Social, Health and Economic Sciences (SGW)
SGW stands for a special research strength in social, health and economic siences. Since 2021, you can do your doctorate at this Doctoral Center without cooperating with a university. To this end, Merseburg University of Applied Sciences works closely with the Anhalt, Harz and Magdeburg-Stendal Universities of Applied Sciences.
Welcome to the Doctoral Center SGW
At the Doctoral Center Social, Health and Economic Sciences, early career researchers can obtain the following academic degrees:
Doctor of Philosophy (Dr. phil.)
Doctor of Economic and Social Sciences (Dr. rer. pol.)
With the award of the right to confer doctoral degrees, the extraordinary research strength of the Universities of Applied Sciences in Saxony-Anhalt has been recognized and honored. The Universities of Applied Sciences can now independently of classical universities lead scientists to doctoral degrees. The Doctoral Center combines the expertise of the Universities of Applied Sciences Merseburg, Anhalt, Harz and Magdeburg-Stendal.
33 professors of those Universities of Applied Sciences are members of the Doctoral Center, i.e. they fulfill the required quality criteria to supervise doctorates.
The Doctoral Center offers an individual doctoral path, i.e. you will write your doctoral thesis under the supervision of a professor. The Universities of Applied Sciences provide coaching and networking opportunities as well as non-subject specific qualification workshops like “Academic Writing in English” for free. Knowledge of the German language is necessary for many of those offers. The Center does not offer a structured doctoral program.
Excellent support at four universities of applied sciences
The distinctive interdisciplinarity and the broad expertise of the participating professors from the four universities of applied sciences Magdeburg-Stendal, Anhalt, Harz and Merseburg are the special strengths of the inter-university Doctoral Center SGW. For your doctorate, supervising professors from the three disciplines of social sciences, health sciences and economics stand by your side.
Three thematic fields for more research strength
The research work of the Doctoral Center SGW in the thematic field of social sciences focuses on the interrelationships of social conditions, social and political systems, and institutions, their structures and functions, as well as their interactions with individuals, their actions and behavior.
Doctoral studies in the field of health sciences focus on the study of health, disease and rehabilitation processes. Research questions are based on the principles of population and system orientation, social situation orientation, multidisciplinarity and application orientation.
The research of the Doctoral Center SGW in the field of economics deals with topics from the four main disciplines: Business Administration, Economics, Business Informatics and Industrial Engineering. Furthermore, research questions from the fields of business ethics, business history, business education, business psychology, business sociology and business law are addressed.
Complex questions of the future
The doctoral students of the Doctoral Center SGW aim to contribute to answering the increasingly complex questions in the field of tension between the individual and society. In the context of the doctorate, interdisciplinary research approaches as well as the regional and supra-regional transfer of research results are to play a particular role.
Directors of the SGW
Prof. Dr. habil. Gabriele Franke, Magdeburg-Stendal University of Applied Sciences
Prof. Dr. Dirk Sackmann, Merseburg University of Applied Sciences
Prof. Dr. Ulrike Starker, Harz University of Applied Sciences
Structure of the Doctoral Center SGW
The Doctoral Center Social, Health and Economic Sciences consists of four bodies/committees with different functions:Doctoral Committee, Center Management, Center's Council, Advisory Board
The doctoral committee decides on the formal procedural matters of doctoral studies at the center, e.g. it accepts doctoral students at the center, appoints their supervisor(s) as well as reviewers and appoints the doctoral panel.
Chairperson of the doctoral committee
- Prof. Gabriele Helga Franke
Further members of the doctoral committee
- Prof. Fabian Behrendt (Magdeburg-Stendal University of Applied Sciences)
- Prof. Sebastian Trojahn (Anhalt University of Applied Sciences)
- Prof. Heinz-Jürgen Voß (Merseburg University of Applied Sciences)
- Prof. Jens Weiß (Harz University of Applied Sciences)
Advising doctoral students
- Janine Jänisch
- Michael Stieber
- Deputy: Julius Brinken
The Directors manage the Center and implement decisions of the doctoral committee and of the Center's Council. This includes budget planning, public relations and reporting.
The Center Management consists of Director Prof. Gabriele Helga Franke, Deputy Director Prof. Dirk Sackmann and Deputy Director Prof. Ulrike Starker.
