PhD in another country

Some random comments regarding doing a PhD in another country (since someone asked).

what are the "formal" requirements, when one applies to do a PhD abroad?

In general, the formal requirement to be accepted is that you have your ,,magister" degree or equivalent and that you have a referee send a reference letter.

However, you also need to apply many months in advance - different length of number of months and different deadline depending which country, most academic years start:

For EU phds (or postdocs!), there are country criteria, essentially you cannot apply for these to stay in your own country, or in a country you have lived in for a long time.

For non-EU countries, you also have to apply for a visa, but normally this is only a (boring) administrative question - the university/institute will help you do this admin stuff.

What is most important? Marks in the student's index?

Hard to say.

If you think of the criteria as filters, then it's probably something like:

  • If you have good marks, then continue to the next filter; else if you have bad
marks, you have very little chance of being accepted; else if you have middlish marks, continue to the next filter.
  • The quality of your reference letter(s) is a very important filter, but...
    • It depends a lot on how well the researchers at the place you apply know your country/institute/supervisor. Anyone reading a reference letter has to apply a correction factor, which necessarily is very subjective. It's something like the trust factor among computer programs (e.g. razor).
  • Subject priorities of the place you are applying to.
  • Political power of the supervisor you would probably work with.

The problem is that good marks are not enough: research requires someone to manage their own time, to want to understand things, to be creative, to be self-motivated.

If you can get into informal contact (email, attend a seminar or conference, ...), and if you make a good impression, then there is much more chance that the people at that university/institute can get some judgment of your knowledge, way of thinking and will choose you.

What are the conditions?

France - 3-year standard doctoral contract gives conditions equivalent to a normal work contract:
Topic revision: r3 - 29 Mar 2010, BoudRoukema
 
DOWNTIME: around 7:00-14:00 UTC+1 Fri 16 November 2018 (might come back up earlier)
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