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Doctoral Programs

Graduate schools, research training groups and doctoral programs at Bremen University offer an interdisciplinary research environment for doctoral reseachers from Germany and abroad. Their early career researchers benefit from intensive expert counseling, customized training, and innovative forms of supervision.

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 Research POLMAR.

BYRD Bremen Early Career Researcher Development

… is the central hub for all early career scientists to receive information ranging from qualification courses to administrative procedures as well as career paths. Our mission is to connect early career researchers, to foster their independent research skills and to provide the means for individual development. Our free courses and personal consultations are aimed at doctoral and postdoctoral candidates across all disciplines and all stages.


Graduate Schools

Studienfahrt mit dem Forschungsschiff R/V Poseidon
Doktorand/innen untersuchen einen Sedimentkern
Doktorand/innen untersuchen einen Sedimentkern, der mit dem im MARUM entwickelten Bohrgerät MARUM MeBo vom Ozeanboden in der Tiefsee erbohrt wurde.

Bremen International Graduate School for Marine Sciences GLOMAR

The Bremen International Graduate School for Marine Sciences has been supported by the Excellence Initiative since 2006. The structured programme serves as a central platform for interdisciplinary training for doctoral students in marine sciences at the University of Bremen and its partner institutions.

Field coordinator at colloquium

Bremen International Graduate School of Social Sciences BIGSSS

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.


DFG Research Training Groups

Quantum Mechanical Materials Modelling QM3

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.

Eisberg in der Baffin-Bucht
Eisberg in der Baffin-Bucht
Einzelheiten zu einem Bohrkern aus der Arktis

ArcTrain - Processes and impacts of climate change in the North Atlantic Ocean and the Canadian Arctic

International Research Training Group

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.

Berechnung der Bahnkurve eines Teilchens um ein schwarzes Loch

Models of Gravity'

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.

Arbeitsgruppe im Freien auf dem Rasen

Social Dynamics of the Self

In this collaborative Research Training Group jointly run by Jacobs University Bremen and the University of Bremen doctoral researchers study the interactions between individuals and their social environment. Whether culture, gender, social class or family: all human beings are exposed to systematic influences that shape them and their actions. These in turn have an impact on the social relationships and conditions in which everyone moves, and will in the long-term lead to social changes. These dynamic interactions and their consequences are analyzed in the dissertation projects of this RTG.


∏³ : Parameter Identification - Analysis, Algorithms, Implementations

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.


Micro-, meso- and macroporous nonmetallic Materials: Fundamentals and Applications MIMENIMA

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.


Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions

Doktorandinnen und Doktoranden in Diskussion

BIGSSS-departs: doctoral education in partnerships

BIGSSS-departs is an international PhD program in the social sciences that offers to its two cohorts of early-stage researchers excellent doctoral studies in a PhD program that combines close supervision of dissertation work with a demand-tailored 42-month structured PhD curriculum. The program supports early scientific independence, fosters the development of intellectual responsibility, and prepares the PhD candidates for careers inside and outside academia. Another asset of the program is its focus on international mobility. PhD fellows commit themselves to a research stay at one of the BIGSSS-departs international networks’ renowned academic or inter-sectoral partner institutions. In return, BIGSSS-departs offers early-stage researchers from its partners the opportunity to conduct a visiting research stay at BIGSSS.


SLATE - Submarine LAndslides and Their impact on European continental margins

The over-arching aim of the European Training Network SLATE is two-fold:

  • to understand key factors triggering submarine landslides, the subsequent motion and evolution of failed material, as well as ensuing geohazards, e.g. tsunamis; and
  • to integrate an innovative broad range of scientific disciplines and private sector needs into a novel training-through-research and co-supervision of 15 ESRs.

SLATE focusses on investigating submarine landslides and associated geohazards as important natural risks that threaten offshore infrastructures and coastal regions in Europe. Submarine landslides can be far larger than any terrestrial landslide and can produce tsunami whose far reaching effects can rival those produced by earthquake-tsunamis, and which threaten increasingly populated European coastlines. Even small landslides can damage very expensive and critically important seafloor installations. For example, pipelines used for oil and gas recovery, or telecommunication cables that now carry over 95% of global data. The largest and most dangerous submarine landslides occur on low gradients of < 2° that are almost always stable on land. However, fundamental differences between slope failure on land and the seafloor are as yet poorly understood and remain a grand challenge.

