Because of the attack on the computer network of the University of Duisburg-Essen, the ESAGA site currently can be reached only at Links pointing to do not work (but one could manually replace by net), and similarly for content, such as images, at such addresses contained in our pages. (Email messages to addresses are accepted by our mail servers again.)

We apologize for the inconvenience caused by these problems.

Applying for a position

The Research Training Group started in April 2020. Positions will usually be filled in April and October of the forthcoming years. See the currently advertised positions on this web site. The legally binding text is the German formal announcement of the positions.

What we offer

The positions that we offer

The positions we offer to PhD students are 3-year-positions at a salary level of 75% of an E13 TV-L position. (This will result in a net income of roughly 1,800 EUR/month in the first year, the exact figure depending on your tax situation. You can obtain more precise information from pages like this one . After one
year, there will be a salary raise (Erfahrungsstufe 2).)

Since these positions are funded by the German Research Foundation, there are no teaching duties. Our qualification program is an on-site program based on physical presence of the PhD students.

Doing your PhD in Essen

The Essen Seminar for Algebraic Geometry and Arithmetic is one of the largest clusters in this area in Germany. Ten research groups are part of the new Research Training Group, covering research fields such as algebraic geometry, complex geometry, arithmetic geometry, algebraic number theory, global analysis, algebraic topology. We have a large group of PhD students, postdocs and visitors here at Essen, and have many joint activities such as our weekly research seminars and summer schools.

Each term, there are several specialized courses at an advanced master’s/early PhD level. As a member of the ALGANT consortium we have several students from abroad in our master’s program each year. Courses we offered in the previous few terms .

It is important to us to provide a family-friendly environment at ESAGA. The university has several offers regarding child care for children of PhD students and postdocs in place, and we will be glad to help you in setting these things up. Please do get in touch if you would like us to provide further details. We are committed to raising the proportion of female mathematicians in our group and especially encourage female students to apply.

The Research Training Group 2553

As a member of the research training group, you will be supervised by a principal advisor and a second advisor with related research interests. The topic of your thesis will be chosen soon after your arrival in Essen together with you.

During the term, we have a number of research seminars and other weekly events. More information

We have funding for travel expenses which will allow you to visit workshops or schools in other places (typically once a year). We also envisage that every PhD student completes one longer stay in another university, possibly abroad, during her or his PhD. Such a stay would typically last between 3 and 6 weeks.

What we expect from you — requirements

  • You have completed a master’s degree in mathematics with very good success (or will have completed the degree until the starting date of the position)
  • You have very good knowledge in at least one of the research areas of the Research Training Group
  • You are interested in pursuing a PhD degree in one of these areas, and motivated to contribute to the Research Training Group (by, for instance, attending seminars and giving talks there, talking to other people in the RTG, participating in summer schools/workshops/…)
  • You are fluent in English


If you will be offered one of the positions, and you are not a citizen of the European Union, then you will need a visa for Germany which allows you to work here. We will be glad to assist you by providing supportive documents, and help you with the formalities once you are in Germany, but it is ultimately your responsibility to obtain a visa in due time. Please check early on what the requirements are and what the expected time line would be.

Applying for a PhD student position

We require the following documents to be submitted with an application

  • a CV covering in detail the studies in mathematics and related activities so far,
  • a “letter of intent” describing the motivation of the applicant for doing a PhD in one of our research areas, and naming one or two possible advisors that she/he would like to work with, and a summary (half a page to one page) of the (expected) content of the master’s thesis,
  • (possibly partial) transcripts of records of your master’s degree and your bachelor’s degree,
  • A piece of mathematical writing authored by you (like a chapter of the master’s thesis, or the bachelor’s thesis, or – if possible – the finished master’s thesis),
  • references to two mathematicians who are willing to support your application by sending us a letter of recommendation (one of them would typically be the advisor of the master’s thesis). The participating scientists of the Research Training Group are eligible as letter writers. The letter writers do not have to be professors, but should have a PhD and have experience with advising students. Please give us the name, institution and email address of your letter writers. We will then contact them directly and have the letters sent directly to us.

How the process will continue

We will review all applications. The most promising candidates will be asked to visit Essen for a short research talk about the contents of their master’s thesis and for an interview. In cases where this would be impractical, we will also conduct interviews via video conference. The talks are open to all members of the Research Training Group. Each interview is led by two participating scientists who are designated in advance. The interviews are open to the participating scientists only. In addition to the talk and the interview, there will also be the possibility of talking informally to some of the PIs.

Based on the interviews, we will make the final decision about admission to the Research Training Group.

We will be looking for candidates that

  • have obtained (or are expected to obtain, resp.) their master’s degree quickly and with excellent marks,
  • have a strong mathematical background in one of the research areas of the RTG,
  • gave a clear talk as part of their interview,
  • left a good impression in the interview regarding their motivation and potential of doing a PhD in our group,
  • optimally, have already had a first hand research experience during the preparation of their master’s thesis.

Acceptance of an applicant requires an unanimous vote of all participating scientists and the declaration of one of the participating scientists that she/he is willing to serve as the principal advisor of the PhD student.

We especially encourage female students to apply.