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PHD STUDENTS

There are two paths to a doctorate at RWI:

  1. a doctorate as an employed researcher at RWI and

  2. a scholarship-financed doctorate at the Ruhr Graduate School in Economics (RGS Econ).

Doctorate at RWI

Doctoral candidates who are employed as researchers at RWI go through a structured doctoral program. The program is divided into two phases: a two-year project science phase, in which doctoral candidates are involved in basic and externally funded projects and deepen their scientific knowledge by attending courses, and a three-year doctoral science phase, in which the focus is on their own research.

PhD students at RWI usually write their dissertations within the framework of projects and can thus gain experience in scientific project work and evidence-based policy advice. In addition to actual research, this also includes writing an application for research funding, communicating with the client, and presenting results.

PhD students usually receive a fixed-term full-time contract and are remunerated according to TV-L E 13. Open (doctoral) positions at RWI can be found under Jobs.

Doctorate at RGS Econ

In the first year, the doctorate at RGS Econ consists of an intensive core course phase with in-depth courses in microeconomics, macroeconomics, econometrics and on mathematical methods. The courses methodically introduce doctoral students to the frontiers of research and enable them to conduct their own high-quality research. The doctoral students benefit from the broad expertise of the three Ruhr Area universities TU Dortmund, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, University of Duisburg-Essen and RWI.  

In the second year, they transfer to the institution of their respective supervisor and are integrated there into the research group relevant to their dissertation. The first supervisor is usually determined during the application process in order to be able to guarantee dissertation supervision according to the interests of the doctoral student and the supervisory capacities at RGS Econ. 

The application for the RGS Econ (entry in October) takes place in the spring of the year of entry.  As a rule, doctoral candidates are financed during the first year by scholarships of € 1,400 per month and subsequently employed as research assistants at their supervising unit.  

More information on doctoral studies at RGS Econ can be found here.


Conference Participations

RWI supports its doctoral students and postdocs in presenting the results of their research at national and international conferences. RWI researchers regularly give presentations at renowned conferences such as the annual meeting of the Verein für Socialpolitik, the European Economic Association, and leading professional conferences.

Summer Schools

The Institute actively promotes the participation of its doctoral students in national and international summer schools, provided that the participation is expected to enhance the quality of the dissertation.

Stays abroad

In order to deepen doctoral studies, to develop a new research topic with international partners, or to pursue advanced scientific work leading to a publication in a peer-reviewed journal, RWI supports stays abroad of its researchers.


Seminar hiking

"Seminar hiking means: I'm off then and come back with a number of good suggestions for improving my research."
Gunther Bensch

"Seminar hiking gives me the opportunity to exchange exciting ideas with other PhD students and postdocs. Also, I get to know what topics my colleagues are dealing with right now."
Hanna Frings

At the "Therapy Seminar Hike", young RWI scientists (doctoral students and postdocs) meet to present their current research to each other. In addition to the plenary discussion, the presenters receive intensive feedback from an individually assigned discussant ("therapist").

In addition to the scientific exchange, the seminar serves to get to know each other better. Thus, the traditional joint hike as well as the joint evening activities are an integral part of the program. The two-day event has been taking place every six months since July 2007 at changing conference locations in NRW. 

Doctoral Student Council

The interests of the doctoral students are represented by the doctoral students' representation. The elected representatives are Niklas Benner and Gökay Demir.