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Degree
Dr. rer. pol

Language
EN

Scholarships
10 per year (max)

*more information below

Programme Start
September

Duration
4 Years

Application Deadline
15 January

Career in International Academia

Frankfurt School's Doctoral Programme offers candidates an internationally recognised academic education for a career in international academia. Commencing with one and a half years of intensive course work, the key objective of the programme is to enable doctoral students to write publication standard papers as early as possible.

Frankfurt School annually offers up to 10 doctoral scholarships for outstanding graduates.

Upon successful completion of the courses and writing high standard papers, Frankfurt School awards a doctoral degree in economics, Doctor rerum politicarum or Dr. rer. pol., the German equivalent to the PhD.

Candidates from Frankfurt School's Doctoral Programme have been placed at leading schools and research institutions in Europe and beyond, e.g., Aarhus University Denmark, Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW) Mannheim, Deutsche Bundesbank, OECD, Technical University of Munich TUM, UC Santa Barbara, University of Rostock, University of Technology Sydney, WU Vienna.

Doctoral candidates have the possibility to obtain a Master of Business Research Analytics (MBRA) after the second year of the programme.

Profile

Frankfurt School’s English language doctoral programme explores and applies research methods used by students and researchers in the specialist fields of finance, management and accounting. Programme members belong to and actively participate in an international research community. Respected scholars from other universities regularly present their findings in Independent Study Courses held at Frankfurt School.

In their turn, doctoral candidates present their research at international conferences. While the primary intention of the programme is to prepare doctoral candidates for academic careers, their research topics are also directly relevant for business and politics. Doctoral candidates are trained for developing solutions to complex problems and are provided with the social and conceptual skills they need to advise others.

Curriculum

Year 1 and 2

Core Courses

Mathematics and Statistics

Course Description

  • Sets in n-dim. Real Space and Their Properties
  • Calculus of Several Variables
  • Functions of Several Variables
  • Implicit Functions and Their Derivatives
  • Quadratic Forms and Definite Matrices
  • Unconstrained Optimization
  • Constrained Optimization
  • Concave and Quasiconcave Functions
  • Economic Applications
  • Eigenvalues and Eigenvectors
  • Advanced Linear Algebra
  • Advanced Analysis
  • Probability Theory
  • Basic Statistics

Prerequisites

Undergraduate Calculus

Course Structure

  • Linear algebra
  • Calculus
  • Optimization
  • Statistics

Econometrics

Course Description

The course covers the following topics:

  • Review of statistics
  • The Single-Equation Linear Model and OLS Estimation
  • Instrumental Variables Estimation of Single-Equation Linear Models
  • Estimating Systems of Equations by OLS and GLS
  • System Estimation by Instrumental Variables
  • Basic Linear Unobserved Effects Panel Data Models
  • Discrete Response Models
  • Censored Regression Models

Prerequisites

Basic knowledge of econometrics and statistics and algebra at the Ievel of an undergraduate course.

Course Structure

The course closely follows the main textbook of the course. While the course is self-contained, following the main textbook provides the participants with a well-structured source for further reading and deeper understanding of the topics. Topics are discussed from a theoretical point of view to provide the participants with a proper understanding of the econometric models. These discussions provide key knowledge on how different econometric models work and most importantly shed light on their limitations. The course also provides step by step application of new tools to different data sets in computer lab. The empirical assignments discussed in the class are generally replication of some of the empirical works that have been done by different researchers.

The participants must turn in assignments. These assignments are in general empirical in nature. The participants are encouraged to form groups to work on the assignments. The performance of the students on the assignments and on a final exam will ultimately determine the overall performance of the participants.

Microeconomics

Course Description

  • General Equilibrium Theory
  • Dominant strategies and applications
  • Nash Equilibrium and applications
  • Subgame Perfect Equilibrium and applications
  • Bayesian Equilibrium
  • Perfect Bayesian Equilibrium and applications
  • The Theory of Incomplete Contracts
  • Cooperative Game Theory

Prerequisites

Microeconomics at graduate level.

Course Structure

In each section, the module starts with a presentation of the respective theoretical concepts and then moves on to examples. In these examples, special emphasis is put on applications from management, finance and industrial organization. The first section deals with consumer decision making and general equilibrium and is followed by 5 sections on no cooperative game theory. The final two sections deal with cooperative game theory and bi-forms, i.e. the combination of the two game theoretic solution concepts as applied by incomplete contract theory.

