Structured doctoral education

Doctoral education at the Hertie School is organised as a structured programme. During the first year, PhD researchers prepare for their research and thesis writing with dedicated methods, research design and skills seminars. During the following years an increasing amount of time is allocated to independent work on the thesis. Researchers regularly present their research findings at colloquia or international conferences. To connect with leading scholars in their field of studies they may undertake research stays abroad.

Throughout the doctoral journey, we offer workshops to our PhD researchers to support their thesis writing, publishing of journal articles and career planning. We also offer trainings on writing grant applications, teaching in higher education, and public speaking, among many others.

Our PhDs also regularly meet to discuss their research in their "Work in Progress Seminar" where they give feedback and advice on each other's work.

Cooperation and networks

The Hertie School is part of a vibrant research hub and cooperates with Berlin's world-class universities and research institutes. Our doctoral researchers benefit from a broad offer of seminars and trainings offered by our partners. The Hertie School attracts international scholars and practitioners to its activities providing our researchers with opportunities to meet experts in their field of research.

The Hertie School closely cooperates with top PhD programmes in the social sciences in Europe in the context of the EU-funded CIVICA project (Bocconi University, Central European University, European University Institute, Sciences Po, Stockholm School of Economics, and London School of Economics).

Our PhDs present their research at international conferences and may undertake research stays at top universities abroad.


Start of doctoral programme

The doctoral programme starts at the beginning of September each year. The next doctoral cohort will start on 1 September 2020.



The Hertie School does not charge tuition fees for its doctoral programmes. We offer 12 three-year scholarships of 1,250 euros per month (including 100 euros for research and travelling). There is the possibility to receive a completion grant to finalise the thesis during a fourth year.




Year 1

Year 2 + 3


How to apply?


We are interested in applicants with an exceptionally strong master's degree (or equivalent) in economics, law, political science, sociology, public administration, management, or related fields. The master's degree should be completed before you enter the programme.