Doctoral Program (PhD)

Doctoral Program (PhD)

Doctoral Program

As an integral part of KLU’s mission to educate future leaders in logistics, supply chain management and management, we are offering doctoral candidates a program that prepares them to evaluate and reflect the state of knowledge in their particular field of research. 

KLU’s PhD program is a unique program in training academics to be future thought leaders with a thorough understanding of one of the world’s most dynamic sectors. Digitization, new value-adding processes, and a need for increased sustainability along the triple bottom line have globally a major impact on corporations and society in general, and logistics and supply chain management in particular. We do this from the perspective of all logistics and management disciplines, and welcome applicants from very diverse backgrounds including (but not limited to) business (including finance, marketing), (industrial) engineering, and psychology.

The PhD program is a four-year program mainly consisting of independent research under supervision by two academic supervisors of KLU’s outstanding faculty, encompassing a wide scope of social science and business disciplines. Furthermore, some coursework is required, consisting of courses taken at KLU, courses taken at our partner universities and broader networks, and relevant skills training. The course program is tailored to the specific focal research area of the student. Upon successful completion, the student will obtain the (German) degree of Doctor in business, economics, and social sciences /Wirtschaftswissenschaften (Dr.rer.pol.) or the (international) degree of Doctor of Philosophy in management (PhD).


In accordance with international standards and practices, the program is laid-out for four years of doctoral studies. Course work that is encompasses the following categories: 

Course Category Content
Fundamentals (3 out of 3 courses)
  • Philosophy of Science and Ethics (5 ECTS)
  • Scholarly Writing (5 ECTS)
  • Quantitative Empirical Methods (5 ECTS)
Breadth Requirements (2 out of 3 courses)
  • Qualitative Research Methods (5 ECTS)
  • Modeling and Simulation (5 ECTS)
  • Experimental and Survey Research Methods (5 ECTS)
Depth Requirements A minimum of 15 ECTS in the field of the dissertation
Further course requirements
  • KLU Teaching Skills Seminar (1 ECTS)
  • Course work worth 4 ECTS (either teaching skills or depth requirement)

The courses are taught at KLU by its own faculty and complemented by internationally distinguished scholars. In addition, students will attend workshops or courses at other universities, such as one of our cooperation partners, Leuphana University Lüneburg. Furthermore, the doctoral candidate will be actively involved in research projects conducted by KLU’s faculty. The goal is to publish the results in highly-ranked academic journals. 

How to Apply

Admission Requirements

  • Completed or about to complete a Master degree (minimum overall grade of “good” – 2.0 or better for German degrees or an equivalent international grade) in business, economics, social sciences, or comparable studies from an accredited university with a good international reputation, and belonging to the best students of your class.
  • English language proficiency at a level that is equivalent to at least IELTS 6.5.
  • Support by at least one resident faculty member of the KLU.

Apart from entering information into our online tool you need to upload the following three sets of documents. You will be asked to upload those documents in the last section of your application.


  • Cover letter indicating the specific reasons why you should be admitted to the program and be selected for one of the Kuehne Foundation PhD Scholarships. This letter should also name specifically which of the resident faculty you are seeking to work with.
  • Full resume (CV) 
  • Two references (full contact details)
  • Evidence of your English proficiency (such as a TOEFL or IELTS test, or other evidence provided by your university)

Excellence portfolio

  • List of degrees obtained (Bachelor degree and Master degree) and quality indicators of the universities where you obtained these degrees. Quality indicators could include (but are not limited to): rankings (with URL to the published ranking), universities where your supervisor/advisor/teacher of key courses obtained their doctorate degree, or other quality indicators of your school or program. (Scanned copy of your degree certificate (undergraduate studies and graduate studies), scanned copy of your transcript of records / mark sheets (undergraduate studies and graduate studies)
  • Indicators of your excellence in the program
    • Excellence indicators could include (but are not limited to): full transcripts with grades and explanation of grading system, class rank, grade/rank of thesis.
  • Indicators of your individual excellence
    • Excellence indicators could include (but are not limited to): ranking in national university entrance exam, high school grades, GRE or GMAT results and ranking, admission to graduate programs of reputable research universities or business schools, competitive scholarships awarded, prestigious awards received.

Personal fit

  • Research statement (maximum two pages) in which you outline the research you would like to do, and with which faculty members there is most likely a good fit. Also explain how this research statement is linked to current or past research of resident faculty and the KLU. Feel free to get in touch with specific KLU faculty in advance of your final submission; however, please realize that faculty may not be responsive to all enquiries. If you have been in touch with a KLU faculty member, please mention this in your application file.
  • Document including a link to a video-file of yourself stating why you should be admitted to the program, and specifically why you expect you could be a future thought leader in your discipline (maximum 3 minutes).


You can apply to available positions. Please view our open positions. Should you want to apply initiatively please send your details to:


If you have any further questions, please contact us at