The Center's Council decides on fundamental matters such as the admission of new professorial members, amendments to the doctoral regulations and statute, and the quality assurance of doctoral procedures.
Members of the Center's Council
- Prof. Fabian Behrendt, Magdeburg-Stendal University of Applied Sciences
- Prof. Alena Bleicher, Harz University of Applied Sciences
- Prof. Gabriele Helga Franke, Magdeburg-Stendal University of Applied Sciences
- Prof. Dirk Sackmann, Merseburg University of Applied Sciences
- Prof. Ulrike Starker, Harz University of Applied Sciences
- Prof. Ansgar Wübker, Harz University of Applied Sciences
- Prof. Sebastian Trojahn, Anhalt University of Applied Sciences
- Doctoral student: Anja Jonas
- Deputy: Julius Brinken
- Equal Opportunity Officer of the Magdeburg-Stendal University of Applied Sciences
The Advisory Board acts in an advisory capacity. However, it has the right to veto decisions of fundamental importance made by the Center Management. It also decides on the Center's budget.
- The Vice Rectors for Research of the four Universities of Applied Sciences
(Prof. Dr. Doreen Pick, Merseburg University of Applied Sciences)
- The Center Director Prof. Gabriele Helga Franke (advisory)
- One member of the Center's Council (advisory)
- Doctoral student: Niels Schmidtke (advisory), Deputy: Alexandra Maierhofer
The process of doctoral studies at the Doctoral Center
Here you will find step-by-step instructions on how to complete a doctorate with us. If you have any questions, please do not hestitate to contact Sandra Dietzel (email@example.com). You can find all of the mentioned documents here.
Do you have an idea for a dissertation topic in the social sciences, health sciences or economics? Are you interested in doing a doctorate at a university of applied sciences in Saxony-Anhalt? Sandra Dietzel will gladly give you an individual consultation! You can also get advice on doctoral studies at the Doctoral Center at the other three cooperating universities: Anhalt University of Applied Sciences, Harz University of Applied Sciences, Magdeburg-Stendal University of Applied Sciences
Read the Doctoral Center's doctoral regulations. It forms the legal basis for the doctoral studies and describes, among other things, the rights and duties of doctoral students.
Search for a supervisor
Look for a supervisor among the professors of the Doctoral Center SGW who would like to supervise the topic. It is best to make an appointment with the potential supervisor to present the topic, the preliminary research question and the relevance.
Write an exposé that outlines your research project. If your supervisor does not specify otherwise, use the Exposé Handout as a guide. Revise your draft together with your supervisor. Also conclude a supervision agreement with your supervisor.
Fill in the Application for Acceptance and the Registration Form for the doctoral student statistics and enclose the supervision agreement, the exposé and the other required documents (see "Checklist" under Documents). The application including all required documents must be submitted both by post and digitally to the contact person at the university where your (first) supervisor is located. It is essential that the postal and digital versions match exactly (e.g. certified certificates and documents must also be scanned in). If the supervisor is located at Merseburg University of Applied Sciences, please send the documents to Sandra Dietzel (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Prorektorat für Forschung, Wissenstransfer und Existenzgründung
z.Hd. Sandra Dietzel (RZ/32)
If your first supervisor is at another university, please inform yourself here: Anhalt University of Applied Sciences, Harz University of Applied Sciences,Magdeburg-Stendal University of Applied Sciences
Examination of your documents
Your documents will be checked for completeness before the meeting of the Doctoral Committee in which your acceptance as a doctoral student will be decided. We will contact you if any documents are still needed.
Acceptance at the Doctoral Center
The Doctoral Committee decides on your acceptance as a doctoral student at the Doctoral Center. If necessary, you will be admitted with conditions which you should fulfill in the course of your doctoral studies. You will be informed about the decision by postal mailing.
After acceptance, you can enroll at the university where the first supervisor is located, if desired.
Writing your dissertation
You write your dissertation on the basis of the exposé. Basically, you have the choice to write a monograph or to write a cumulative dissertation. A monograph is a coherent scientific work (equivalent to a book). To write a cumulative dissertation means that you publish three closely related scientific papers in journals and write an introducing and concluding text for them ("Manteltext"). Consider with your supervisor which model is a better fit for your dissertation project.
