Doctoral students and research assistants

A business school must be of service to society by preparing the managers of the future for the challenges of a globalized economy and by considering relevant research issues in the field of general management. An important contribution is made to this mission by our research assistants and doctoral students. It is their task to contribute to the generation of high-quality research findings and other contributions to science and to integrate these into teaching and apply them in practice. It is in this way that WHU creates a stimulating environment for the education of outstanding alumni and builds a foundation for lifelong learning.
In doing so, WHU remains politically and ideologically independent in all respects. Our academic freedom in research and teaching is enshrined in the German constitution (Grundgesetz). We are amongst the most renowned German research institutes in the field of general mangement. Furthermore, since 2001, we have been the only private German business school to be accepted as a member of the German Research Foundation (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft). Our research output can, on the one hand, be seen as an objective gauge of the quality of our business school. On the other hand, the reputation of our research and our research activities act as a magnet for the brightest brains around. We want to attract excellent researchers in order to live up to our own aspirations.


One key educational objective in the Doctoral Program is to enable doctoral students to produce research findings and publish these findings in prestigious international peer-reviewed journals. The WHU program is, however, equally aimed at those doctoral students who wish to go (back) into practice after completing their doctorate, as well as those who aspire to a career in academia.


At WHU, doctoral studies are split into two subject areas: the study of methods and the study of research in individual fields. The exact content in both areas is set jointly by the groups and the academic administration of the doctoral program and is subject to a regular process of evaluation and adaptation to current developments in the field.


Doctoral students at WHU benefit from an extensive support network. Our professors are willing to make as much time for students as necessary and the relationship between mentors and doctoral students is excellent. At the same time, we intentionally set the amount of time our doctoral students spend performing chairholder tasks at half of their weekly working hours, in order to give them enough leeway for working on their theses and taking part in research conferences. We measure the success of our doctoral program by, amongst other factors, the extent to which our alumni are appointed to positions in other prominent institutions.

Former doctoral students

Graduates of our business school have full access to the WHU alumni network. “In Praxi,” the WHU alumni association, forges and maintains the link between alumni and the business school in a variety of ways. In Praxi has more than 2,800 members from all WHU programs. Over 90 percent of alumni join the association upon graduating, thus benefiting from this extensive international network. In Praxi offers its members exclusive access to job offers from renowned companies and consultancies.