University honors 108 doctoral and 5 post-doctoral graduates

Graduate hat on a city picture at the castle square
At a virtual ceremony on January 28, the Graduate and Research Academy of TU Bergakademie Freiberg congratulates 113 scientists from 19 different countries who successfully completed their doctorates (108) or habilitations (5) in the previous year.

Although the period was dominated by the pandemic, the number of post-graduate degrees has increased significantly again in 2021 after a decline in the last three years. In 2021, the university has handed out 17 more PhDs and 3 more habilitations than in 2020. With 34 young female scientists, the proportion of women earning doctorates has also increased.

"It is very gratifying and at the same time a positive confirmation for the university that we have succeeded in creating an acceptable, safe and productive learning and working environment for our students, researchers and staff despite restrictions in teaching and research operations. Everyone has done even more than usual to safeguard teaching and research," says Rector Prof. Dr. Klaus-Dieter Barbknecht.

Pandemic creates major challenges for doctoral and post-doctoral students

"Especially in the practical work at the laboratory, long ordering and delivery times for required starting materials for syntheses or components for apparatus, as well as longer maintenance and repair times, delay the execution of our research work. Also, the active exchange of knowledge and personal contacts with other researchers is missing. Many meetings, conferences and colloquia have been cancelled or can only take place online," the PhD Council of TU Bergakademie Freiberg states.

One researcher who successfully completed her doctorate in 2021 despite the difficult circumstances is Dr. Li Eckart. She studied business mathematics in Freiberg and began her doctorate in marketing in 2016. The now 33-year-old female scientist investigated the question of how digital word-of-mouth influences purchasing behavior. " This allowed me to perfectly combine and apply my knowledge from my business mathematics studies with that from my scientific work in the field of marketing," says the alumna, who will give the graduation speech at this year's digital celebration.

"We are proud of our doctoral and post-doctoral graduates who are now able to address the challenges of the future in science, business or industry and actively shape the future themselves. In doing so, they carry our values and the positive image of our university city into the world. Our alumni are the best ambassadors and show that "Freiberg is home to science" and much more than the media coverage currently shows", says Rector Prof. Barbknecht.

Research strength guarantees doctoral positions

An overall of 21 doctoral students completed their doctorates with the distinction "summa cum laude" (with honor). The high professional and personal performance of the researchers and junior staff is also visible in the external funding. TU Bergakademie Freiberg finances a large part of its doctoral positions from third-party funding. In terms of third-party funding per professor, the university is one of the ten strongest research universities in Germany and occupies a top position in the new federal states with around 54 million (statistics from 2021).

Fragen beantwortet / Contact: 
Dr. Corina Dunger, corina.dunger@grafa.tu-freiberg.de, Phone: +49 3731 39-3537