Pursuing a doctorate at IPU Berlin

Information on obtaining a doctoral degree at and with the IPU Berlin

For questions about the doctoral programs at IPU Berlin please contact us via Email.


Promoting up and coming scholars is one of the most important goals of the IPU Berlin. This includes the close supervision of doctoral programs dealing with a broad spectrum of psychoanalytic and psychoanalysis-related topics.

Our central areas of research are Psychotherapy Research (and its foundations), Transformative Research (analysis of cultural and social transformation processes), and Conceptual Research with a focus on the psychoanalytic subject and epistemology (further information on the research profile of the IPU can be found here). We encourage interdisciplinarity by connecting research to neighboring disciplines such as sociology, cultural studies, religious studies, philosophy, medicine and the neurosciences.

The IPU Doctoral Program Psychoanalysis in Discourse as well as the joint Graduate School with the Hans Kilian and Lotte Köhler Center (KKC) of the Ruhr University Bochum "Trauma and Collective Violence: Articulation, Negotiation and Recognition" (since January 2023) are available to support doctoral students. All supervised doctorates will be completed at other universities since the IPU currently does not yet have the right to independently award doctoral degrees.

View more details about Doctoral Programs

Interested in a doctorate? Find out more here:

The IPU offers supervision of individual doctorates that come with a graduate IPU Doctoral Program, as well as supervision of subject-focused Doctoral Programs. Currently, the IPU does not have an independent right to award doctoral degrees. Therefore, obtaining a doctorate is only possible in cooperation with a university that has the right to award the doctorate. For this purpose, the IPU has already established partners but candidates may also make arrangements independetly. In any case, the regulations of the university that awards the degree apply.

If you are planning on obtaining your doctorate on a topic of your own choice, please take note of the different research foci of our professors. This can be done through our homepage and our publications. If you find that your topic of choice is a good match, you are free to contact the professor(s) directly.

If and under which conditions supervision is possible is decided by each professor respectively. There are also job postings for research assistants. Here, you can obtain your doctorate in the context of a research project. The postings can be found on our homepage or on common career portals.

Through the IPU’s Doctoral Program Psychoanalysis in Discourse (see below), we organize events for doctoral candidates and cooperating institutions to facilitate exchange and further education. Events are based on the IPU’s research foci but also on Research Methods and Overarching Key Skills.

In the joint Graduate School with the Hans Kilian and Lotte Köhler Center (KKC) of the Ruhr University Bochum Trauma and Collective Violence: Articulation, Negotiation and Recognition, the focus is on the dialogue between psychoanalysis and cultural psychology as well as other (interdisciplinary) social and cultural science approaches.

There are no costs for a doctorate at the IPU as well as for the participation in the Doctoral Program Psychoanalysis in Discourse. There may be costs associated with registering at the University that will award the degree.

It is possible to get funding through the participation in a research project (third-party funding, in-house employment) but the IPU also frequently offers doctoral scholarships. You can find out more about the calls for application on our website and in our monthly Newsletter. Of course, it is also possible to apply for scholarships via the usual foundations (more information on this can be found here).

The supervision status is regulated through a supervision agreement between the doctoral candidate, the IPU supervisor and the supervisor of the university that awards the degree. The formal affiliation with the IPU is regulated through an employment contract with the IPU, a scholarship contract or a contract as a research fellow. With this formal affiliation, all resources of the IPU (library, facilities, IT, etc.) may be used.

The successful completion of a degree in a subject relevant to the doctoral degree is the prerequisite for admission. Since the IPU currently does not have an independent right to award doctoral degrees, the admission requirements of the university that will award the degree apply.

This is possible in principle, but must be reviewed by the doctoral supervision committee for each individual case. Please contact the doctoral supervision committee early on for clarification.

Feel free to contact the doctoral supervision committee of the IPU via email.


Information for Doctoral Candidates

Candidates must apply for the formal admission into a doctorate program at the degree-awarding university. Registration for the doctoral program at the IPU is done via CampusNet.

Do you already have an IPU Berlin CampusNet account (for example because of a position as a research assistant)? In this case, please contact admissions(at)ipu-berlin.de to register for the doctoral program with your pre-existing account. Once the Studies and Teaching Office activates your request, you will find the menu item “Application” in your CampusNet web portal. Please use this for registration.

You will need the following documents for registration:

  • Application for registration for a doctoral program at IPU Berlin
  • Declaration of the supervising IPU professor
  • Supervision agreement with IPU professor and professor of the degree-awarding university. Please use the template of the degree-awarding university, if available. Otherwise, you can find the IPU template here.
  • Notification of admission to the doctoral program at the degree-awarding university (may be submitted later). The application for admission to the doctoral program in accordance with the regulations of the degree-awarding university is submitted together with the supervising professor at the degree-awarding university. Where possible, please clarify this with your supervising IPU professor at the beginning of the doctorate and submit the application for admission to the university that awarding the degree.

The doctoral supervision committee will check the documents and confirm the registration at IPU via email

Within the Doctoral Program Psychoanalysis in Discourse, we organize events for doctoral candidates and cooperating institutions to promote exchange and further education. Events are based on the IPU’s research foci but also on research methods and overarching key skills. The Doctoral Program does not have a compulsory curriculum but aims to support the doctoral candidates individually, wherever the candidate or supervisor see a need. Attendance can be documented through ECTS credits.

Module 1: Doctoral Colloquia and Research-Related Exchange

The aim of the doctoral colloquia is to provide a forum for the exchange of information regarding specific doctoral projects as well as on more general topics regarding central research areas:

Doctoral Colloquium with research focus Psychotherapy Research
Contact: Prof. Dr. Lars Kuchinke and Prof. Dr. Dr. Dorothea Huber(appointments on request)
Doctoral Colloquium with research focus Transformative Research
Contact: Prof. Dr. Benigna Gerisch and Prof. Dr. Thomas Kühn (appointments on request)
Doctoral Colloquium with research focus Conceptual Research
Contact: Prof. Dr. Christine Kirchhoff (appointments on request)

Module 2: Research Methods


Workshop: Introduction to Linear Mixed Models with R and JAMOVI
Contact: Prof. Lars Kuchinke
Dates: 28.9. 10am to 2pm and 29.9. 10am to 2pm (please join on both dates)


Module 3: General Key Qualifications

All events will be held in the winter semester 2022/23

Workshop: Strategies for Open Science

Short description: First, we will talk about the history and relevance of Open Science to engage the topic. The main part of the workshop will consist of a discussion and presentation of the relevant tools and how they can be implemented in the publication/work process. The workshop language will be either English or German, depending on the number of participants. If you have specific questions regarding Open Science or the workshop itself, please feel free to contact me.

Lecturer: Marie Mückstein

Date: Friday, January 20, 2023 9am to 1pm (s.t.)

Registration via email: marie.mueckstein(at)ipu-berlin.de

If you are interested in participating, please contact the respective lecturer(s).

Doctoral students at IPU may apply for the following funding options:

  • Fellowships from the Foundation to Promote University Psychoanalysis
  • Open Science Publications
  • Travel expenses for staff members (by application to the Chancellor of the IPU
  • Email distribution list for doctoral candidates (join via email)
  • PhD Student Representation
  • Regulars’ table
  • PhD Day (“PhDay”)

The Academic Senate of the IPU Berlin has appointed a Doctoral Supervision Committee to supervise doctoral procedures at the IPU. It consists of at least three full-time university professors and one academic staff member with a doctorate. The Doctoral Supervision Committee coordinates the doctoral program and is available via e-mail for questions concerning the doctoral procedure at the IPU.