call download fax letter pdf search x chevron
Stage Image
Dr. rer. pol


10 per year (max)

*more information below

Programme Start

5 Years

Application Deadline
15 January

Career in International Academia

We are among the very few European business schools conducting top-level scientific research and training PhDs in English. Joining the Management track enables you to study cognitive and behavioural processes shaping the decisions of managers, entrepreneurs, employees and customers as well as the external and internal drivers of organisational design, strategy and performance in fast-changing, globalised markets.

Choosing life as a management scholar is an ambitious but rewarding career choice. If you join our five-year PhD programme, you will be expected to get your bearings through a number of theory and method courses before moving on to produce research of international scientific standard.

Concentration Modules

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.


Scientific training at or beyond master level in some discipline.


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

Markets and Strategy

Course Description



Scientific training at or beyond master level in some discipline.


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.


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


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

Independent Study Courses

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.

External guests are welcome to attend and are in case of interest asked to subscribe via e-mail in order to get invitations for our research seminar and other events.

Below you can find a list of this year's seminars.

Management Seminars

Research Topics

The following list provides indicative examples, by no means exhaustive, of research topics pursued by doctoral students and faculty in the Management Department.


- Searching and Capturing Entrepreneurial Opportunities

- Venture Capital, Seed Funding, Incubators, and Accelerators

- IPOs, ICOs, and Crowd Funding


- Consumer Decisions and Eye Tracking

- Online Retailing and E-Commerce

- Marketing Strategy

Organizational Behaviour

- Relational Models of Behaviour and Interactions

- Affect and Emotions in Organizations

- Personnel Psychology

Organization Theory

- Sense-Making in Organizations

- Routine Formation and Their Dynamics

- Processes of Learning and Adaptation


- Top Management Teams and Corporate Governance

- Value Capture, Competition, and Advantage

- Strategic Decision Making Under Uncertainty

A model path through our programme would, for example, have you brush up on statistical inference, qualitative induction, or machine learning, immerse yourself in the theory of the firm or decision making, beef up your knowledge of your chosen specialist area with internal and external courses, learn-by-doing on research projects with faculty, craft and execute an original thesis, present and publish ongoing work at conferences and journals, go on an overseas visit to engage with leaders in your field, hone your teaching skills and prepare for the institutional demands of entering the professorial job market.

The programme is divided the following way:

Course phase: Each student is mentored by one concentration-committee member until the student finds an advisor. The committee member also signs off on expense claims and status reports during this time. Students need to have found a main advisor 18 months into the programme.

Research phase: Each student is advised by a doctoral committee, consisting of a main advisor responsible for administrative matters as well as two further faculty advisors. The two additional faculty need to be named by the end of 36 months.

Management Faculty

Strategy & Organization Area
Data & Decision Analysis Area
Technology & Operations Area
Marketing Area

Affiliated Faculty

Student funding and scholarships

Frankfurt School offers eight fully-funded study places for the doctoral programme in order to attract and support the brightest minds in academia.

Students are expected to devote 100% of their working time to their masters and doctoral studies at Frankfurt School for up to five years.

Funding includes a tuition fee waiver and a cost-of-living stipend. The monthly stipend comprises of € 1,200.

The stipend will be granted for five years conditional on the continued satisfaction of all academic programme requirements.

From the second year onwards doctoral students may receive an additional € 400 for their involvement as a teaching or research assistant. Frankfurt School students thus have a total of €1,600 for their living expenses.

Furthermore Frankfurt School covers costs related to research, including conferences and overseas visits.

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.

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

  • CV 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
  • Official GMAT or GRE results
  • Proof of English Language Proficiency Test (TOEFL IBT min. score of 100/IELTS min. score of 7.0)
  • 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.