Structured doctoral programmes

In addition to the individual doctorate, you have the opportunity to obtain your doctorate in a structured doctoral programme. As a rule, a structured doctorate offers you an accompanying curriculum, the acquisition of additional qualifications, a fixed time frame and regulated financing. Open positions in those programmes are often advertised on their respective websites.

Here you can find an overview of the structured doctoral programmes at the University of Duisburg-Essen:

DFG Collaborative Research Centers

DFG Collaborative Research Centers (CRC) are long-term university-based research institutions, established for up to 12 years, in which researchers work together within a multidisciplinary research programme. Supporting early career researchers is a key goal within CRCs. The aim is to promote the doctoral researchers’ academic independence and enable them to gain further qualifications. CRCs often have integrated research training groups in order to offer structured doctoral training.

Click here for an overview of CRCs at the UDE

DFG Research Training Groups

DFG Research Training Groups are institutions of higher education for supporting the next generation of researchers. They focus on the qualification of doctoral students within the framework of a thematically focused and largely interdisciplinary research programme, as well as a structured qualification concept. The maximum duration of the Research Training Groups is nine years (comprising two funding periods of four-and-a-half years each).

International Research Training Groups represent a special type of programme, which offer joint doctoral training between a group at a German university and a partner group abroad.

DFG Research Training Groups at UDE

Acronym Title | Spokesperson, Faculty Approved Duration
RTG 1739 Molecular determinants of the cellular radiation response and their potential for response modulation
Spokesperson: Prof. Dr. Verena Jendrossek, Faculty of Medicine
Co-Speaker: Prof. Dr. George Iliakis, Faculty of Medicine
RTG 1919 Precaution, prevision, prediction: managing contingency
Spokesperson: Prof. Dr. Stefan Brakensiek, Faculty of Humanities
Co-Speaker: Prof. Dr. Benjamin Scheller, Faculty of Humanities
RTG 1949 Immune Response in Infectious Diseases – Regulation between Innate and Adaptive Immunity
Spokesperson: Prof. Dr. Astrid Westendorf, Faculty of Medicine
Co-Speakers: Prof. Dr. Jörg Timm, HHU Düsseldorf und Prof. Dr. Mirko Trilling, Faculty of Medicine, UDE
In cooperation with HHU Düsseldorf
RTG 2535 Knowledge- and data-driven personalization of medicine at the point of care
Joint RTG with FH Dortmund
Spokesperson: Prof. Britta Böckmann, Faculty of Medicine
Co-Speaker: PD Dr. Felix Nensa, Faculty of Medicine
from 2021
RTG 2553 Symmetries and classifying spaces: analytic, arithmetic and derived
Spokesperson: Prof. Dr. Ulrich Görtz, Faculty of Mathematics


Locally Distributed DFG Research Training Groups (UA Ruhr)

Acronym Title | Spokesperson, Faculty Approved Duration
RTG 2484 Regional Disparities and Economic Policy
Spokesperson: Prof. Dr. Tobias Seidel, Mercator School of Management
A joint RTG with Ruhr-Universität Bochum and TU Dortmund University
since 2019


UDE Participation in DFG Research Training Groups

Acronym Title | Spokesperson, Faculty Approved Duration
RTG 1856 Integrated Energy Supply Modules for Roadbound E-Mobility
Lead university: RWTH Aachen University
Contact person UDE: Prof. Dr. Angelika Heinzel
RTG 1974 Competition Economics
Lead university: HHU Düsseldorf
Contact person UDE: Prof. Dr. Jens Südekum
RTG 2610 Innovative Schnittstellen zur Retina für optimiertes künstliches Sehen – InnoRetVision
Lead university: RWTH Aachen
Contact person UDE: Univ.-Prof. Dr. rer. nat. A. Grabmaier


DFG Research Training Groups at UDE being discontinued / receiving completion funding

Acronym Title | Spokesperson, Faculty
RTG 902 Research on Teaching and Learning Science (until 2012)
Spokesperson: Prof. Dr. Elke Sumfleth, Faculty of Chemistry
RTG 1045 Modulation of Host Cell Functions to Treat Viral and Bacterial Infections (until 2013)
Spokesperson: Prof. Dr. Ulf Dittmer, Faculty of Medicine
RTG 1431 Transcription, Chromatin Structure and DNA Repair in Development and Differentiation (until 2015)
Spokesperson: Prof. Dr. Hemmo Meyer, Faculty of Biology
Co-Speaker: Prof. Dr. Ralf Küppers, Faculty of Medicine
RTG 1613 Risk and East Asia (until 2018)
Spokesperson: Prof. Dr. Flemming Christiansen, Faculty of Social Sciences
Co-Speakers: Prof. Dr. Markus Taube, Mercator School of Management & Prof. Karen Shire PhD., Faculty of Social Sciences
RTG 1855 Diskrete Optimierung technischer Systeme unter Unsicherheit (until 2018)
Spokesperson: Prof. Dr. Peter Buchholz, Technische Universität Dortmund
Contact person UDE: Prof. Dr. Rüdiger Schultz
RTG 2098 Biomedicine of the acid sphingomyelinase/acid ceramidase system (until 2020)
Spokesperson: Prof. Dr. Erich Gulbins, Faculty of Medicine
Co-Speaker: Prof. Dr. Wiebke Hansen, Faculty of Medicine
RTG 2131 High-dimensional Phenomena in Probability – Fluctuations and Discontinuity (until 2020)
Spokesperson: Prof. Dr. Peter Eichelsbacher, RUB, Mathematics
UDE Participation: Prof. Dr. Anita Winter, Prof. Martin Hutzenthaler
RTG 2167 User-Centred Social Media (until 2020)
Spokesperson: Prof. Dr. Norbert Fuhr, Faculty of Engineering
Co-Speaker: Prof. Dr. Nicole Krämer, Faculty of Engineering


