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The PhD Buddy Programme

Peer-to-peer support

Starting a PhD can be challenging for everyone. Apart from the new academic environment, international doctoral candidates need to find their way in a foreign country and often without speaking the German language. The Graduate Centre is committed to connecting and supporting early-stage researchers across disciplines. Through the PhD buddy scheme we aim to facilitate peer-to-peer support at the beginning of a PhD journey. We will match new doctoral candidates to PhDs who have completed their first year.


  • Friendly welcome & better orientation for new PhDs
  • Broaden the PhD network across disciplines
  • Connect to the PhD community, learn new skills, give something back

How does it work?

An existing PhD (buddy) can supervise a group of maximum 5 new doctoral candidates (newbies). The buddy groups will be formed at the beginning of the semester (April - 15.May and October - 15.November).

The PhD buddies will participate in a crash course “How to best support new fellow PhDs in Münster” (end of March/September) where they will receive necessary information and can connect to other PhD buddies.


1-2 semesters (intensive peer-to-peer support at the beginning of the semester)


01.03. - 15.05./01.09. - 15.11. - registration start

29.09.2022, 4.30 pm - crash course for buddies "How to best support new fellow PhDs in Münster"

01.10. - 15.11.2022 - matching

01.10. - 31.03. peer-to-peer support

A buddy …

  • is a doctoral candidate – international or German – who has completed the first year in Münster
  • welcomes you and some other new doctoral candidates at the beginning of the semester
  • has experienced the ups & downs of starting a doctoral candidacy and knows what you are going through
  • listens to your concerns and questions and signposts you to people at the university who can help
  • introduces you to peer networks

A buddy is not …

  • your personal assistant (you need to take actions yourself but your buddy can guide you)
  • your problem solver

If you have more questions, please contact us!


Sign up for a PhD buddy (select status: new doctoral candidates)

Become a PhD buddy (select status: doctoral candidate in 2nd+ year)