Join Germany's best doctoral program in management accounting!

Are you looking for a unique place for your doctoral journey? Do you want to strengthen your analytical thinking, improve your problem solving skills and develop your personality? Join us! We are WHU's Institute of Management Accounting and Control (IMC), a leading think tank in the area of management accounting and control. 

Your motivation

  • You join Germany’s #1 doctoral program in management accounting that has been ranked among the top three in Europe seven times in a row (according to the Brigham Young University Accounting Research Ranking)!
  • You join our strong team with a unique culture: passion for our field, teamwork and constant learning, open dialogue and the power of the better argument are key!
  • You can do research from day 1 and benefit from the interaction with faculty, international guests, and other doctoral students!
  • You benefit from our close ties to leading companies and unrivaled data access!
  • You work on exciting and highly relevant research topics such as the digital transformation of finance, sustainability & green controlling or the role of CFOs!
  • You benefit from a whole range of complementary doctoral courses and seminars as well as the opportunity to participate in doctoral colloquia and conferences, all on an international level!
  • You will receive close guidance and valuable feedback by our senior and junior faculty!
  • You benefit from a regular exchange of ideas through presentations and discussions in our research group including internal and external experts!
  • You become part of a great academic family with many successful alumni in research and practice!

Good to know: We have a rolling admission with no application deadline. Further, there are no tuition fees for internal doctoral candidates.

Your research

Our research fields of interest cover a broad range, from digital transformation of the finance function to the roles of controllers and the CFO to sustainability, either within a quantitative or qualitative setting. Potential dissertation projects could focus on the following research topics:

  • How will digitalization and artificial intelligence change finance and controlling?
  • How do business analytics, artificial intelligence, or predictive analytics change our understanding of management and organizing? 
  • How can you make sure that companies walk their environmental and social talk?
  • How can organizations measure and control for “sustainability,” “diversity,” “impact,” “agility” and other unmeasurable ideas? What are the potential side effects? 
  • How can companies make performance management more flexible and adaptive?
  • How do non-traditional organizations and movements organize and control their activities? How do they adopt, modify, or resist management ideas and concepts? 
  • How can CFOs and controllers make a difference in the corporate transformation process?

Do you have a research question in mind that you are burning for and that falls into our research area? Great, let's talk! If not: No worries, you are not required to apply with a well-elaborated research proposal.

Your team mates

Rounak Gunjal
Mastère spécialise Business Administration Research, ESSEC Business School
IMC Doctoral Student
"Thirty years from now, I feel confident that I will look back at my academic career and feel that I could not have chosen a better place to call my academic family. Being a part of IMC was one of the best decisions of my life. Right from the first day, you benefit from intellectually stimulating discussions with a close-knit community of faculty, colleagues, and alumni, and have access to best-in-class industry data. IMC ensures access to every possible resource that would make your doctoral journey a journey of lifetime."
Jacqueline Klug
MSc Controlling and Risk Management, University of Siegen
IMC Doctoral Student
"As a Doctoral student with a keen interest in conducting experimental accounting research, I sought out an institute that had a strong foundation in the required knowledge and competencies to support my pursuits. The IMC was an ideal fit for me as they not only welcomed a wide range of research methodologies, but also boasted extensive experience in generating diverse research."
Johannes Pauleikhoff
MSc Accounting, Valuation & Financial Management, Stockholm School of Economics
IMC Doctoral Student
"One of the things which excites me the most about pursuing a doctorate at the IMC is how the focus areas of the institute and societal developments are deeply intertwined. By conducting research in areas such as sustainability or digitalization, phenomena that transform our way of living and shape how organizations will operate in the future are closely examined. The IMC connects the academic and practical discourse on these phenomena in a unique way and so it allows to study these highly relevant aspects from many different perspectives."
Chjara-Stella Poggionovo
Master Contemporary Philosophy, Université de Lyon
IMC Doctoral Student
"Having no prior background in business, I wasn’t expecting to be eligible for pursuing doctoral studies at IMC. But the IMC’s open-mindedness and receptiveness proved me otherwise. I feel extremely lucky and grateful for being part of such an international, diverse, and passionate team, conducting cutting-edge research, and constantly striving for excellence."
Michael Möller
MSc Management, Friedrich-Alexander-University
IMC Doctoral Student
"As a Doctoral student with several years of professional experience, it was important for me to find a place where good structures and experienced professors would give me a good starting point into my research life. I've found this at IMC.""
Fei Dai
MBD, IMBA, IE Business School
IMC Doctoral Student
"Pursuing a Doctorate at IMC has been a truly transformational experience. The research atmosphere is electrifying, with a high level of quality and activity that stimulates and motivates researchers to excel. The faculty and staff are dedicated to fostering a culture of excellence, and I have the privilege of being surrounded by brilliant individuals who challenge me to think critically and expand the boundaries of what's possible."