Advanced Empirical Methods

Finance Concentration

Asset Pricing

Course Description

The course is an in-depth introduction to the modern theory of asset pricing and portfolio choice. Its main focus is on the relationship between arbitrage and equilibrium, and how both conditions imply the existence of "state prices," positive discount factors such that the price of any security is simply its discounted expected payoff. The first part of the course examines static economies while the second extends into a multi-period framework. Both parts are restricted to discrete time and symmetric and complete information.

                                   

Prerequisites

The student is assumed to have a good working knowledge of probability, statistics, calculus and microeconomics.

Course Structure

  • Arbitrage and pricing
  • Equilibrium and pricing
  • Optimal portfolio choice
  • Mean-Variance analysis
  • Asset pricing models

Financial Institutions

Course Description

This module introduces PhD candidates to the latest models that try to explain the role of banks in the economy. Based on those approaches this course presents latest theoretical contributions on modelling the origin of financial contagion and the role of regulation in mitigating systemic risk. Furthermore this course also presents the most recent models on competition in the banking sector and its implications for stability. The overarching aim of this course it to provide students not only with the thorough theoretical background required to pursue empirical studies. It should also enable students develop their own theoretical models in this area.

Prerequisites

Corporate Finance

Course Structure

The module is structured as follows:

  • The role of financial intermediaries in the economy
  • The inherent fragility of banks
  • The origins of financial contagion
  • Banking competition and financial stability
  • Optimal capital structure and the need for banking regulation

Empirical Methods in Accounting and Finance

Course Description

  • Fixed effects regression
  • Difference-in-differences estimators
  • Regression discontinuity design
  • Synthetic control estimator
  • Instrumental variable regressions
  • Governance of the research process

Prerequisites

Econometrics I and II

Course Structure

The course is structured in three parts (not necessarily chronological):

  • Part 1: Empirical methodologies (focus on regression discontinuity, difference-in-difference estimators, synthetic control estimators)
  • Part 2: Discussion of recent empirical papers with a focus on financial intermediation, corporate finance, and possibly with a link to accounting
  • Part 3: Development of own research ideas

Corporate Finance

Course Description

The course makes students familiar with the main hidden information and hidden action models. It introduces a concise theoretical principle agent framework that allows analyzing the major topics in corporate finance including among others firms’ debt capacity and the optimal capital structure, corporate risk and liquidity management, and corporate control and governance.

Prerequisites

There are no prerequisites necessary.

Course Structure

This course is split in two parts. The first introduces the baseline models. The second part provides a more in depth application of the baseline model to a variety of different problems in corporate finance.

Financial Economics under Asymmetric Information

Course Description

The topic of the course is imperfect information in financial markets. It is an introduction to information choice and learning with applications to corporate finance and asset pricing.

Prerequisites

Microeconomics

Course Structure

  • Adverse Selection, Screening, and Signaling
  • Sequential Trade Models with Asymmetric Information
  • Aggregation of Information by Prices
  • Strategic Trade Models
  • Information Sales in Financial Markets
  • Herding
  • Bubbles and Crashes
  • Manipulation
  • Reputation
  • Feedback Effects

Accounting Concentration

Accounting Information and Capital Markets

Course Description

This empirical PhD seminar in the Accounting concentration aims to provide a broad overview over the most important strands of literature, while the in-class discussion will also highlight test design choices. 

Aside from general class participation, students are expected to present select papers during class, the (take-home) deliverables at course conclusion are a research proposal and a referee report.  Students can opt to gain programming experience (SAS/Stata) through a (guided) replication of an existing study. 

The course is normally scheduled to meet weekly throughout the semester. If external students enroll, the format will be changed to three blocks of adjacent classes (4+4+3).

Prerequisites

Accounting, Econometrics (master level)

Course Structure

  • Introduction to Empirical Accounting Research: The role of accounting research from informational and contracting perspectives
  • Empirical accounting research classics: Accounting numbers and stock prices
  • Accounting-based valuation
  • Earnings responses and value relevance
  • Conservatism: Motivation, measures, and consequences
  • Returns and cost of capital
  • Investor information processing and stock market anomalies
  • Earnings management
  • Earnings quality
  • Standard Setting 1: Disclosure versus recognition
  • Standard Setting 2: Comparative accounting research, IFRS adoption

Performance Measurement & Incentives

Course Description

This module provides an introduction to academic empirical research on performance measurement and incentives. It covers topics such as financial and nonfinancial performance measures, subjective performance evaluation, target setting and target ratcheting, relative performance evaluation and management control systems.

