Doctoral Programs

The University of Bremen offers doctoral programs in all academic disciplines. These programs provide young researchers with opportunities for independent research combined with intensive expert counseling, customized training, and innovative forms of supervision.

The largest of these programs are funded by the Excellence Initiative of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research and the German Research Foundation, i.e. the "Bremen International Graduate School of Social Sciences" BIGSSS, the "Bremen International Graduate School for Marine Sciences" GLOMAR, the Research Training Group "Micro-, meso- and macroporous nonmetallic Materials: Fundamentals and Applications" MIMENIMA, and the International Research Training Groups  "Integrated Coastal and Shelf-Sea Research" INTERCOAST and "Processes and impacts of climate change in the North Atlantic Ocean and the Canadian Arctic" ArcTrain. These programs attract large numbers of international doctoral researchers to the University of Bremen.

For the promotion of early career reseachers the University also cooperates with external research institutions, especially within the frame of the International Max Planck Research School for Marine Microbiology MarMic and the Helmholtz Graduate School for Polar and Marine Sciences POLMAR.


Graduate Schools of Excellence

Bremen International Graduate School of Social Sciences (BIGSSS)

Funded by: Excellence Initiative
Duration: 1st funding period 2008-2012, 2nd funding period 2012-2017
The interdisciplinary Bremen International Graduate School of Social Sciences rests on the core disciplines of Political Science, Sociology and Psychology. BIGSSS was established in 2008 in collaboration with Jacobs University. It provides doctoral studies of excellence in the Social Sciences. More

GLOMAR - Bremen International Graduate School for Marine Sciences

Funded by: Excellence Initiative
Duration: 1st funding period 2006-2011, 2nd funding period 2012-2017 (within MARUM)
The Bremen International Graduate School for Marine Sciences has been supported by the Excellence Initiative since 2006. The program offers doctoral students the opportunity to research the impacts of global environmental change on the ecosystem of the ocean. More


DFG Research Training Groups

Research Training Group "Quantum Mechanical Materials Modelling QM3"

Funded by: DFG
Duration: 1st funding period 2017-2021
University of Bremen, Jacobs University and University of Oldenburg and MPIHH have established a strong combination of Quantum Mechanical Materials Modelling  expertise from condensed matter theory to quantum chemistry and from ab initio methods to model Hamiltonians and force fields. On this basis, the RTG aims to build a uniquely interdisciplinary research and training environment, which combines the most important directions in quantum mechanical materials modelling from physics and chemistry in a structured doctoral program.
Website: http://www.rtg-qm3.de/

Research Training Group "∏³ : Parameter Identification - Analysis, Algorithms, Implementations"

Funded by: DFG
Duration: 1st funding period 2016-2021
This research training group focusses on problems in parameter identification which are at the core of a large variety of applications in natural sciences, life sciences, and engineering as well as in industrial applications. This rich field of science presents a multitude of challenges in several fields of mathematical and applied research. More precisely, the endeavour to develop, analyse, and optimise models and algorithms for deterministic parameter identification problems, which are formulated as high-dimensional minimisation problems for
non-linear functionals, is the guiding principle of this RTG.
Website: www.math.uni-bremen.de/rtg-pi3

International Research Training Group "ArcTrain - Processes and impacts of climate change in the North Atlantic Ocean and the Canadian Arctic"

Funded by: DFG
Duration: 1st funding period 2013-2018
The International Research Training Group ArcTrain "Processes and impacts of climate change in the North Atlantic Ocean and the Canadian Arctic" provides a structured interdisciplinary environment for the education of PhD students to tackle the challenge of accelerated environmental change in the Arctic realm. The group combines the strength in marine geosciences and environmental physics in Bremen with complementary skills of a consortium of eight Canadian partner universities.
Website: www.marum.de/ArcTrain.html

Research Training Group "Micro-, meso- and macroporous nonmetallic Materials: Fundamentals and Applications" (MIMENIMA)

Funded by: DFG
Duration: 1st funding period 2013-2018
The exceptional research idea of MIMENIMA is the conditioning of novel porous ceramic structures and their surfaces for applications in important emerging fields of energy, environmental, chemical processing, bio- and space technology. An interdisciplinary team of materials scientists, physicists, chemists, biotechnological, mechanical or chemical engineers will work together on this challenging topic. In addition to this multidisciplinary research program MIMENIMA offers an educational program with tailored scientific lectures, seminars, lab courses, workshops, summer schools, research visits at international cooperation partners and a mentoring program for the career development of women and an ongoing coaching of the scientific work.
Website: www.mimenima.uni-bremen.de

Research Training Group ''Models of Gravity''

Funded by: Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG)
Duration: 1st funding period 2012-2016, 2nd funding period 2016-2021
The Research Training Group ''Models of Gravity'' deals with questions related to gravity. We attempt to obtain a better understanding of Einstein's General Relativity and of generalised theories of gravity.
Such generalisations arise in the low energy limit of candidate theories of quantum gravity like e.g. string theory. These investigations also have practical applications like, for instance, the precise calculations of stellar and satellite orbits or the ticking rates of clocks on satellites orbiting the Earth which is the basis of the daily used GPS. 
Within the framework of this Research Training Group there will be an intensive interdisciplinary collaboration between physicists, mathematicians as well as space scientists. This collaborative research initiative comprises the universities Bremen and Oldenburg who are the leading partners and the Jacobs University Bremen and the Universities Bielefeld, Hannover and Copenhagen. More

