Personnel and Social Matters is to be contacted for more information.