Doctoral Studies

The Department for Innovation and Entrepreneurship Research invites outstanding and motivated junior researchers (m/f/d) to apply for doctoral studies in Economics and in Management. Students receive training in doctoral programs offered by the LMU Munich (Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität) and participate in research projects at the Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition where they have full access to data and other resources provided by the Institute.

Doctoral candidates benefit from being part of an excellent and inspiring international research team as well as from attractive resources and financial support. The Department provides an active research network offering doctoral candidates full access to high-quality research and teaching at the LMU.

Doctoral candidates are supervised by Prof. Dietmar Harhoff, Ph.D., and other leading researchers in Innovation Economics and Entrepreneurship.

We invite excellent students in Economics and Management, but also from Statistics, the Natural Sciences, Engineering, and other fields to apply for doctoral positions.

Why Doing Research at Our Department

The Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition offers doctoral students an inspiring research environment with excellent research resources, an international network as well as attractive financing.

Research Environment

We are a large and diverse group of scholars with around twenty researchers working on topics which are central to the analysis of innovation and entrepreneurship. The daily academic exchange within the group is also fostered by bi-annual research seminars, where all doctoral students and post-doctoral researchers discuss their recent work.

The Department of Innovation and Entrepreneurship Research is embedded in a strong international network. We regularly host visiting scholars from around the world for presentations or research stays.The Department also co-organizes the annual Munich Summer Institute. In this intellectually inspiring atmosphere, doctoral students experience frontier research from an early stage and learn to participate in the scientific community. Likewise, doctoral students are strongly encouraged to present their own work at national and international conferences as well as in internal seminars.

In Munich, there is furthermore a close-knit local innovation and entrepreneurship community. This includes regular academic exchanges with researchers from the LMU Munich, the TU Munich, and the ifo institute, as well as a joint research seminar.

Research Topics

The majority of the research projects consists of empirical studies, using econometric methods, field and laboratory experiments. Doctoral students need to have a strong quantitative background to master the employed methods.

Our fields of research are:


  • Intellectual Property Rights
  • Industrial Organization, Trade and Public Economics
  • Technology Change in Health and Pharmaceutical Markets
  • Labor Markets, especially Inventors/Scientists
  • Digitization and Digital Markets
  • Economics of Science


  • Entrepreneurial Finance
  • Entrepreneurship Education
  • Entrepreneurial Team Formation, Dynamics and Performance

Behavioral Foundations

  • Incentives for Creativity
  • Innovation Motives and Behavior
  • Inventor/Entrepreneur Characteristics and Personality
  • Behavioral Consequences of Technological Innovation

Research Resources

For empirical researchers, data availability is crucial for the success of a research career. The Department provides access to relevant databases in the areas of patents (e.g., PATSTAT, WIPO, USPTO), large-scale firm data (e.g., Bureau van Dijk ORBIS, Crunchbase), and scientific publishing data (e.g., Web of Science, Scopus, Microsoft Academic Graph). Researchers can also access specialized data in further areas such as health, pharma, or labor.

The Department runs the experimental research laboratory econlab in collaboration with the Max Planck Institute for Tax Law and Public Finance. This laboratory adheres to the highest international standards and allows on-site, internet as well as “lab in the field” experiments. The goal of econlab is to investigate human behavior in the context of economic decision-making. This also includes cutting-edge research at the interface of innovation processes and experimental economics, for instance innovation motives and incentives. Furthermore, the Department conducts surveys, field experiments, and randomized controlled trials (RCTs).

We further provide excellent office facilities and comprehensive IT infrastructure. Powerful computing resources are available to cope with large-scale statistical analyses.

Attractive Financing

The Department for Innovation and Entrepreneurship Research offers financial support for doctoral students for the full dissertation period of up to four years, contingent on the successful completion of the exams and sufficient progress in the first year. Doctoral students do not have teaching obligations.

Financial support for participating in conferences and for international research stays is available.

Doctoral Programs

The two doctoral programs are offered by the LMU Munich and taught in English. Concurrently and following the courses, doctoral students focus on their respective research projects and write their thesis at the Department.

