Doctoral Topics

How to find the perfect match...

Outlining your own research topic and finding a suitable supervisor for it is a demanding task. We consider meeting this requirement to be an essential qualification for taking the first step towards a doctoral phase of several years. In order to guide doctoral candidates towards their "perfect match", you will find on this page a number of Leuphana professors who break down their main research fields and potential doctoral areas. You will also find details on how to make initial contact.

Please keep in mind that the number of possible supervisors at the Leuphana is multiple times higher than the excerpt shown here. You can find all supervisors in your scientific field on the pages of the doctoral reseach groups.
Current announcements of qualification positions in research & teaching can be found here and scholarships for the doctoral phase are regularly listed here.

We wish you much success!

School of Culture and Society

  • Prof. Dr. Timon Beyes

A doctoral candidate can be supervised in these four subject areas if suitable.

1) Organisation studies, sociology of organisation, esp. process-theoretical, aesthetic, spatial-theoretical, media-technical approaches
2) Art organisation, organisational art (esp. theatre, literature, visual arts, museums)
3) Digital cultures: new modes of organisation, new public spheres
4) Sociology of the city and space, cultural organisation and the city

Funding: Self-funding; third party funded positions; support in applying for grants or obtaining external funding is offered.

Contact: Tabular CV, expression of interest and short project outline can be sent via e-mail to timon.beyes@leuphana.de

School of Sustainability

  • Prof. Dr. Simone Abels

A doctoral candidate can be supervised in these four subject areas if suitable.

1) Inclusive science education
2) Barriers to science learning
3) Research-based learning
4) Teacher professionalisation

Funding: Self-funding; support in applying for grants or obtaining external funding is offered.

Contact: Tabular CV, expression of interest by email to simone.abels@leuphana.de

School of Management und Technology

  • Prof. Dr. Oliver Genschow

Key research areas: Person perception, imitation/mimicry, anticipation of behaviour, belief in free will, consumer behaviour, science communication, replications and / or open science

Funding: Own funding; possibly a doctoral scholarship; support is offered when applying scholarships or acquiring third-party funding

Contact: Letter of motivation with a rough idea for the doctoral project, CV and certifications by e-mail to oliver.genschow@leuphana.de

The supervision of a doctoral track doctorate is possible.

  • Prof. Dr. Stefanie Habersang

Key research areas: Digital-ecological transformation processes, (digital) strategy and (sustainable) organisational str ansformation, digital entrepreneurship

Only work based on qualitative methods is supervised.

Funding: Expressions of interest from applicants with and without self-financing are welcome. Scholarships and WiMi positions are occasionally available. These can be viewed on the public pages of Leuphana.

Contact: The following documents are requested as part of this procedure:

1. cover letter including motivation with an indication of which 2-3 EMI members you consider suitable for supervising your dissertation project

2. description of the dissertation project (max. 5 pages excl. bibliography), including working title, brief explanation of the core objectives and research questions and their relevance, positioning of the project in relevant fields of management and organisation as well as the gaps to be addressed and the target literature, description of the planned methodological approach as well as the potential theoretical contributions of the project and brief overview of the work plan showing how the project is to be completed within up to three years

3. curriculum vitae including an overview of previous study programmes and potential research activities

4. study certificates (English or German, in the case of other languages officially certified translations)

5. data transcript (English or German, in the case of other languages officially certified translations) listing the courses and seminars attended in the completed Master's programme, if not included in the study certificates

5. relevant references (e.g. from academic activities) and/or letters of recommendation

6. proof of English language skills, typically language certificates or successful participation in English-language courses and seminars

The supervision of a doctoral track doctorate is possible.

  • Prof. Dr. Markus Reihlen

Key Research Areas: I supervise doctoral theses in such fields as Strategic management, Corporate and digital entrepreneurship, Professional service organizations, Multinational corporations and Social and sustainable innovations

Methodologically, I prefer qualitative research methods and have worked with my colleague Stefanie Habersang on advancing qualitative meta-studies. The following examples illustrate the type of research I supervise:

Longitudinal case study research:

Reihlen, M., Schlapfner, J. F., Seeger, M., & Trittin‐Ulbrich, H. (2022). Strategic venturing as legitimacy creation: The case of sustainability. Journal of Management Studies, 59(2), 417-459.

Qualitative meta-studies:

Habersang, S., Küberling‐Jost, J., Reihlen, M., & Seckler, C. (2019). A process perspective on organizational failure: a qualitative meta‐analysis. Journal of Management Studies, 56(1), 19-56.

