Doctoral Candidates

Doctoral Opportunities at ZEW

University graduates who start their academic career at ZEW can attain their doctoral degree by taking one of several paths. Regardless of the path chosen, clear milestones help our PhD students to ensure constant progress. PhD students have ample opportunities to enrol in PhD courses at universities or in ZEW’s in-house courses. Apart from attending courses and conducting research for their thesis, PhD students are involved in projects that aim to provide scientifically-grounded economic policy advice. On average, it takes four and a half years to complete a PhD at ZEW, which corresponds to the duration of the PhD phase at universities.

The following two paths lead to a degree at ZEW

Join ZEW as a researcher and obtain your doctoral degree from the University of Mannheim

The University of Mannheim’s Centre for Doctoral Studies in Economics (CDSE) and Centre for Doctoral Studies in Business (CDSB) each run a PhD track in cooperation with ZEW. In the first year, PhD students primarily focus on completing their compulsory courses at CDSE or CDSB.

Join ZEW as a researcher and obtain your doctoral degree from another university

PhD students choosing this option will be involved in project work as a ZEW researcher from the first year on.

What we offer to our PhD students

  • Top-level scientific doctoral training
  • To conduct research at a leading, internationally renowned research institute in the field of economics
  • An insight into politically relevant topics, projects and networks beyond academia
  • Support with PhD thesis from experienced researchers
  • Excellent equipment and access to unique databases
  • Support in publishing research results
  • Communication of relevant research results to political institutions and the general public
  • Participation in national and international scientific conferences
  • Research stays at renowned institutes
  • Access to national and international research networks
  • Further education, including project management and data science
  • Team-oriented working environment

Representation of interests

ZEW’s PhD students are represented by two spokespersons who defend their interests and organise regular meetings. They represent the interests of the institute in the Leibniz PhD Network, from where they may draw stimulating suggestions for the institute. They are also happy to help applicants with questions about ZEW’s PhD track. The current spokespersons are Paul Peters and Robin Sack. Contact:


Ann-Kathrin Daubner

Ann-Kathrin Daubner

Recruiting Research Units +49 (0)621 1235-250
To the profile