Prerequisites

Econometrics I

Course Structure

  • Intro: Paradigms in Management Accounting Research: Theory & Methods
  • Explicit & Implicit Incentive Design Frameworks
  • Performance Measures (I), especially Stock Prices & Accounting
  • Measures & Nonfinancial Performance Measures
  • Performance Measures (II) Organizational Design (Decentralization, Interdependencies), Subjectivity
  • Management Accounting at the Top of the Firm: Corporate Governance
  • Relative Performance Evaluation
  • Target Setting
  • Economic and Behavioral Aspects of Budgeting
  • Cost Behavior and Management
  • Management Control Systems & Informal Controls such as the Balanced Scorecard Framework
  • Behavioral Aspects in Management Control

Topics in Empirical Accounting Research

Course Description

This course is designed for Ph.D. students in accounting and may also be of interest to Ph.D. students with research interests in related fields, particularly corporate finance and management. The main goal is to enhance students’ understanding of empirical economics-based research in accounting. A secondary goal is to broaden the students’ view of what constitutes accounting research by showing how it is embedded in work in other disciplines such as economics, finance, and biology.

This course surveys leading academic research in economics, finance, and accounting and highlights in particular emerging topics and new research methods. Throughout the course, I intend to emphasize research design issues, identification strategies, and new (uses of) data. Students are allowed to take each module separately for credit, but are encouraged to attend the complete course.

Course Structure

Module I: Organizational design, performance measurement, and incentives

  • Complementarities in organizational design and empirical consequences
  • Delegation of authority
  • Incentives and reward systems
  • Performance measurement

Module II: Disclosure and contracting

  • (Implicit) contracting theory, supply and loan contracts
  • Conservatism and the confirmatory role of accounting information
  • (Voluntary) disclosure choices and computational linguistics

Module III: Political economy of accounting and finance

  • Corporate political activity and firm policies
  • Media and other information intermediaries
  • Enforcement and regulation in (international) capital markets

Module IV: Managerial characteristics, (firm) culture, and firm outcomes

  • Do managers matter?
  • Cultural heritage vs. innate characteristics of managers
  • Plough vs. hoe or Rice vs. wheat: the origin of time preferences and why it is important

Empirical Methods in Accounting and Finance

Course Description

  • Fixed effects regression
  • Difference-in-differences estimators
  • Regression discontinuity design
  • Synthetic control estimator
  • Instrumental variable regressions
  • Governance of the research process

Prerequisites

Econometrics I and II

Course Structure

The course is structured in three parts (not necessarily chronological):

  • Part 1: Empirical methodologies (focus on regression discontinuity, difference-in-difference estimators, synthetic control estimators)
  • Part 2: Discussion of recent empirical papers with a focus on financial intermediation, corporate finance, and possibly with a link to accounting
  • Part 3: Development of own research ideas
Management Concentration

Judgment and Decision Making

Course Description

  • Attention, Perception, Memory
  • Moods and Emotion, Non-conscious processes and priming
  • Goals Choice under risk and uncertainty
  • Judgment biases
  • Decisions in a social context.

Prerequisites

Scientific training at or beyond master level in some discipline.

Structure

The module will be comprised of lectures and class discussions based on assigned readings.

Technology and Operations Management

Course Description

In part A, we will develop the model's primitives, and discuss the fundamental decision making trade-off that the model captures. We will then work towards the goal to derive an optimal solution, where "optimal" is relative to some specified objective (such as maximizing expected profit). Towards this goal, we will use different optimization and simulation techniques.

In part B, we will work towards a descriptive test of the model's predictions. We will derive and discuss hypotheses that flow directly from the normative treatment of the model, as well as hypotheses that can be motivated based on existing behavioral theory. We will develop, and implement, laboratory experiments specifically designed to test these hypotheses. Finally, we will analyze the data from published papers.

In part C, we will empirically test newsvendor theory in the field. Again, we will analyze the data from published papers.

Prerequisites

There are no prerequisites necessary.

Structure

This module has three parts: Part A (Theory), Part B (Experiment), Part C (Field)

Markets and Strategy

Course Description

TBA

Prerequisites

Scientific training at or beyond master level in some discipline.

