Recognition of Doctoral Programs at the University of Bremen

Development and Added Value

At the University of Bremen, structured doctoral programs have developed from various research collaborations in recent years, which are not funded as such from third-party funds (even though individual participating doctoral students were / are definitely employed in third-party funded projects). Doctoral programs have also been developed in preparation of collaborative proposals. Such are not recognized.

With resolution no. 9001 of February 26, 2020, the Academic Senate has now approved an application option to have structured doctoral programs recognized internally. The internal university recognition has a clear added value for the initiatives:

1. Strengthening collaborative proposals: Within the framework of collaborative projects such as CRCs and clusters, existing graduate funding structures are expected. A doctoral program already recognized by the university strengthens the chances of success of collaborative proposals.

2. Strengthening international cooperation: In cooperation with foreign partners, it is expected in certain cases that there are structured doctoral programs that are recognized within the university.

3. Exchange of best practice: Through this process, doctoral programs have the opportunity to learn from each other. The various initiatives can exchange examples of best practice and thus jointly explore ways in which, in addition to externally funded, externally evaluated programs such as DFG Research Training Groups, etc., a permanent framework structure can be created for doctoral students of different funding types (doctorate in a project, doctorate in a core-funded departmental position, external scholarship).

4. Quality assurance: Third-party funded graduate programs are subject to the quality standards of the funders. Uniform standards have now been formulated for internal doctoral programs at the University of Bremen. This formulation of minimum standards makes transparent what counts as a doctoral program and what expectations are placed here on those carrying out the program.

5. Promotion of young academics at various levels: With BYRD, there is already a very good interdisciplinary offer in the promotion of young researchers, which is open to all doctoral students and can be integrated into structured programs. Structured programs offer the possibility to complement graduate education in a subject-related way.

The doctoral regulations are not affected by the establishment of structured doctoral programs. They form the basis on which structural programs can be developed.


Recognition is granted upon application; the application is voluntary. The possibility of recognition is intended to strengthen initiatives that benefit from such a procedure, but does not call into question the diversity of doctoral opportunities at the University. The University of Bremen continues to offer various paths to a doctorate, ranging from individual doctorates to those in structured and funded programs. All forms have their justification.

All programs that are funded as doctoral programs by third-party funding sources (DFG Research Training Groups, International Training Networks of the EU, doctoral programs funded by foundations, etc.) are externally quality-assured and are automatically recognized as structured doctoral programs, i.e. without an application.

Existing programs funded internally by the university remain recognized for another three years. During this period, you can submit an initial application for recognition as a structured doctoral program.

Application Procedure

- Applications are possible on an ongoing basis.

- The Research Commission (FK) decides on the applications.

- Applications are submitted in the form of a PDF document to the office of the Research Commission via email.

To the application guidelines.


Office of the Research Commission (FK)

Petra Schreiber

Phone: +49 (0)421 218-60319

Email: petra.schreiberprotect me ?!vw.uni-bremenprotect me ?!.de

SFG Building, room 3230