International researchers can research and work in a well-resourced working environment as part of a team that normally includes international participation. Germany offers international researchers a diverse research-oriented higher education landscape, globally recognised research institutions and a research-intensive industry that leads the world in many areas. We would like to help you plan your future successful career in Germany.
Research and teaching at a university
German institutions of higher education are among the most popular employers for international researchers. Roughly 52,000 international graduates teach and research at German higher education institutions – including approx. 3,500 professors. There are also good reasons for this – German universities have a lot to offer international researchers:
- A broad range of research
Roughly 400 universities and colleges cover the whole range of academic subjects – and engage in both research and teaching.
- Attractive work and research possibilities
Here you are integrated into the academic community, benefit from well-equipped research centres and can take advantage of the freedom of academic research and teaching.
- Interesting opportunities for cooperation
Many universities collaborate with non-university research institutes and companies – also at an international level. You can discover the advantages of internationally networked research work.
- Good support
International researchers receive swift and reliable assistance: they are supported by International Offices and Welcome Centres at all universities. This is where you can receive support on all important questions relating to your stay in Germany prior to your arrival. You will find the addresses of the International Office and Welcome Centre of your (host) higher education institution on its website or in the database provided by Higher Education Compass.
Research at a research institute
Germany has a large number of non-university research institutes. Their main emphasis lies on research and project work within a team – both in pure and applied research. Many international researchers have found a place at one of the large internationally recognised research organisations. Their excellent working conditions, international orientation and innovative, often interdisciplinary research projects make them especially attractive.
The institutes of Germany’s four large government-funded research organisations enjoy an excellent reputation worldwide: Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, Helmholtz Association, Leibniz Association and Max Planck Society can enable you to work with renowned researchers and highly qualified research teams.
Most non-university research institutes are well-resourced in terms of funding and personnel. They offer you the opportunity to
carry out research in well-equipped workplaces,
contribute to interesting research projects,
take part in varied international collaborations or
realise your own research ideas.
Research in Germany
German companies are among the world’s most research-intensive enterprises. Robert Bosch, Siemens, BASF, Henkel and many other public companies, private family-owned firms and research institutes from Germany are among the enterprises with the highest number of international patent registrations worldwide.
Companies provide over two thirds of total R&D funding in Germany. And they employ the most researchers: approx. 440,000 people, including 253,000 researchers, work in corporate research and development – above all, in the major industries of vehicle production, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, chemicals and pharmaceuticals, but also increasingly in the service sector.
Researching companies in Germany are attractive employers and also advertise for specialists abroad.
What German companies offer:
- You will often work in an international team, sometimes in collaboration with universities and non-university research institutions.
- You carry out research on practical applications and can pursue the realisation of your ideas.
- The remuneration is usually good to very good by international standards.
- You will usually be able to take advantage of excellent social benefits.
- As a rule, you will have favourable long-term prospects and interesting opportunities for promotion.
German companies are always on the look-out for highly qualified employees. The career opportunities for international researchers are as varied as they are specific: depending on the industry, company and scientific profile as well as on your personal abilities and skills.