Structure

11 sessions @ 4 academic hours each

Theories of the Firm

Course Description

Why do firms exist? Which value-adding activities should be performed inside the firm? Which ones should be outsourced? These are the critical questions of the research stream commonly referred to as “theories of the firm“. In this course, we will examine the conceptual building blocks of these theories, exploring the logic and methodologies of the extent of the market argument, of the opportunism-based theories of the firm, and of the resource-based theories of the firm.

Prerequisites

Basic Econometrics

Course Structure

  • Overview
  • The extent for the market argument
  • Transaction cost economics and opportunism-based theories of the firm
  • The resource-based view
  • The resource-based view as a theory of the firm
  • Empirical work in the extent of the market
  • Empirical work in transaction-cost economics
  • Empirical work in the resource-based view
  • Analysis of working papers
  • Research Proposal Presentations

Independent Study Courses

Brown Bag Seminars

The Brown Bag seminars at Frankfurt School serve as a platform for internal and external researchers to present and discuss their research ideally in a stage of “work in progress”. The Brown Bag seminars are as a rule on Mondays and Thursdays at lunchtime from 12:35 until 13:20 p.m., so that the event will not interfere with teaching obligations or lectures. The presentations last between 30 and 45 minutes.

The remaining time can be used for questions and discussion.

Finance Seminars

Frankfurt School’s Finance Research Seminars provide a forum for researchers of all disciplines to present and discuss their research. They usually take place on Wednesdays from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. during the semester. Before or after the talk there is the opportunity to meet and exchange with members of the faculty in individual discussions. External guests are welcome to attend!

Management Seminars

Frankfurt School’s Research Seminar in Management is a forum for researchers to present and discuss research contributing to a better understanding of a broad range of managerial issues. The research seminar focuses on the interactive discussion of theoretically embedded papers following rigorous research designs (including empirical-archival and experimental research methods).

The talks usually take place on Tuesdays from 12:30 to 2:00 p.m. during the semester. Before or after the talk there is the opportunity to meet and exchange with members of the faculty in individual discussions.

Accounting Seminars

The Frankfurt School’s Accounting Seminars offer new insights into a broad range of accounting, managerial or economic issues. The seminars are a forum for mostly external researchers to present and discuss their work, employing rigorous methodological approaches, including theoretical models, empirical-archival methods or experimental methods.

The Accounting Seminars usually take place on Wednesdays from 2.00 to 3.30 pm. Before or after the talk, the faculty welcomes the opportunity to meet the speaker individually and exchange ideas. 

After year 2

Dissertation

Dissertation

Defence

Defence

Finance Concentration

We conduct scientific research projects aiming at publishing them in top journals in the fields of asset pricing, corporate finance, and financial intermediation. Frequently, these projects are pursued jointly with representatives of our stakeholders from the industry, the public, and governments and actively involve doctoral students.

The prerequisite for a successful participation in research projects is a thorough training in theoretical and empirical topics in the fields of asset pricing, corporate finance and financial intermediation. Currently, the finance concentration consists of six core courses and six electives taught by resident staff.

Internationally renowned guest professors in their respective fields of expertise complement the curriculum. Students who pursue a doctorate in finance at Frankfurt School have to complete the following electives in addition to the required core courses:

Curriculum
  • Asset Pricing
  • Financial Institutions
  • Advanced Topics in Financial Economics
  • Corporate Finance
  • Empirical Methods in Finance
  • Financial Economics under Asymmetric Information

All courses are taught in English and require one or multiple forms of testing study progress, such as written and oral exams, term papers, assignment, quizzes, and others.

Examples of ongoing and potential research projects

Unorthodox Monetary Policy and SME Lending

Together with a major European universal bank Lisa Cycon empirically investigates the effect of the Security Markets Programme on both loan price setting as well as on investment behaviour of credit-constrained small and medium sized enterprises.

Collateral Pledging Behaviour in Stressful Times

In collaboration with both the European Central Bank and Deutsche Bundesbank, Michael Koetter examines how liquidity support schemes of the ECB affect the collateral pledging behaviour of banks and how such differences might have affected lending behaviour.

M&A Contracts and Lawyer Expertise

In collaboration with a leading European law firm, Zacharias Sautner empirically investigates whether and how lawyers with more expertise draft M&A contracts that are beneficial to their own clients at the expense of the counterparty.

Blockholder Trading, Market Efficiency, and Investment

In a model with privately informed agents, Florian Kerzenmacher and Günter Strobl show that block holdings can act as a commitment device to collect information that is used by managers to improve their investment decisions.

