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German citizenship requirements (Einburgerung) after 6 years RV, German B2

Hi everyone,
                     My situation is a bit unique. I have been living in Braunschweig for the past 6 years (precisely from May 2012). From May to September 2012, I was a paid intern. I worked on a full time job contract for 6 years from 2012 September to 2018 September with E13, so paid continuous 60 months or RV (RentenVersicherung). I have a contract for 1 more year (until September 2019).
But recently, I developed a new idea and want to do my PhD in this direction from 2019 onwards.  so basically i have to renounce my present position (E13/Stufe 3) to a PhD contract. I would like to apply for German citizenship hopefully in 2019. I would like to know, can I apply for German citizenship with a PhD contract or is it difficult with a PhD contract ? Will the ABH considers my contribution to RV for the past 60 months (from 2012 - 2018)? 
Does PhD contract with a lesser salary is seen as an employment in my case ?
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