Gruppenbild der Teammitglieder
DISTINCT kick-off meeting

DISTINCT - Dementia: Intersectorial Strategy for Training and Innovation Network for Current Technology

DISTINCT is a project within the European-funded Marie Skłodowska-Curie Innovative Training Network (ITN). The project is coordinated by the University of Nottingham and 7 countries are involved: UK, Germany, Belgium, The Netherlands, Spain, Czech Rebublic and Ireland. The University of Bremen-based project is: ‘Smart home technologies supporting daily life for people with dementia and their informal caregivers to improve quality of life and social participation’ and it involves an international full time PhD position at the University of Bremen. The DISTINCT network comprises ten world-leading research organisations in Europe plus IDES, an enterprise for technology, research and care, as well as 9 partner organisations including Alzheimer Europe, Alzheimer’s Disease International, the World Occupational Therapists Federation, two other major universities and three other enterprises. DISTINCT works with INTERDEM (Early detection and timely INTERvention in DEMentia), a large international collaboration enabling training and development opportunities for all grades of researcher from PhD students to senior academics to develop capacity for future research in dementia care.

The overarching research goal of the DISTINCT project is to improve the usability of technology in dementia care by evaluating its effectiveness and implementation issues in relation to social health. A total of 15 Early Stage Researchers (ESRs) will be hosted across the network and will work in research, a network-wide training program, public engagement activities and collaboration with network partners through short-term secondments in European industrial/academic partner laboratories.

Logo der Universität Bremen
Logo of the University of Bremen produced with the FEBID process by decomposition of Fe(CO)5 under a focused electron beam. Copyright Hubertus Marbach, Universität Erlangen

ELENA - Low energy ELEctron driven chemistry for the advantage of emerging NAnofabrication methods

The Marie-Curie Innovative Training Network ELENA focuses on the chemistry inherent in state-of-the-art processes of nanotechnology. Electron beam induced deposition (EBID) and Extreme Ultraviolet Lithography (EUVL) produce structures with size in the nanometer regime and thus enable, among others, the production of powerful microelectronic devices. EBID writes free-standing 3D structures by decomposing molecules under the beam to form a deposit. Using masks, EUVL prints extremely narrow structures by exposing resist materials to UV radiation with very short wavelength and thus inducing chemical reactions. Within ELENA, a group of 15 international PhD students strives to obtain fundamental knowledge about these processes and thereby to enable the fabrication of increasingly precise nanostructures.

Gruppenbild der Teammitglieder

ROMSOC - Reduced Order Modelling, Simulation and Optimization of Coupled Systems

Young researchers work in the doctorate program ROMSOC in an international consortium of twelve academic and eleven industrial partners from seven countries.

Product development today is increasingly based on simulation and optimization of virtual products and processes. Mathematical models serve as digital twins of the real products and processes and are the basis for optimization and control of design and functionality. The models have to meet very different requirements: Deeply refined mathematical models are required to understand and simulate the true physical processes, while less refined models are the prerequisites to handle the complexity of control and optimization. The currently most favoured way in industrial applications to achieve such a model of hierarchy is to use a sufficiently fine parameterized model and then apply model order reduction techniques to tune this fine level to the accuracy, complexity and computational speed needed in simulation and parameter optimization.

The WG Industrial Mathematics of University of Bremen is head of the subproject „Data Driven Model Adaptations of Coil Sensitivities in MR Systems“ and collaborates with the company SagivTech Ltd. based in Israel. The main goal is the development of data-driven approaches based on neural networks and deep learning in the field of magnetic particle imaging (MPI). MPI is an evolving technology aiming at non-radiative, non-invasive imaging of functional parameters such as blood flow or targeted metabolic processes.


Joint Programs with non-university research organizations

International Max Planck Research School for Marine Microbiology MarMic

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. MarMic, which is funded by the Max Planck Society, offers a joint Masters and doctoral program in marine microbiology.


Helmholtz Graduate School for Polar and Marine Research POLMAR

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, and the University of Oldenburg.


Other doctoral programs with external funding

Doktoranden und PI's des Graduiertenkollegs

Empowering Digital Media

The graduate school Empowering Digital Media is funded by the Klaus Tschira Foundation. The goal of our graduate school is to research the role of digital media in the digital revolution and to design, develop and evaluate novel user interfaces and artifacts. The program started in 2017.

Gruppengespräch, Demonstrationsexperiment



Seven groups of the University Bremen and one group of the University Münster are the participants of the graduate programme NanoCompetence, based at the Centre for Environmental Research and Sustainable Technology (UFT). 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.


International Graduate School for Dynamics in Logistics LogDynamics

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.


Clinical Child Psychology

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.

In-memory computing and evolutionary optimization

System Design

Funded by the Institutional Strategy within the Excellence Initiative launched by the Federal Government and the Federal States

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.


Doctoral Programs Funded by the University of Bremen

Duale Promotion in progress
Erhebungssituation in der Schule

Dual Promotion

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.


Postgraduate International Programme in Physics and Electrical Engineering pip

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.