Wittenberg Center for Global Ethics International Doctoral Programs 2019-22, Germany


February 17, 2019

Opportunity Cover Image - Wittenberg Center for Global Ethics International Doctoral Programs 2019-22, Germany

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 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.

Globalization, growing social inequality, digitalization, and climate change are only some of the big issues of our time. They come with urgent moral, social, and ecological challenges for which we have to develop feasible and sustainable solutions. This is where also companies and their decision makers need to become active. Companies are being ascribed increasingly more political, social, and moral responsibility. Entrepreneurial value creation should benefit people, society, and environment instead of harming them. This aspiration underlies initiatives such as the United Nations Global Compact, the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the National Action Plan on Business and Human Rights of the German government, the ILO labour standards. It is also reflected in a company’s commitment to Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). If companies and their decision makers assume this responsibility and gain and sustain sufficient trust of their employees and the society through their corporate management and leadership, they will get a stable mandate for added value.

In their dissertation projects and in the study program, the doctoral students address this topic on three different levels:

  • Ethics of Order
    What are the rules and regulation arrangements that promote economies for the benefit of the people? What are the conditions for the emergence of global transcultural orders?
  • Corporate Ethics
    How can collective actors assume and organize responsibility? What is the added value of such concepts as shared value and stakeholder management?
  • Leadership Ethics
    What defines good leadership? What is a point of orientation for good leadership? How can decision makers develop skills of ethical judgment, design, and reasoning?


The duration in the doctoral program is three years. Doctoral students should finish their dissertation projects within this time period. The students are supervised by one of the professors associated with the doctoral program. They also get the opportunity to exchange knowledge and ideas with all of the other professors, for example, at the research colloquia. The doctoral students are enrolled at the university of their supervising professor and receive their doctor´s degree from this university.

During their membership in the doctoral program, the doctoral students commit themselves primarily to their research and work on their dissertation projects. Furthermore, they actively participate in the study program and successfully carry out at least two field projects.

As the doctoral program is located at Lutherstadt Wittenberg, doctoral students must have their primary residence in Lutherstadt Wittenberg or its surrounding area (greater area of Berlin, Leipzig, Halle) during the first two years of their enrolment.


The study program examines the thematic focus of the doctoral program from different perspectives: from an economical as well as from a philosophical perspective; from a conceptual as well as an empirical perspective; from a theoretical-scientific as well as from a practical, application-oriented perspective. It gives the doctoral students the possibility to discuss questions about their research projects and about scientific work and publishing in general with experienced researchers. The program also gives them the opportunity to talk with representatives of internationally operating companies and of NGOS, and with politicians about concrete questions regarding good leadership and sustainable, responsible management. Finally, it supports the networking of the doctoral students with one another.

The teaching and working language of the study program is English. Most of the study program takes place at the WCGE in Lutherstadt Wittenberg. Some courses and meetings are also offered at the MLU Halle-Wittenberg and the HHL Leipzig Graduate School of Management.

The study program is mandatory. It consists of core courses, electives, jour fixe, research colloquia, and mini colloquia.

Doctoral Program Scholarships

The scholarship funding of the doctoral program aims to financially support the doctoral students so that they can concentrate on their research, the study program, and their field projects.



If you want to apply for admission to the doctoral program and for a scholarship, we will inform you about the application modalities below. We publically tender all open positions in the doctoral program as well as available scholarships


The Wittenberg Center for Global Ethics (WCGE) hosts the Doctoral Program “Ethics and Responsible Leadership in Business” (ERL). For admissions in October 2019, the program will award up to SIX DOCTORAL SCHOLARSHIPS. Four scholarships are financed by the Karl Schlecht Foundation (KSG), two by the Stiftung der Deutschen Wirtschaft (SDW). The scholarship includes a monthly stipend of 1,350 € and a membership in the doctoral program. The international doctoral program academically and financially supports doctoral students, who develop scientifically well-founded and practically relevant answers to questions arising in the research areas of economic, corporate, and leadership ethics. The doctoral program target highly qualified, socially engaged, and globally thinking, active young scholars and practitioners from all over the world. The application deadline is February 17, 2019.

Thematic Focus of the Program and the Scholarships Ethics of order, corporate ethics, and leadership ethics make up the research areas of the doctoral program. In particular, this program focusses on the framework for entrepreneurial value creation for the good of people, society, and the environment, on the responsibilities placed on companies and the social trust in companies and their decision makers, and on good leadership

Application An application comprises the following documents:

  • Letter of motivation (in English, max. 1000 words)
  • Personal data sheet/CV (in German or English)
  • Academic reference letter
  • Exposé of research idea (in German or English; max. 5000 words)
  • Copies of bachelor´s, master’s, magister and/or diploma certificates (or a provisional certificate) with all individual grades that are relevant for the examination and final grade
  • Internship and employment certificates (if applicable)
  • Certification / proof of voluntary work (if applicable)
For more information click "LINK TO ORIGINAL" below

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Eligible Countries
Host Country
Study Levels
Publish Date
December 04, 2018