I am planning on applying to a PhD in engineering in Germany (either by contacting a group, which I will prioritize, or through a normal application at the graduate school).
The problem I currently face is finding good referees (by good, I mean respectable h-indices, for example). For those acquainted with German academia: How much weight is put on the recommendation letters and, more importantly, the referrers when reviewing an application for a PhD position (more, or less, than in the US)?
For instance, if you had to rank these factors:
- Letters of recommendation
- Statement of purpose
Where would the letters of recommendation be positioned?