Wittenberg Center for Global Ethics Doctoral Program

Deadline: 17 February 2019
Open to: applicants who have received a master’s, magister or diploma degree in a subject area that is relevant to their dissertation project with an above-average degree
Benefits: a monthly living and research costs stipend of EUR1,350 plus reimbursement of travel and accommodation costs


How can the economy become part of the solution to social challenges? What shape should the economic system take for this purpose? What responsibilities should companies be held accountable for? And what defines good leadership? – The international doctoral program “Ethics and Responsible Leadership in Business” academically and financially supports doctoral students, who develop scientifically well-founded, and practically applicable answers to these questions in their research. The Wittenberg-Center for Global Ethics (WCGE) hosts the doctoral program, and the Karl Schlecht Foundation (KSG) finances it. The doctoral program, which is first of this kind in a German-speaking country, rests on four pillars: (1) It supports doctoral students with their research, which is supervised by leading professors of business, corporate, and leadership ethics. (2) Whilst completing their doctorates, the doctoral students attend various seminars and lectures relating to the study program. The study program provides them with the opportunity to build a broad scientific and professional network. (3) Through an innovative dialog platform with field projects and jour fixes, doctoral students also gain access to partners in the field. Thereby, they can apply their own research into a broader social context and transfer it to current problems in the field. (4) The doctoral program supports doctoral students financially by awarding scholarships. Using this special structure, the doctoral program connects the findings by leading scholars, with the experience of decision-makers at international companies and the perspectives of non-state armed actors.


In order to be eligible for the doctoral program, applicants must meet the following conditions:

  • Their dissertation project must fit the thematic focus of the doctoral program;
  • One of the professors cooperating with the doctoral program must agree to supervise the applicants´ dissertation project;
  • Applicants must have received a master’s, Magister or diploma degree in a subject area that is relevant to their dissertation project;
  • Applicants must have graduated from their master’s, magister or diploma program with an above-average degree (for example, with honours, at least grade “good” (2.0) or an equivalent degree);
  • Applicants must be fluent in written and spoken English. Good German language skills are preferred but are not required.

In addition, it is advantageous if applicants have already gained the following experiences:

  • Experienced professional work, also through internships and working student positions;
  • Have been committed to social or political projects;
  • Have gained international experience through studies abroad programs, professional stays abroad, or international volunteer work.


A scholarship includes the following benefits:

  • a monthly living and research costs stipend of EUR1,350;
  • reimbursement of travel and accommodation costs incurred for courses and meetings of the study program or of field projects outside of Lutherstadt Wittenberg;
  • membership in the doctoral program;
  • provision of working space at the WCGE.

The standard funding term is three years whereby the scholarship is granted for the duration of one year at a time. Before the expiry of the funding period, the extension of the scholarship it is decided based on an annual report in which the doctoral students provide a summary of their research progress, their participation in the study program, and the field projects. If a doctoral student completes their dissertation ahead of schedule, the scholarship ends at the day at which the Ph.D. diploma is issued.

The scholarship holder may take up a secondary employment if it has a thematic or methodological relevance to their dissertation project, and the monthly work commitment does not exceed 40 hours. Furthermore, the earnings from the secondary employment or other income must not exceed 12,000 EUR gross per year.

How to apply?

In order to apply, please click here.

For further information on the program, please visit the official website.