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Structure of the structured graduate program

Scholars will be enrolled in a structured doctoral program. Participants are provided with an excellent training in research methods, an individual coaching by faculty members and access to external partners. Scholars will be integrated quickly into the scientific community, e.g. by means of conference participations. In addition, in-depth exchange between scholars will be facilitated through recurring research seminars at HHU.

The doctoral program consists of a two track program, following the so called Y-Model. After completing basic research training, scholars can choose between a scientific or a practical track. The scientific track is targeted towards scholars pursuing an academic career whereas the practical track is rather focused on careers in entrepreneurship outside of academia.

In the first year, miscellaneous courses on research methodologies offer the required knowledge to start a doctorate. The topic of the dissertation will be specified and a target agreement including explicit milestones, especially for the first two years, will be set up in conjunction with faculty members. The scholars are expected to write three research papers relating to one main topic. Co-authoring with other researchers is encouraged. During the first year, the participation in a practically oriented event, like the Start-up Weekend in Duesseldorf, is mandatory.
Scholars have to decide whether they want to follow the scientific or the practical track within the first year of the program. Within the second year of the scientific track, the participants then undertake a three-month research stay abroad at one of the cooperation partners. Scholars will be able to push forward their research projects and to build important relationships within the international scientific network. The practical track rather focuses on the development of work experience within entrepreneurial companies. Therefore, the participants have to undertake a three-month internship in a young growing company located in a foreign start-up-hub. The second year of the course program prepares the scholars for the attendance at conferences and the scientific publication process.
After a successful interim evaluation at the end of the second year, it is possible to submit an application for an extension of the scholarship for another twelve months.  The third year is characterized by the completion of the doctoral research projects. Furthermore, scholars will be increasingly involved in research transfer activities. They will present their findings at scientific conferences and events with a practical focus. Moreover, they are asked to promote their findings to potential entrepreneurs in lectures at HHU. In addition, scholars develop case studies about reallife cases of entrepreneurial companies located in and around Duesseldorf to exemplify their key findings within a specific context.

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