Management Concentration

We conduct scientific research projects aimed at publishing in top academic journals in the functional fields of management, marketing, operations and information systems. For the Management track, we especially seek doctoral students interested in the two complementary research areas of Judgement & Decision-Making and Markets, Organisations & Strategy.

Throughout the year, Frankfurt School encourages its students to participate in various challenges and competitions, giving selected students the opportunity to prove themselves against students from other top universities worldwide.

  • CFA Institute Research Challenge
  • FT Business School Challenge
  • Global Investment Banking Valuation Olympiad

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Three of these additional electives are offered at Frankfurt School; the remaining three allow for individual specialisation and may also be chosen from eligible courses at other institutions.

Curriculum
  • Judgment an d Decision Making
  • Technology / Operations Management
  • Elective
  • Markets and Strategy
  • Elective
  • Elective

All courses are taught in English and require one or multiple forms of testing study progress, such as written and oral exams, term papers, assignments, and others.

Decision-Making

The research area in Decision-Making studies cognitive and behavioural processes shaping the decisions of managers, entrepreneurs, employees and customers.

Examples of ongoing and potential Research Projects

Consumer Information Processing (Marketing)

Selin Atalay studies consumer information processing by using the methodology of eye tracking to trace consumer decision making processes in retail environments. Understanding the decision making process contributes to designing better retail environments. Furthermore, understanding how consumers focus their attention as they visually search for information also has implications for packaging.

Delegation of Authority and the Efficiency of Decision Making (Management)

Delegating decisions to employees is beneficial to utilise their knowledge, but they might pursue their own agenda. Psychology suggests that managers may keep control too often as they have a lure for authority. Eberhard Fees analyses the conditions which influence the frequency and efficiency of delegation both with economic theory and in the laboratory. (taught by Eberhard Feess)

IQ gets you hired but EQ gets you promoted (Management)

Emotional intelligence (EI) is a controversial construct. This project analyses to what extent EI predicts job-related outcome variables such as customer satisfaction, performance, and stress. (taught by Myriam Bechtholdt)

The Role of the Employee in Information Security (Information Systems)

Many organisations are aware of the fact that their employees are the weakest link in information security. This research project by Peter Rossbach identifies the factors influencing employee’s compliance with the information security policy (ISP) of an organisation and their relevance. The factors derive from literature research and are verified by quantitative methods based on a survey. (taught by Peter Rossbach)

Hierarchical Judgemental Forecasting (Operations)

Mirko Kremer empirically investigates the relative performance of bottom-up versus top-down forecasting processes popular in Sales & Operations Planning practice.

Meta-heuristics for Solving Highly Complex Business Problems (Operations)

Many business problems are characterised by a high degree of complexity (np-hard problems). One example is the so-called car sequencing problem where automotive manufacturers have to schedule the sequence of cars on their assembly line. Meta-heuristics such as Ant Colony Optimisation that incorporates the search behaviour of ants into the heuristic or Genetic Algorithms that uses the logic of human genes have the potential to identify optimal solutions and are most effective for solving complex problems not only in the automotive sector. (taught by Jörn-Henrik Thun)

Markets, Organisations, & Strategy

The research area in Markets, Organisations & Strategy explores the external and internal drivers of organisational design, strategy and performance in fast-changing, globalised markets.

Examples of ongoing and potential research projects

Myopic Marketing Management – Whom to Blame? (Marketing)

We examine short-term oriented management with regard to cuts in marketing expenses. We find top marketing managers’ compensation incentives (but not those of the CEO) to be responsible. This result contradicts suggestions in marketing literature that the presence of a chief marketing officer can help to maintain a long-term orientation with regard to marketing spending (taught by Martin Artz)

The Impact of Financial Incentives on Customer Value (Marketing)

Firms often use financial incentives (promotions, referral rewards, loyalty programmes, etc.) to attract new or re-activate existing customers. The impact of such incentives on customer value is important, yet poorly understood. We investigate how their effect depends on incentive type, customer type, or the competitive environment to help firms spend their marketing budgets more effectively. (taught by Christian Schulze)

Strategic Decision-Making (Management)

Professor Ronald Klingebiel examines why and how firms with different decision-making patterns achieve different levels of success. He explores, for example, the conditions under which firms that keep their options open achieve higher performance than peers that might fully commit to uncertain innovation projects. His research often involves data from technology-intensive industries, particularly all things telecom.