Munich Graduate School of Economics (MGSE)

The MGSE program for doctoral candidates in Economics is offered by the Department of Economics at LMU Munich. It provides formal course-based training, through which students acquire the solid background necessary to complete their dissertation. Depending on the prior degree, the MGSE course program is equivalent to one or two semesters of lectures. During the doctorate, students have access to the full course program of the MGSE, which includes lectures, seminars as well as short workshops by international guest researchers.

Munich Graduate School of Economics (MGSE)

Master of Business Research (MBR)

The MBR for doctoral candidates in Management is a four-semester program offered by the Department of Business Administration at LMU Munich. It aims at providing students with a methodological basis for conducting management research. The program comprises five modules including mandatory courses and electives. As part of the program, students conduct a research project and prepare a distinct project study, which can be the basis for a first paper of a cumulative dissertation.

Master of Business Research (MBR)

Application Procedure and Requirements

We invite excellent students in Economics and Management, but also from Statistics, the Natural Sciences, Engineering, and other fields to apply for doctoral positions. Interested candidates for the Economics track apply through the graduate programs of the MGSE, and for the Management track, please apply to the Department directly using our online recruitment tool - only accessible during the recruitment periods.

For the MGSE program the online application period for the forthcoming academic year starting in October opens around 15 December of the previous year. The application deadline is 31 January 2023.

Application deadline for the MBR program is 5 February 2023.

For details on the application procedure and formal requirements, please check the homepage of the MGSE and the MBR. For the MBR track, the direct application to our institute should include a CV, university certificates and transcripts, one letter of recommendation (only sent by the referee directly to doctoralstudies.econ(at), and not uploaded via the online recruitment tool), as well as a brief letter of interest. Please also include a scientific writing sample, e.g., Master thesis or other paper that demonstrates your scientific writing skills. All materials must be submitted in English.

We are an equal opportunities employer, committed to promoting equality, diversity and fairness irrespective of age, disability, gender, marital status, race, religion or belief, sexual orientation or gender identity. We particularly support the professional development of women.

Placements and Doctoral Students

The Department for Innovation and Entrepreneurship Research and the predecessor chair of Prof. Dietmar Harhoff, Ph.D., at the LMU Munich have a strong placement record for their doctoral students and post-doctoral researchers in the academic job market, including several professorships. Other former researchers have started successful professional careers in the private and public sector.

The current doctoral students are open to answering questions of potential doctoral students.

Placement Record

The following list indicates the current affiliations of former doctoral students and post-doctoral fellows of the INNO-tec (Prof. Dietmar Harhoff’s former Institute at LMU Munich) and of the economics department at the Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition:

Dr. Stefano H. Baruffaldi (Politecnico di Milano, Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition)
Prof. Dr. Laura Bechthold (Technische Hochschule Ingolstadt)
Dr. Nadine Chochoiek (Munich Business School
Laurie Ciaramella, Ph.D. (Télécom Paris, Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition)
Prof. Dr. Nikolaus Franke (WU Vienna)
Dr. Fabian Gaessler (Universidad Pompeu Fabra, Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition)
Dr. Georg von Graevenitz (Senior Lecturer at Queen Mary University of London)
Prof. Dr. Marc Gruber (École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne)
Prof. Dr. Carolin Häußler (University of Passau)
Prof. Dr. Joachim Henkel (TU Munich)
Prof. Dr. Karin Hoisl (University of Mannheim, Copenhagen Business School, Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition)
Dr. Marco Kleine (University of Groningen, Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition)
Prof. Dr. Claudia Lieske (TH Ingolstadt)
Prof. Dr. Christian Lüthje (TU Hamburg)
Dr. Michael Mödl (KU Leuven)
Prof. Dr. Frank Müller-Langer (Bundeswehr University Munich, Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition)
Dr. Felix Poege (Bocconi University Milano)
Prof. Dr. Markus Reitzig (WU Vienna)
Laura Rosendahl Huber, Ph.D. (Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University, Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition)
Prof. Dr. Philipp Sandner (Frankfurt School of Finance and Management)
Dr. Roland A. Stürz (Think Tank bidt, Bayerisches Forschungsinstitut für Digitale Transformation)
Prof. Dr. Stefan Wagner (ESMT Berlin)
Lucy Xiaolu Wang, Ph.D. (University of Massachusetts Amherst)

Doctoral Students

Contact Us
If you have specific questions regarding the doctoral studies at our department, please do not hesitate to contact us: doctoralstudies.econ(at)