Opportunities at the HFT Stuttgart

The state law on higher education enables universities of applied sciences (HAWen) to conduct a cooperative process for doctoral degrees. In this procedure a professor of HAW, as well as a university professor in Germany or abroad, is responsible for supervision and examination.

There are different possibilities:

When you want to doctorate individually you choose your own topic. You look for a supervisor at the HFT Stuttgart who is suitable for your topic. In addition, you choose a supervisor at a university. The supervisors at the HFT can help you with your search. Your doctorate will also be financed individually, for example by a personal scholarship.

Third-party funds are often raised for research projects. Research coworkers are hired for the projects to work on a defined task. These are very often phrased in a way that, in addition to the pure project results, a doctorate with the topic is made possible. They are therefore hired for a defined task, have funding for the duration of the project and in addition are able to do a doctorate on the topic.

The HFT cooperates with many industrial partners, in teaching as well as in research and transfer. Often precise questions are proposed by industrial partners, but they have to be worked on in the companies on site, e.g. because the data stock may not leave the house. You will be given a concrete task, defined by the company. You will be supervised by a professor at the HFT Stuttgart and a supervisor at a university.

The cooperative doctoral colleges affiliated to the HFT Stuttgart are financed by third-party funds. This means that the doctoral students admitted to the college receive a scholarship from the third-party funding bodies. The research collegia themselves are applied for by a partner network on a common, interdisciplinary topic and usually have a defined duration. 
Scholarships are usually advertised and awarded at the beginning of the term if possible.

The advantages of a doctoral college for doctoral students:

  • The partner institutions work together, the supervisors of the HFT and the universities are together in the college, general conditions are clarified
  • interdisciplinary cooperation of the doctoral students in the college
  • also offers non-specialist further education
  • financial security through a private scholarship



All PhD students at HAWen Baden-Württemberg can participate free of charge in the continuing education events of the Baden-Württemberg Centre of Applied Research (BW-CAR). Several times a year, invitations are issued to specialist colloquia and interdisciplinary qualification courses, usually combined on one day. The venue is usually Stuttgart.

Doctoral students whose supervisor is a member of BW-CAR can also join the BW-CAR-Kolleg. This ensures a binding contract for supervision, professional networking across all HAWen in Baden-Württemberg and the promotion of key qualifications. An insight into the offer can be found on the BW-CAR homepage.

The main research areas and associated professors can also be found on the BW-CAR homepage.

Reasons for a cooperative doctorate at the HFT
  • Application-oriented, interdisciplinary research
  • Leading in BW, Germany and internationally
  • Direct and intensive contact with the supervisors
  • Contact to project partners, often regional companies
  • Additional expertise through university contact
Your way to a doctoral degree

That's what our PhD's say:

Cooperative doctoral colleges

With cooperative doctoral colleges, the HFT Stuttgart offers the opportunity to participate in a further qualifying teaching programme in addition to work on your own doctoral project. A regular exchange is encouraged among the doctoral students in the college, whereby the organisation and setting of priorities is the responsibility of the members themselves. The aim is to offer high-quality support to excellent graduates from various types of universities. The doctoral collegia provide a thematic framework for the nevertheless very interdisciplinary research projects.

All PhD students at HAWen in Baden-Württemberg are also offered a further qualifying teaching programm through BW-CAR.


Windrad-Modelle stehen auf einem Tisch

Windy Cities


The interdisciplinary approach in the doctoral college Windy Cities includes projects on the following topics:

  • Simulation and visualization
  • Development of new energy storage technologies
  • Testing of prototypes in urban small wind turbines
  • Intelligent load management
  • Duration: Since 2016


Joint doctoral college of

  • HFT Stuttgart
  • Stuttgart University
  • University of Esslingen


Further information is available at www.windycities.de

Former cooperative doctoral colleges

Studierende sitzen im Innenhof bei Sonnenschein zusammen



The project "Energy Systems and Resource Efficiency - ENRES" focused on the integrated consideration of energy systems and resource efficiency - both in technical and socio-economic terms.

  • Duration 2016-2019


Joint doctoral college of

  • Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT)
  • Pforzheim University
Bibliothek der HFT Stuttgart



CI-NERGY is the name of the EU project in which eleven young researchers are given the opportunity to qualify for a doctorate in the field of "Smart City" research.

  • Duration 2013-2017

Projekt partners

EIFER European Institute for Energy Research EDF-KIT EWIV, Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne, Integrated Environmental Solutions Limited, The University Of Nottingham, Politecnico Di Torino, Siemens AG, University College Dublin, National University Of Ireland, Wien Energie GmbH, Austrian Institute of Technology GmbH, City of Vienna, Canton of Geneva, Technische Universität Wien

Frequently asked questions

Students or research coworker intending to do a doctorate should contact a professor in the field of their particular interest directly. A possible doctorate will then be coordinated directly.

The preceding Master's degree (or diploma) is generally needed.

The doctoral project must be approved by the doctoral committee of the faculty of the supervising university professor. Therefore, the requirements for the doctorate are individually dependent on the choice of the supervising person.

The doctoral students decide on the topic together with their supervisors. Finally, the doctoral project must be accepted by the doctoral committee of the supervising university professor's faculty. Therefore, the requirements for the doctorate are individually dependent on the choice of the supervising persons.

This depends strongly on the individual circumstances. On average, one should assume about four years.

At the HFT Stuttgart, professors work on a wide range of research projects. They are supported by young scientists, who often strive for a doctorate. These employees are usually paid via project funding and therefore also work specifically on a research project. Another possibility for financing is through personal funding via scholarships or industrial doctorates. In the latter case, the doctoral students are employed by a company, but are supervised by the HFT.

BW-CAR stands for Baden-Württemberg Centre of Applied Research. It is a supra-regional network for professors of HAWen who are strong in research. The aim is to network thematically in research areas to generate synergies for high-level research.