Does Accreditation Count? (Management)

Accreditation is a typical external approach for patient safety and quality management in hospitals worldwide. But the evidence of the benefits of these systems is still lacking. The main objective of the research project is to discuss the potential advantages and disadvantages of accreditation and to analyse the relationship between accreditation and hospital quality. (taught by Rainer Sibbel)

Effective Outsourcing Strategies and Management (Information Systems)

We analyse organisational, social, and technical determinants that contribute to the effective governance of IT outsourcing relationships, e.g., by ensuring that service providers sufficiently invest in innovation and knowledge exchange or by supporting decisions about and management of relationships with multiple vendors. Research approaches include qualitative and quantitative field research, social network analyses, and the development of software artefacts. (taught by Daniel Beimborn)

Weight Jacket or Life Vest? Inventories in the Presence of Major Production Disruptions (Operations)

Severe production disruptions due to quality breakdowns have the potential to ruin performance over the complete life cycle of a highly profitable product. The project uses system dynamics modelling to investigate the interplay between different forms of customer adaptation to varying service levels, the availability of a substitute product, and the economic characteristics of the product. (taught by Jürgen Strohhecker)

Accounting Concentration

The Frankfurt School’s Doctoral programme in Accounting is offered by one of the most productive faculties in Europe. Ranked among the top in Europe of Brigham Young University’s prestigious research ranking, Frankfurt’s Accounting group is known for its innovative research in capital markets and managerial accounting.

We train our students in applying state-of-the-art techniques to address questions that advance contemporaneous accounting research. Our faculty is at the forefront of their research area and shape the profession not only through originality, but also by their editorial work and involvement in global research initiatives. Our Doctoral programme, uniquely positioned in Germany, includes a structured coursework programme that provides students with methodological skills as well as with an in-depth knowledge of economics, finance, and accounting. Faculty has a proven track record of working closely with doctoral students throughout the programme and has placed students in some of the best research schools in the world.

Accounting research has little to do with refining the workings of double-entry bookkeeping. Instead, scholars examine a broad range of questions about the role of information in markets and within firms. Accounting research is strongly related to practice, studying questions such as the enforcement of international accounting standards or the way firms use incentives and performance measures to motivate employees. But accounting research is also empowered by the latest theoretical insights from economics, finance, psychology and related disciplines (sociology, linguistics, even biology) and has recently made significant strides forward by adopting methods developed by (big) data science. Accounting, contrary to some stereotypes, therefore is one of the most exciting fields of research in business.  

Learn to conduct independent research at the frontier of the field

Grounded strongly in economics and quantitative methods, our faculty encourages students to explore creative, new ideas in a rigorous way.

We prefer students to extend the boundaries of the field by incorporating insights from adjacent areas such as finance, management, and the behavioral sciences rather than making incremental technical improvements.

The accounting concentration offers the following courses to help students achieve those goals:

Accounting Information and Capital Markets

This course introduces students to the classic research topics in financial accounting, such as accounting based evaluation, conservatism, earnings management, and consequences of standard setting.

Performance Measurement & Incentives

The course provides an overview of the major reseach areas in managerial accounting research. It covers topics such as financial and nonfinancial performance measures, subjective performance evaluation, target setting and target ratcheting, relative performance evaluation and management control systems.

Topics in Empirical Accounting Research

The main goal of this course is to enhance students’ understanding of empirical economics-based research in accounting. A secondary goal is to broaden the students’ view of what constitutes accounting research by showing how it is embedded in work in other disciplines such as economics, finance, and biology.

In addition to our courses in Frankfurt, doctoral students are also allowed to participate in three elective courses from other institutions.

Throughout our courses, we emphasize research design issues, identification strategies, and new (uses of) data, to enable students to start their own high quality research projects. Students are also welcome to join research projects of the faculty and will find a stimulating, cooperative, and challenging research environment.

Achieve remarkable successes

Frankfurt is among few schools in Germany and even in Europe to offer full-fledged coursework, which prepares students for the demands of dissertation research, on par with what has traditionally only been available in top schools in the U.S. The programme has achieved remarkable successes:

Doctoral students have been invited for visiting scholarships in top schools in the U.S. (e.g., MIT) and in Australia  (University of Melbourne)

The accounting faculty has placed their doctoral students at renowned international research institutions
in Europe

  • London Business School
  • Free University Amsterdam
  • Erasmus University Rotterdam
  • Copenhagen Business School
  • University of Mannheim,

in Australia

  • University of Melbourne,

in the U.S.

