The University of Cologne encourages all its doctoral students to join the Nacaps study which collects comprehensive information on doctoral conditions and successes, career intentions and general living conditions of doctoral students and doctoral graduates. Nacaps stands for “National Academics Panel Study” and is a nationwide longitudinal study of doctoral students and doctoral graduates.The study is performed by the German Center for Higher Education Research and Science Studies (DZHW). 



How are doctoral researchers in Germany doing?

At, in addition to evaluations of the 2019 doctoral student survey, the results of the 2021 survey with more than 10,000 participants at over 60 universities can be accessed.

The results are presented in the portal in the form of indicators. These are grouped into seven themes:

▪ Working and employment conditions
▪ Supervision situation
▪ Type and structure of doctoral studies
▪ Motives for doctoral studies and course of doctoral studies
▪ Career paths and perspectives after the doctorate mobility
▪ Life situation / personal background   

A differentiated evaluation of the internal university results of the University of Cologne is currently being carried out and will be presented and discussed on January 12, 2023 (15.00-16.30h) during the digital dialogue event “Your feedback counts – Shaping your doctorate together at the University of Cologne”. We cordially invite all doctoral students as well as other interested members of the University of Cologne to come and talk to our panelmembers. Registration and information is possible here.

Nacaps doctoral student survey 2023

How you yourself experience a doctorate at the University of Cologne, what experiences you have had and what additional support you might wish or would have wished for, you can reflect back for the University of Cologne by participating in the Nacaps survey round 2023.

Your feedback is important to us: your experiences and impressions will help to rethink doctoral studies for current and future doctoral students at the University of Cologne. By participating in Nacaps, you have the opportunity to actively set new impulses yourself and to help shape university policy. The results of the survey flow into scientific publications and serve as a basis for political reporting, such as the four-yearly “Bundesbericht Wissenschaftlicher Nachwuchs” (BuWiN). Your participation in the survey thus shapes future decisions.
Even if you have taken a seemingly unusual path to or during your doctorate, or have not pursued your doctorate in the meantime, your participation is very important. Only through the broadest possible participation can a complete picture of the doctoral landscape be drawn. This also applies if you have only come to Germany for your doctorate or would like to leave Germany after your doctorate.

Take part! Your feedback counts.
In February 2023, doctoral students who register as new doctoral students at the University of Cologne between December 2, 2020 and December 1, 2022 will be invited to participate in the survey. You will receive an invitation with a personal access code for the online questionnaire to the address that you yourself have specified as your preferred postal address in Docfile.
Participation is strictly anonymous and in compliance with data protection regulations. Nacaps employees do not have any access to the e-mail addresses of the doctoral students, and the University of Cologne does not have direct access to the data collected in the survey.

Support this research project – with your participation!

For more information on the study, please visit