Doctoral Topics

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

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

School of Management and Technology

  • 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 cooperation with numerous auditing and consulting firms, see current announcements (in German only)

Contact: Expressions of interest by e-mail to with tabular CV


  • 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. 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