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The aim of the doctoral program is to provide highly-motivated and qualified graduate students with a systematically developed research and study program leading to a qualified doctoral thesis in the field of path research. The program takes a problem-oriented approach and is designed specifically to guide young researchers through the process of developing an individual research program, and therefore it requires permanent residency in Berlin.

The curriculum follows the structure of a research project and lasts three years, in line with the funding period. Attendance is required, and the course sequence must be followed. The program is divided into a theoretical and a methodological part and is designed to meet the interdisciplinary expertise required by path research:

• The post-graduate program starts with courses reflecting state-of-the-art path research and discussing the methodological basis for path research designs.
• The second phase offers courses on data gathering, preparing students for their own field research.
• In the third phase, courses are focused on analyzing and interpreting the empirical data.
• Finally, the program ends with an international conference on “path dependence” where the doctoral theses are presented and the results discussed with other academic experts.

The study program assumes the autonomy and initiative of its participants and encourages their active involvement. It is planned to incorporate a variety of visiting scholars through lectures, teaching, and joint research projects.

One of the central aspects of academic work is the presentation and communication of results. Hence the program envisages the repeated presentation of individual projects so that all students are given the opportunity to develop their abilities during the program and are given continuous feedback.

Overview of the study program:  

Syllabus for the third cohort (Download in German)

Additionally, the doctoral students can choose other courses of the School of Business and Economics of Freie Universität, which can be facultative complements according to the individual preferences.