Find a list of frequently asked questions below. We grouped the FAQs thematically. If your question is not listed here, I'm happy to answer it via phone or email.


The ideal candidate is curious, approaches topics with passion, and displays high analytical and critical thinking skills with a motivated team player mindset. Leave your footprints at IMC!

Yes, our doctoral students come from a variety of academic backgrounds such as accounting, sociology, management, political science, and engineering.

There is no application deadline. We accept doctoral students throughout the year.

Please send an email with the application documents to Dr. Carsten Lucaß or upload your documents here.

No, this is not possible due to the high volume of applicants. If shortlisted, you will be invited for interviews with our team.

No, however if you wish to learn German, WHU offers language courses free of cost to our doctoral students.


As an internal doctoral student working for the IMC you will get a salary with which you are able to cover your living expenses and you do not have to pay a tuition fee.

Yes, the institutes covers expenses for research.


A doctorate at IMC typically takes between three and four years to complete. 

Given the increased demands for writing an excellent dissertation our credo is 100% research.


At IMC we fully live the WHU spirit!

To only name a few examples: At our monthly Team Day all IMC members come together focusing on exchange and community. The June Team Day ends with a Summer Event and the December Team Day with a Christmas Party. Furthermore, our open door policy invites you to discuss research, ask questions, or informally chat with all colleagues.

You will always find a doctoral colleague that works on a similar topic or uses a similar method. Naturally, also the more experienced doctoral colleagues are very willing to help out and share knowledge. This intensive exchange with doctoral colleagues, but also the feedback from the faculty, is one key element of writing an excellent dissertation.

Of course! You can find the contact data of our doctoral students on the institute webpage and on LinkedIn.

The WHU Campus Vallendar is located in Germany in the picturesque Upper Middle Rhine Valley. With its castles, historic towns, and towering vineyards, the area has been awarded UNESCO world heritage site status. Major cities are dotted along the banks, and Koblenz marks the meeting of the rivers Rhine and Moselle. Perfectly placed in the center of Europe between Cologne and Frankfurt it offers plenty to see and do.


No worries! Our faculty covers a great variety of methodologies and will help you in finding a direction.

At IMC you will receive input regarding potential topics, while at the same time we make sure that you have the freedom to choose a topic you are most interested in.

No. Writing scientifically is a learnable skill and next to our close supervision we also provide you with access to a broad range of doctoral courses.

Career perspectives

A doctoral degree from IMC equips you for a successful career: In academia, our alumni work in top business schools such as Copenhagen Business School, ESSEC Business School, Frankfurt School of Finance and Management, HEC Paris, Monash Business School, Michigan State University, Stockholm School of Economics, and Rotterdam School of Management. Others pursued a career in the industry, including at organizations such as McKinsey, Volkswagen, Henkel, AXA, Siemens, Bayer, Porsche, and many others!

Absolutely! We will equip you with the tools necessary to following an academic career. Be it thinking critically, writing scientifically, presenting your work to the research community, or publishing in high-ranking journals. Learn it at IMC and join our alumni following an academic career at renowned institutions like Copenhagen Business School, ESSEC Business School, Frankfurt School of Finance and Management, HEC Paris, Monash Business School, Michigan State University, Stockholm School of Economics, Rotterdam School of Management, and many more!

Contact us

If you are highly motivated, have a very good master-level university degree, and are curious, then let's talk! Send us an e-mail and apply for our open positions as Doctoral Student / Research Assistant in quantitative or qualitative management accounting research.

Please also feel free to reach out via phone in case of any questions! We are looking forward to getting to know you!
Dr. Carsten Lucaß
Dr. Carsten Lucaß
Office Manager Controlling & HR, Alumni Relations