International Research Training Group "Integrated Coastal and Shelf-Sea Research" (INTERCOAST)

Funded by: Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG)
Duration: 1st funding period 2009-2014, 2nd funding period 2014-2018
Doctoral students belonging to the international research training group entitled "Integrated Coastal and Shelf-Sea Research" explore the consequences of climate change for coastal regions and sea shelves from geoscientific, sociological and legal perspectives. The program of doctoral studies and research is carried out in collaboration with the University of Bremen and the University of Wakaito in New Zealand. More

Research Training Group "System Design"

Funded by the Institutional Strategy within the Excellence Initiative launched by the Federal Government and the Federal States
Duration: 2012 - 2017
This joint graduate program of the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI Bremen), the German Aerospace Center (DLR Bremen) and the University of Bremen adresses the research field "methods and tools for circuit and system design". In particular, systems built of integrated circuits and close interaction with software are targeted. More


Joint Programs with non-university research organizations

International Max Planck Research School for Marine Microbiology (MarMic)

Funded by: Max-Planck-Gesellschaft
Duration: 3rd funding period 2014-2020
The International Research School for Marine Microbiology is run in cooperation between the University of Bremen, the Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology, the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research and Jacobs University Bremen. MaeMic, which is funded by the Max Planck Society, offers a joint Masters and doctoral program in marine microbiology. More...

Helmholtz Graduate School for Polar and Marine Research POLMAR

Funded by Helmholtz-Gemeinschaft since 2009
Doctoral reseachers of the Helmholtz Graduate School for Polar and Marine Research (POLMAR) examine the polar marine ecosystems and climate change. The Graduate School is funded by the Helmholtz Association of German Research Centers. This graduate school is embedded in the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research (AWI). It involves cooperation between the AWI, the University of Bremen, Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology, Jacobs University Bremen, the University of Applied Science in Bremerhaven, the Institute for Marine Resources and the University of Potsdam. More...

MARES Doctoral Programme on Marine Ecosystem Health and Conservation

Funded by European Union (Erasmus Mundus) since 2011
The European Joint Doctorate Programme MARES focus on the impacts of humans on the natural marine environment. It is offered by a consortium of 23 partner institutions originating from 14 countries. Ghent University (Belgium) is the coordinator of MARES. More...

Leibniz Graduate School SUTAS

Funded by Leibniz Association since 2013
The Graduate School SUTAS (Sustainable Use of Tropical Aquatic Systems) which is funded by the Leibniz Association is dedicated to elucidating socio-ecological issues in tropical coastal regions from an interdisciplinary perspective. The graduate school strengthens the special education profile of the ZMT, as it will encompass the topics of ecology and marine resources and even topics related to health.
In accordance with the complex issues, the spectrum of research disciplines represented in SUTAS is multidisciplinary. It encompasses marine ecology, fisheries biology, microbiology and sedimentology, and also includes social sciences and epidemiology. In a specified region of interest, graduate students from different disciplines will work together in groups, thus facilitating interdisciplinary research and a broad understanding of tropical coastal systems. More...


Other doctoral programs with external funding

Doctoral Research Group “NanoCompetence"
Funded by: Hans Böckler Foundation
Duration: 2015-2018
Starting in 2015 NanoCompetence is a new graduate school at the Centre for Environmental Research and Sustainable Technology (UFT). Seven groups of the University Bremen and one group of the University Münster are the participants of the graduate school. They form an interdisciplinary team of natural, social and applied scientists who are working in four tandem groups with a close connection between natural and social scientist partners, respectively.  More

"International Graduate School for Dynamics in Logistics" (LogDynamics)
Funded by: Kieserling Foundation, German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), Industry
Duration: since 2005
At the International Graduate School for Dynamics in Logistics, doctoral students from the fields of Mathematics/Computer Science, Electrical Engineering and Economics explore issues surrounding production and transport logistics which are becoming increasingly complex in the wake of globalization. This graduate school is supported by the University of Bremen, the Kieserling Foundation, the German Academic Exchange Service, and the enterprise sector. More

Doctoral Research Group "Clinical Child Psychology"
Funded by: Association of Insurers
Set up in 2006, the doctoral research group "Clinical Child Psychology" carries out research on development and intelligence diagnostics as well as intervention in cases of behavioral disturbances. The different projects represented in the research group combine cause studies with the pronounced practice orientation of applied psychology. More (in German)


Doctoral Programs Funded by the University of Bremen

Graduate Program „Dual Promotion“
Funded by: Universität Bremen
Duration: 2016-2020
The program combines teacher training (Referendariat) with a doctoral thesis in didactics. In doing so, the close contact with school practice ensures that today’s relevant questions of teaching development are being researched and that the results are reflected in everyday school life. The “Dual Promotion” is carried out in close collaboration with the University, the LIS (teaching authorities) and the schools and concludes with the second state examination and a PhD in didactics of one of the two school subjects. More...

"Postgraduate International Programme in Physics and Electrical Engineering" (pip)
Funded by: University of Bremen, Faculty 01 - Physics/Electrical Engineering
The postgraduate programme pip funded by the University of Bremen is embedded in the Faculty of Physics and Electrical Engineering. The faculty provides a postgraduate education with outstanding research and training opportunities including excellent research facilities. The goal of pip is to create a supportive environment for its members by offering a wide range of activities, assistance and even additional funding.
Postgraduate students (PhD and excellent master students) are welcome to join us. More....