Theoretical studies:

Harlacher, D., & Reihlen, M. (2014). Governance of professional service firms: A configurational approach. Business Research, 7, 125-160

Financing: There are multiple options to finance your doctorate project, such as a research assistant position at Leuphana, a scholarship, or self- and company financing. I’m happy to support your applications.

Contact Preference: Send me an email with a short but grounded proposal on your intended doctoral thesis, and attach a CV and certificates on your academic qualifications.

  • Prof. Dr. Patrick Velte

Doctoral topics are possible in the following research areas:

1) Financial and Sustainability Reporting
2) Financial and Sustainability Auditing
3) (Sustainable) Corporate Governance

Funding: Part-time doctorates in co-operation with numerous auditing and consulting firms, see current calls for applications: https://www.leuphana.de/institute/imaf/stellenboerse.html

Making contact: Expressions of interest by e-mail to velte@leuphana.de with a CV in tabular form

  • Prof. Dr. Matthias Wenzel

Topic area offered for a doctorate: organization, strategy and entrepreneurship, with a focus on processes and practices.

Funding: expressions of interest from self-funded and unfunded applicants are welcome. Occasional fellowships and WiMi positions are available. These can be viewed on Leuphana's public pages ("job offers").
Note: At the doctoral program EMI, doctoral positions are advertised several times a year, which are supervised by Prof. Wenzel, among others. The current announcement can be found on the website of the doctoral program EMI.

The following documents are requested as part of this process:

  • Cover letter indicating which EMI member you consider suitable to supervise your dissertation project.
  • Description of the dissertation project (max. 5 pages excl. references), including working title, brief explanation of the core objectives and questions of the project as well as their relevance, positioning of the project in relevant fields of management and organization as well as the gaps to be addressed and the target literature, description of the planned methodological approach as well as the potential theoretical contributions of the project, and brief overview of the work plan showing how the project will be completed within up to three years
  • CV including an overview of previous study programs and potential research activities
  • Study certificates (English or German, in case of other languages officially certified translations)
  • Transcript of records (English or German, in case of other languages certified translations) listing the courses and seminars attended during the completed Master's program, if not included in the transcripts.
  • Relevant work references (e.g. from scientific activities)
  • Evidence of English language proficiency, typically language certificates or successful participation in English language courses and seminars

     

School of Public Affairs

  • Prof. Dr. Luise Görges

Key research areas:

  1. Behavioral effects of social norms/identity (especially linked to the topics listed below)
  2. Family economics, e.g., division of labor, marriage contracting, child-wellbeing
  3. Gender economics, e.g., drivers of and obstacles to women’s/other minorities’ participation in the labor force, high-paying jobs, STEM, politics
  4. Labor and education economics, e.g., discrimination, segregation
  5. Political economy: drivers of the rise of anti-democratic sentiments and far-right political movements

Methodologically, doctorates should be empirically oriented and use methods of applied microeconometrics or laboratory/field experiments.

Funding: PhD position (currently not advertised), PhD scholarship (currently not advertised), own funding

Contact: By e-mail with short exposé

Supervision of a doctoral-track-doctorate is possible.

 

  • Prof. Dr. Boris Hirsch

Key research areas:

  1. wage formation on imperfect labour markets
  2. minimum wage effects on imperfect product and labour markets
  3. the impact of industrial relations on rent sharing between employers and workers

Funding: PhD position (currently not advertised), PhD scholarship (currently not advertised), own funding

Contact: By e-mail with short exposé

Supervision of a doctoral-track-doctorate is possible.

 

  • Prof. Dr. Mario Mechtel

Key research areas:

  1. behavioural effects of social identity/social identity preferences
  2. evaluation of behavioural interventions
  3. lab/field experiments with applications in sustainability/laboratory/personnel economics
  4. topics in sports economics (in particular if sports data is used to test economic theory)

Funding: PhD position (currently not advertised), PhD scholarship (currently not advertised), own funding

Contact: By e-mail with short exposé

Supervision of a doctoral-track-doctorate is possible.

  • Prof. Dr. Thomas Wein

Key research areas:

  1. competition policy and industrial economic implications in markets with rapidly changing prices, especially fuel prices
  2. law and economics with a focus on civil law
  3. competitive potential in the charging station market

Funding: PhD position (currently not advertised), PhD scholarship (currently not advertised), own funding

Contact: By e-mail with short exposé

Supervision of a doctoral-track-doctorate is possible.