On average,a doctorate takes four to five years to complete. After more than five years, the doctoral committee decides if you can continue with the doctorate. You may be enrolled for ten semesters; after that, the Enrollment Office will need a letter from the dissertation committee and your supervisor to continue enrollment.
Continue to meet regularly with your supervisor during this phase and report on your progress. Attend at least two seminars and events related to your doctorate (be aware that the seminars/events need to fulfil certain criteria to be accepted), and adhere to the principles of good scientific practice in your research and writing.
Initiate the doctoral process
When your dissertation is completed, submit an application to the doctoral committee together with your dissertation in printed and digital form to initiate the doctoral process. You can propose reviewers for your dissertation - one of the reviewing persons must be a member of the Doctoral Center and fit to your discipline. The other person will be external. Please note that your supervisor is not allowed to review your thesis. The Doctoral Center hereby follows a recommendation of the German Council of Science and Humanities to ensure the independence of the reviewers.
The doctoral committee decides whether to initiate the doctoral procedure. If the procedure is initiated, the committee appoints a doctoral panel for your doctoral procedure and appoints the reviewers of your thesis.
The reviewers then have eight weeks to assess your dissertation. If the assessments including a proposal for the evaluation are available, the appointed doctoral panel can inspect the thesis and the reviews for two weeks. After that, the doctoral committee decides on the acceptance of the dissertation on the basis of the expert opinions. In exceptional cases, you may need to make additions or changes to your dissertation before it can be accepted; the doctoral committee will then set a deadline for you to do so.
No later than three months after acceptance of the dissertation, you will defend it orally before the doctoral panel. In addition to other professors, your supervisor(s) and the reviewers sit in the committee. Before the defense (disputation) you will give a presentation of max. 30 minutes; afterwards you will be examined for 60-90 minutes. The content of the disputation is as follows: "The disputation discusses the content of the dissertation, includes the expert opinions and also covers related problems of the subject and adjacent areas of other subjects as well as the state of research in them" (Doctoral Regulations §17, para.7).
Directly after the disputation, the overall grade will be given (for dissertation and disputation). This is the end of the doctoral procedure.
Publication of the dissertation
You should publish your dissertation within two years after the disputation. For this purpose, you will have to implement any conditions imposed on you by the doctoral panel after the disputation. The chairperson of the doctoral committee approves the publication-ready version before publication.
Awarding the doctoral degree
As soon as the dissertation is published, you will receive your doctoral degree certificate. From that point on, you may use your doctoral degree. Congratulations!
Do you have an idea?
Do you have an idea for a dissertation topic in the fields of social sciences, health sciences or economics and are interested in a doctorate at a university of applied sciences in Saxony-Anhalt? Then read through the Doctoral Degree Regulations of the Doctoral Center SGW. Then look for a professor at the Doctoral Center SGW who would like to supervise the topic. It is best to make an appointment with the potential supervisor to present the topic and to win him/her over for your project. In the next step, you will conclude a doctoral agreement with your supervisor and submit the application for acceptance as a doctoral candidate with all the necessary documents to the doctoral committee. This also includes writing an exposé on the doctoral project. You can find the sessions of the Doctoral Committee as well as the required documents below.
The application including all required documents must be submitted both by post and digitally to the contact person at the university where your first supervisor is located. It is essential that the postal and digital versions match exactly (e.g. certified certificates and documents must also be scanned in). If the supervisor is located at Merseburg University of Applied Sciences, please send the documents to Sandra Dietzel (email@example.com).
Prorektorat für Forschung, Wissenstransfer und Existenzgründung
z.Hd. Sandra Dietzel (RZ/32)
If your first supervisor is at another university, please inform yourself here: Anhalt University of Applied Sciences, Harz University of Applied Sciences, Magdeburg-Stendal University of Applied Sciences
Sessions of the Doctoral Committee
The documents for applying as a doctoral candidate need to be handed in two weeks prior to the respective session of the Doctoral Committee. Please submit them to Sandra Dietzel (firstname.lastname@example.org)!
Supervising Professors at Merseburg University of Applied Sciences
Supervising Professors at Anhalt, Harz and Magdeburg-Stendal University of Applied Sciences
You can download the required documents here.
Guidelines of the doctoral committee
Application for Acceptance
Forms for Doctoral Students
This project is supported by the Center of Advanced Scientific Education.