  • University of Chicago
  • Michigan State University
  • Yale University
  • Dartmouth College
  • University of Texas at Dallas

and in Canada

  • Queen’s University

Doctoral students have presented their dissertation work in highly visible and competitive conferences such as the Singapore Management University Accounting Symposium and the MIT-Asia conference

Become an integral part of the Accounting group

We want our students to share the faculty’s passion for research. Students are an integral part of the Accounting group, benefiting from the many workshops, conferences, and visitors and overall lively, informal, but intellectual culture. We encourage students to work together with faculty on their research ideas and students have easy access to all the group’s research resources, including essential databases such as WRDS, IncentiveLab and many more.

Doctoral students have their own discretionary annual research budget.

The annual doctoral Boot Camp provides students with an informal setting to present their research ideas, proposal, and early draft papers for the entire faculty and receive constructive feedback.

Faculty play key roles in the profession, serving as editors, editorial board members, or reviewers for the major journals in the field. Including

  • Journal of Accounting and Economics
  • Journal of Accounting Research
  • The Accounting Review
  • Accounting, Organizations, and Society
  • Management Science
  • Contemporary Accounting Research
  • Review of Accounting Studies

Student funding and scholarships

Stipend and Tuition waiver

As a rule, doctoral candidates are expected to dedicate 100% of their time to their doctoral studies for the full four years of the programme. Upon application, doctoral students who devote themselves exclusively to research and their doctoral work, in other words, do not engage in any non-university employment, are awarded a scholarship that covers their tuition fees (tuition waiver) as well as a monthly stipend of € 1,200 when they are accepted into the programme.

Furthermore the institution will cover all costs related to approved conferences and their associated travel costs that are attended by the doctoral candidate during the programme. 

The award decision is based exclusively on academic criteria. Initially, the stipend and tuition waiver are valid for a period of one year. This period is subsequently extended for an additional twelve months if the candidate continues to academically excel. The maximum funding period is limited to four years.

Application process

1. Target Group and Admission Requirements

Outstanding graduates of a Bachelor‘s or Master’s programme or equivalent in business administration, finance, management, accounting, and related fields who aspire to launch an academic career.

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Excellent candidates with a Bachelor’s or Master degree are welcome to apply to the doctoral programme. The Master of Business Research & Analytics is an integrated part of the programme. It gives Bachelor graduates the opportunity to receive their Master’s degree while studying and researching in the doctoral programme.

Candidates in the final year of a Master’s or Bachelor’s programme are welcome to apply with their most recent academic transcript. Please note that the degree has to be completed by the time of the beginning of the PhD. The expected grade of the applicants may not be less than a “B” grade point average or 75% of the achievable credits. Foreign degrees will be checked regarding their equivalence.

2. Online Application

The first step of our application process is to complete the online application form. You will need to upload the following required documents, which cannot be waived. Please note that you need a certified English or German translation for all documents, which are not originally in German or English. The application platform will be open between September 15 and January 15.

Required Documents

  • Curriculum Vitae and list of publications (if existent)

  • Certified copy of your University Entrance Qualification (Abitur, A-levels or equivalent)

  • Certified copy of your University Degree Certificate or equivalent and academic transcript of records (Candidates who have not yet completed their degrees should submit their most recent academic transcript instead)

  • Official GMAT or GRE results

    GMAT institution code: FCB; Programme code: FCB-RP-82

    GRE institution code: 7573

  • Proof of English Language Proficiency Test (TOEFL IBT min. score of 100/IELTS min. score of 7.0)

    TOEFL institution Code: 0239

    . Candidates with degrees from English-speaking study programmes do not need an English Language Proficiency. Please upload a certificate by the university confirming that the entire programme was conducted in English

  • Two letters of recommendation from a former academic tutor or from another person in an academic environment.

  • Statement of purpose and research interest (description of a possible research project, 2-5 pages, demonstrating how the candidate plans to apply his/her particular interests, skills and expertise to the pursuit of his/her academic objectives)

3. Interview

Successful applicants will be invited to a skype interview with faculty members.

4. Results

The final decision regarding admission to our doctoral programme will be made by the Committee for Doctorate Proceedings. It is based on the overall portfolio of the candiate and the interview. The results will be communicated after the final decision.