Aims and tasks


The Graduate Academy of the University of Stuttgart (GRADUS) is intended to offer high-quality training for junior academics in cooperation with the faculties and existing institutions as a complementary service to the established structures for doctoral qualifications, thus guaranteeing and increasing the long-term attraction of the university for outstanding junior academics from both Germany and abroad. The main focus of the qualification concept is to support each doctoral student in their development into an independent researcher.

To achieve this aim, GRADUS sets minimum standards for doctoral students’ academic qualifications and creates a transparent formal administrative framework. GRADUS sees a particular challenge in the design of conditions for doctoral research that combine scope for excellence in research with a moderate level of structure with reliable integration into the scientific community.

GRADUS also acts as a central coordination and service institution for all doctoral students and all bodies of the University of Stuttgart that are involved in doctoral training. It encourages a cooperative, interdisciplinary and internationally oriented doctoral training culture and functions as an inter-faculty forum for academic exchange and ongoing training.


The key tasks of GRADUS include:

  • Operating a central service office for all doctoral students
  • Supporting the creation of Graduate Schools, Research Training Groups and other structured graduate programmes in all areas of academic activity
  • Supporting cooperation with non-university research institutions in implementing doctoral research projects
  • Advising the faculties in the creation, maintenance and further development of support structures for doctoral research projects outside structured doctoral programmes
  • Developing minimum standards for doctoral training and doctoral qualification at the University of Stuttgart in cooperation with the faculties and structured doctoral programmes
  • Designing and ensuring the long-term viability of an interdisciplinary qualification concept for doctoral students in cooperation with the faculties and structured doctoral programmes at the University of Stuttgart
  • Offering administrative support for the structured doctoral programmes

GRADUS is open to all doctoral students and to all forms of doctoral research throughout the university – from doctorates in existing structured programmes (Graduate Schools, DFG Research Training Groups, etc.) to individual doctoral research. The aim of GRADUS is to establish and maintain uniform standards for the conferral of doctoral degrees at the University of Stuttgart. However, GRADUS explicitly recognises and takes account of the variety of doctoral programmes and wide diversity of disciplines represented at the University of Stuttgart.
For individual doctoral research projects, participation in GRADUS is voluntary. The decision to participate in the programme is made by the individual doctoral student in coordination with their supervisor. If a doctoral student decides in coordination with their supervisor to participate in GRADUS, the GRADUS regulations apply to that particular doctoral research relationship.

vorStructure and organisation