Graduate Schools

Graduate Schools are an adoption of the Anglo-American term for the institution of doctoral studies. They are permanent institutions for the education of doctoral candidates. Graduate Schools offer excellent research and training conditions for doctoral students from Germany and abroad. The working language is often English, as a rule financing is not included and must be ensured otherwise (e.g. from the chair or a third-party funded project).

 Graduate Schools at the UDE

  Gerhard Mercator Graduiertenkolleg Weltoffenheit, Toleranz und Gemeinsinn
Graduate School of Biomedical Science (BIOME)
  Graduiertenkolleg zu querschnittlichen Fragen der Leh­rerbildung (GKqL)
Logo IN-EAST School

IN-EAST School of Advanced Studies

Graduate Schools within the University Alliance Ruhr

AREA Ruhr Graduate School “Transnational Institution Building and Transnational Communities in East Asia” (funded by Mercator Research Center Ruhr MERCUR)
Ruhr Graduate School in Economics (RGS Econ)

Doctoral colleges, research colleges, and further doctoral programmes

In addition to the DFG Research Training Groups and the Graduate Schools, the UDE runs many other successful doctoral programmes and research colleges that offer you a disciplinary or interdisciplinary structured doctoral training.

Else Kröner Doctoral College


ELAN Essener Ausbildungsprogramm
"Labor und Wissenschaft" für den aerztlichen Nachwuchs


Graduiertenkolleg PATHwayS

International Max Planck Research Schools

Logo IMPRS Re-charge
International Max Planck Research School on Reactive Structure Analysis for Chemical Reactions (RE-CHARGE)
Logo IMPRS Surmat
International Max Planck Research School for Interface Controlled Materials for Energy Conversion (IMPRS-SurMat)
International Max Planck Research School on the Social and Political Constitution of the Economy (IMPRS-SPCE)
Logo IMPRS-LM png International Max Planck Research School for Living Matter: from molecules to dynamics (IMPRS-LM)

NRW Forschungskollegs

Logo Energieeffizienz im Quartier EEQ

Energieeffizienz im Quartier
Lead university: RWTH Aachen University

Logo Futer Water 600x350

FUTURE WATER – Globale Wasserforschung in der Metropole Ruhr (since 2014)
Spokesperson: Prof. Dr. Torsten C. Schmidt, Faculty of Chemistry, University of Duisburg-Essen 

NRW-Programm Digitale Gesellschaft: Interdisziplinäres Graduiertenkolleg (Promotionstandems)

Ethik und Verantwortung in der digitalen Gesellschaft: Datenpraktiken in Verwaltung und Journalismus
Prof. Christoph Bieber, Faculty of Social Sciences (together with HHU Düsseldorf)

Inzivilität in der politischen Online-Kommunikation: Typen, Ursachen, Wirkungen und Interventionen
Prof. Nicole Krämer, Department of Computer Science and Applied Cognitive Science, Faculty of Engineering (together with  the University of Bonn)

PhD Programmes

Logo School of Governance

NRW School of Governance Doctoral College

PhD Programme International Relation/Peace and Development Studies

PhD Programme funded by Hans-Böckler-Stiftung

Logo Hans Böckler Stiftung
Die Arbeit und ihre Subjekte. Mediale Diskursivierungen von Arbeit seit 1960, since 2015
Spokesperson: Prof. Dr. Rolf Parr, Faculty of Humanities
Logo Hans Böckler Stiftung The Political Economy of Inequality, from 2020
Spokesperson: Prof. Dr. Till van Treeck, Faculty of Social Sciences

Joint PhD Programmes within University Alliance Ruhr

„Regulatorische Immunmechanismen“ – Promotionskolleg der Universitätsallianz Ruhr (RIMUR)
Spokesperson: Prof. Dr. Nina Babel, University hospital, RUB
Involved UA Ruhr universities: RUB, UDE
Funding: 2018–2021 (by MERCUR)

Promotionskolleg "Präzisionsprotonentherapie – Praxisbezogene Physik und Chemie an der Schnittstelle zur Medizin
Spokesperson: Prof. Dr. Kevin Kröninger, Fakultät Physik, TU Dortmund
Involved UA Ruhr universities: TUDo, UDE
Funding: from 2020 (by MERCUR)

Joint Doctoral Research Colleges within University Alliance Ruhr, funded by VolkswagenStiftung

MEDAS 21 "Global Media Assistance: Applied Research, Improved Practice in the 21 Century"(since 2018)
Scripts for Postindustrial Urban Futures: American Models,Transatlantic Interventions (since 2018)

As per: January 2021. This page will be updated regularely and is subject to errors and changes. Please inform us by e-mail if contents are outdated or missing.

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