Doctoral programme admissions are exclusively the responsibility of each respective university. Nevertheless, ZEW provides advices to the participating universities in their selection process in order to ensure that a sufficient number of doctoral students with an empirical focus is enrolled, as well as to emphasize fields of research which are of special interest to ZEW.

Several factors determine whether doctoral students at universities affiliated with ZEW’s DocNet programme may carry out research at ZEW. These are: the academic specialisation of the student, the quality of the student’s research, as well as the availability of research positions at ZEW.

Doctoral students are encouraged to apply as early as possible for a research position in one of ZEW’s research units. Applicants should seek to apply by the end of their first year of studies, or, at the latest, at the beginning of their second year. Provided there is a sufficient number of positions available, applicants with a suitable profile will be invited to an interview. In the event of mutual interest on the part of ZEW and the student, an orientation period will follow to allow the student to become acquainted with the research activities and working environment at ZEW. In special cases, an orientation period may not be necessary. Normally, a decision will be reached by the end of the second year as to whether the doctoral student will be offered a full contract to work at ZEW. If the doctoral student accepts the employment offer, a binding contract will be signed. The scope of the work to be performed at ZEW largely depends on the workload associated with the doctoral programme.