We assume that it will take around 4 semesters or 300 man-days to compile a dissertation at our institute (compared to 70 man-days for the preparation of a diploma thesis). This means that you, as an external doctoral candidate, will be a "virtual member" of our team for around 2-3 years. We therefore offer intensive support and cooperation, but at the same time demand an extremely high degree of commitment from the doctoral candidate in his or her scientific work.

In any case, the dissertation is to be anchored in the research focus of the Institute on "Strategic Learning". We carefully select doctoral theses based on scientific criteria based on the standards for selecting papers in international journals.


Research Proposal

The starting point for the application process is a 20-page research proposal that can be submitted on an ongoing basis and includes the following components:

  • Introduction (research gap, aim, expected results, structure of the paper)
  • State of the field in theoretical and empirical research (theories, empirical results and research gaps)
  • Research strategy and method
  • Outline of the research project
  • Project plan (Objectives, stages & activities, methods, mandays)


Assessment criteria of the Research Proposals

  • Relevance of the topic
  • Is it embedded in the research focus of the institute
  • Processing of existing empirical and theoretical research results
  • Clarity of the objective in relation to existing literature
  • Dealing with scientific literature
  • Fit the research strategy to the research project methodological skills
  • Degree of innovation of the work

In the next step, all scientific institute members comment on the research proposal. On this basis, either an invitation to a lecture or a rejection takes place.



In the run-up to the semester-wide dissertation seminar, an optimized concept of the shortlisted candidates is to be presented and subsequently discussed. Here, above all, the stringency of the argumentation, the fit of the theory to the empirical objective and the possibility of actually achieving the formulated expected results are of interest. In addition, an in-depth analysis of the theoretical and methodological competence of the applicants is possible. After an in-house discussion, either admission to the circle of doctoral candidates or rejection takes place.

If the dissertation is accepted for supervision, participation in the dissertation seminars (including lecture and discussion) is compulsory.