The PhD track of the Center for Doctoral Studies in Economics (CDSE) at the University of Mannheim in cooperation with the ZEW offers promising economists the opportunity to pursue their doctoral studies in the inspiring research environment of two leading institutions. This track aims to provide participants with an excellent academic education in the form of the CDSE program and a splendid research environment at ZEW as well as with key skills in the field of economic policy advice - an area in which the ZEW has a strong international reputation. ZEW’s research focuses on empirical economics covering a broad range of topics from labour markets, to the digital economy, the economics of innovation, financial markets, public finance, environmental economics and market design.
ZEW offers summer courses as part of the elective courses in the CDSE course catalogue in cooperation with the CDSE.
The ZEW offers a fully funded five-year structured doctoral program together with the CDSE at the University of Mannheim. In the first year, all students receive a scholarship of 1,250 euros per month. From the second year onwards, there are various funding options, with students holding a 75 per cent position at ZEW in their second year and usually a full-time research positions from the third year onwards. As a ZEW-CDSE doctoral student university teaching is possible but not compulsory.
Researchers at ZEW benefit from manifold research opportunities with exclusive access to ZEW’s own data sources and financial support for obtaining external data sources. Moreover, ZEW hosts many international seminars and conferences as well as ZEW has a large research associates network with many research associates visiting ZEW on a regular basis. This enables permanent exchange about research topics with researchers from all over the world. Furthermore, ZEW supports its researchers in participating in international conferences.
The first year, which begins in September, is fully devoted to compulsory courses at the University of Mannheim. The courses include Mathematics and core courses in Microeconomics (I-III), Macroeconomics (I-III) and Econometrics (I-III). Furthermore, students attend research seminars at ZEW and meetings of the ZEW research unit they have indicated an interest in.
From the second year onwards and conditional on successful completion of the core courses and a successful application interview with their preferred research unit, students are fully integrated into ZEW as a researcher in the respective research unit.
After successful completion of the core courses, students attend a number of elective courses (40 credit points) through ZEW Summer Courses and elective courses at the University of Mannheim. From the second year onwards, students are required to participate in the weekly CDSE Seminar at the University of Mannheim, where they must present and act as discussant at least once in the third year, and possibly also in subsequent years. Furthermore, the program is devoted to the writing of the doctoral thesis and to own research projects. Students may also be involved in economic policy advising at ZEW. Like all researchers at ZEW, students participate in additional activities at ZEW such as giving talks at ZEW Seminars or contributing to ZEW's media presence.
Students decide on their thesis supervisor and topic at the end of the second year and have to hand in a dissertation proposal. The other members of the doctoral committee may be selected at a later stage.
In the third year students take an English Academic Writing course (3 ECTS credit points) at ZEW or the University of Mannheim, a bridge course (5 ECTS credit points) at the Center for Doctoral Studies in Business (CDSB) or the Center for Doctoral Studies in Behavioral and Social Sciences (CDSS) as well as two electives that provide thesis writing support (10 ECTS credit points).
The program and degree requirements are determined by the CDSE at the University of Mannheim. For further details see the CDSE website.
Applicants send an application to the CDSE at the University of Mannheim as well as they send an application to the ZEW. The application procedure consists of two phases:
First, prospective students apply at the CDSE like regular CDSE students. To apply, applicants should use the CDSE online application portal. During the online application process, prospective applicants should express their interest in the ZEW program by ticking the box “Interest in scholarship from ZEW”. The application time window at the CDSE usually starts in November and ends at the end of March.
Second, the student also has to apply through ZEW for a later transition to employment at the institute. This application can be submitted either before or during the first year of the doctoral program. Applicants submit an application (letter of motivation, CV, transcripts) to ZEW via the ZEW online form. Both, applications to a posted vacancy or speculative applications, are possible.
During the interview procedure at ZEW, candidates will meet staff members and the head of the relevant research unit and give a presentation. If successful, the candidate becomes a member of the respective ZEW research unit in his or her second year. If unsuccessful, the candidate remains a PhD candidate at the CDSE according to the terms and conditions of the CDSE.