Doctoral studies

Become the newest member of the IMC team!

Doctoral Studies in Management Accounting and Control

Join the #1 doctoral program in management accounting in Europe

Your doctorate

Are you looking for a doctoral program, which is a door opener for a successful career in academia or practice? Do you want to strengthen your analytical thinking and improve your problem solving skills and in addition further 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. Our distinguished doctoral program aims to enable you to write an excellent doctoral thesis and helps to engage in international scholarly discussions, ultimately to prepare you for a successful career!

Why should you apply at the IMC?

  • You join Europe’s #1 doctoral program in management accounting (for the sixth time in a row; according to the Brigham Young University Accounting Research Ranking)!
  • You join a 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 question

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 can you make sure that companies walk their environmental and social talk?
  • How can companies make performance management more flexible and adaptive?
  • 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.

About our teams

Besides working on your dissertation, you will get a funded position to engage in one of our four teams: 

The Center for Controlling and Management (CCM) was established in the year 2000 and brings together the heads of group controlling from large companies in Germany to discuss current topics and challenges in controlling. It is a leading think tank in the area of controlling with the goal of providing the professional controlling community with findings and recommendations that can be applied in their everyday work and beyond. To do so, it regularly publishes novel findings stemming from empirical and practical research.

The Editorial Office is responsible for the acquisition of manuscripts and the planning of topics for the „Controlling & Management Review“, the most frequently cited professional journal on controlling and management in Germany and the German-speaking area. The target audience is executives, managers in the finance function, and controllers in organizations of any size.

The WHU Controller Panel was launched in 2007 as a joint initiative of the IMC with the International Controller Association (ICV) to derive benchmarks and identify best practices in the field of controlling. Regular surveys on specific longitudinal research topics enable us to make statements on the development of controlling in Germany and German-speaking countries. The studies examine current controlling trends in detail.

The Student Affairs Team supports IMC faculty in ensuring that students who take our courses have a first-class learning experience and receive the necessary support for achieving their learning goals. Furthermore, the team supports IMC faculty in the development of new editions of our renowned textbook ‘Einführung in das Controlling’ (Introduction to Controlling).

Are you interested?

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 position as Doctoral Student / Research Assistant at the IMC.

Please also feel free to reach out via phone in case of any questions!

We are looking forward to getting to know you!


Office Manager 

Controlling & HR, Alumni Relations

Dr. Carsten Lucaß

+49 (0)261 6509 473
Send email



Find a list of frequently asked questions below. If your question is not listed here, I'm happy to answer it via phone or e-mail.

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. We do not require you to have an academic or professional background in accounting. Our doctoral students come from a variety of academic backgrounds such as accounting, sociology, management, political science, and engineering among others.

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

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

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

A doctoral degree from IMC equips you for a successful (international) 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 other.

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

Due to the high volume of applications, we are unable to interview all candidates. If shortlisted, you will be invited for interviews with our team.

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