Ifo Doctoral Programme

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A candidate who applies for the Ifo Doctoral Programme must have an excellent first university degree and willingness to take on special challenges.
Full commitment to the programme bears rich rewards:
The doctoral students write not only excellent dissertations but finish them particularly fast. They receive additional academic training and present their research results at international conferences. They also acquire competence in empirical economic research and gain experience in project teams. Ifo doctoral students are encouraged to be active as teaching assistants at the university, which gives them teaching experience and strengthens Ifo’s contacts to the university.
At the end of the programme is not only a doctorate but also empirical competence that offers an ideal springboard for a further career, either at a university or in empirical economic research.


The basic requirements for acceptance as a doctoral student are a strong degree in economics, excellent knowledge of English and German. A background in econometrics and familiarity with allocation and welfare theory are also generally expected. Depending on the department assignment, additional qualifications may be required.


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The Ifo Institute pays its doctoral students according to the German public pay scale (half of EG 13). The basic contract is initially limited to two years and extended depending on progress made on the dissertation. As a rule the dissertation is finished after a period of about 3.5 years. The doctoral student has at least half of the time for work on the dissertation, and project participation is chosen with a view to supplementing the dissertation.  Additional remuneration is possible if a doctoral student manages to publish a paper in a recognised, refereed journal.
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