The Research Academy Leipzig provides advice and information to professors who would like to establish structured doctoral programmes for doctoral researchers.

Groups of researchers can set up structured doctoral programmes for doctoral researchers at Leipzig University. Photo: Swen Reichhold
Groups of researchers can set up structured doctoral programmes for doctoral researchers at Leipzig University. Photo: Swen Reichhold


As a group of researchers, you can establish a structured doctoral programme for doctoral researchers at our university. Your programme must adhere to the criteria for interdisciplinary studies, our Quality Assurance Plan and the principles developed at the Graduate Centre for doctoral programmes. If you are interested in establishing an externally funded graduate programme (e.g. a DFG Research Training Group or an Integrated Research Training Group), please contact the respective Graduate Centre to request approval.

For a graduate programme to be established, it must include the following:

  • a research programme
  • a skills development programme
  • a supervision plan
  • a selection procedure for doctoral researchers
  • a funding plan (funding for doctoral researchers as well as for material resources, infrastructure and the like)

Decisions on establishing, modifying and discontinuing graduate programmes shall be made by the Board of Directors according to Paragraph 6, Section 1 of the Research Academy Leipzig Regulations.
If you have any questions regarding the establishment of graduate programmes, please contact Viola Gründemann.

Pilot Project for Graduate Groups

In order to provide even better support for doctoral researchers at Leipzig University, the Research Academy Leipzig launched a pilot project for graduate groups in 2019. Graduate groups are alliances of professors and doctoral researchers from different disciplines whose aim is to establish a structured doctoral programme.

In order to form a graduate group, at least three professors must work together on an interdisciplinary topic and develop a specialized research and skills development programme. This programme should prepare doctoral researchers for research beyond their own subject area and include a colloquium organised by the graduate group, lectures and other events organised by the supervisors and doctoral researchers, and reading groups organised by the doctoral researchers, as well as interdisciplinary workshops at the Research Academy Leipzig (e.g. on good scientific practice or research data management).

A supervision agreement between the supervisor and doctoral researchers is mandatory, as is the case in all of our graduate programmes. This is one way that the Research Academy Leipzig ensures quality assurance of the doctoral programmes at our university. In addition, the doctoral researchers in the graduate groups can take advantage of the services at the Research Academy Leipzig; for example, they can apply for travel allowances or be nominated for a doctoral prize.

If you have any questions about establishing a graduate group, please contact Viola Gründemann.

To date, the following graduate groups have been established at our university and joined the Research Academy Leipzig:

Digital technologies are coming into use in almost every area of life and are changing our society, the economy and science. The field of law is also under pressure to adapt. The question therefore arises whether the new situation can be addressed by the established legal terms and categories or whether reforms are necessary. Through its doctoral projects, the graduate group Digitalisation and Law is pursuing issues related to this range of topics. On an analytical, descriptive level, the individual projects seek to determine whether the law in its current version stands in the way of digital transformation as a “brake on progress” or has it assumed the function of a preserver of individual or collective interests worthy of protection. This analysis of the current situation is linked to a legal examination of whether and to what extent it is possible to adapt the law to the changes digitalisation has brought about by interpreting existing law or whether new legal tools are needed. Analysing the function and development of law in a society shaped by digital change cannot be carried out using the methods of legal hermeneutics alone. This is because the issue is affected by basic principles from sociology, theology, ethics, medicine, economics and other disciplines. These principles will be investigated as part of the group’s research and skills development programme – for example, in the form of reading groups and colloquia to which partners and other experts will be invited.

The group is supported by the following professors from the Faculty of Law:

  • Professor Katharina Beckemper (Spokesperson for the graduate group)
  • Professor Daniela Demko
  • Professor Marc Desens
  • Professor Christoph Enders
  • Professor Diethelm Klesczewski
  • Professor Stephanie Schiedermair

In this graduate group, doctoral researchers whose doctoral projects are in the field of empirical research on teaching and learning and have links to subject-specific teaching will answer research questions from an interdisciplinary perspective, one in which social interactions of learners and teachers are central.

The graduate group’s main focus is on social interaction – both the interaction between learners (e.g. in the analysis of learning processes in groups and peer-supported learning) and between learners and teachers (e.g. in the analysis of classroom discussions and teacher-student feedback). Special attention is paid to dealing with heterogeneity and diversity in subject-specific teaching. These central questions in research on teaching not only arise in classical teaching or tutorial settings, but also as a result of current approaches to digital transformation in which issues regarding the design of social interactions in various (online) formats are particularly relevant. While the group is clearly focused on empirical research, it combines qualitative, quantitative and mixed-method approaches.

The following professors serve as spokespersons for this graduate group:

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