Design and objectives

VHB-ProDok is our support programme for PhD students in business studies. It comprises up to 40 courses, which are conducted at regular intervals and thus facilitate long-term planning. The ProDok Faculty workgroup is responsible for the programme content in coordination with the VHB Board.   

Anyone who is interested can choose from two pillars on the course programme depending on the focus area and case-by-case needs:

  • Interdepartmental method courses that either mediate a wider overarching portfolio of research methods or focus on specific research methodology.
  • Department-specific courses that concentrate on content-related and/or methodological research issues in the six departments Accounting, Finance, Management, Marketing, Operations or Business Information Systems and Engineering.

VHB-ProDok is primarily designed to supplement doctoral education in business studies at the respective universities in a point-by-point and tailored manner. Furthermore, ProDok offers the possibility of taking a complete course programme where there is no doctoral programme in order to achieve the necessary qualifications/ECTS on the way to completing a successful doctorate. We thus offer the opportunity for someone who needs to acquire 30 LP/ECTS to achieve them via ProDok, for instance.

In principle, the courses do not have to be attended sequentially. Instead, the ProDok service forms useful groups of courses, which are designed to make it easier for doctoral students and their supervisors to choose from a broad course catalogue and can thus be regarded simultaneously as a recommendation for the heterogeneous developmental paths of doctoral students in our discipline. ProDok is basically open to anyone who is interested in our specialist discipline. The respective syllabi contain the content requirements for the individual courses.

The courses are designed for 15 to 20 participants and correspond to 6 LP/ECTS. 

We would like to achieve the following objectives for junior business researchers at universities with VHB-ProDok:

Excellence in doctoral education

With special courses in fields that are not particularly well represented at one’s own university – if at all – VHB-ProDok offers a complementary doctoral education at a high level, thereby plugging the gap between the sometimes very broad range at individual universities and universities that do not have such a sophisticated doctoral programme. 

Skills acquisition

With ProDok, VHB promotes skills and qualifications in business studies through the transfer of knowledge from established experts to junior researchers.

Nationwide equal opportunities and interdisciplinarity

As VHB-ProDok is open to all doctoral students in business studies and related disciplines across universities, it is not restricted to the individual circumstances and facilities of their respective universities. VHB-ProDok therefore offers all doctoral candidates a full education at a high level.

Quality in research and education

The selection of our lecturers by the ProDok Faculty guarantees that the courses are conducted by recognised experts from Germany and abroad. Moreover, all courses are evaluated by the participants.

Transparency and plannability of the degree

The VHB-ProDok programme is unparalleled in the German-speaking world and helps students shape a career in academia more transparently, more predictably – and thus more attractively.

International competitiveness and mobility

Only once the competitive ability and mobility of junior researchers within the German-speaking university landscape has been ensured can they be successful on the international stage. VHB-ProDok aims to support precisely this by supplementing and expanding on the specialist and methodical education of our doctoral candidates with courses at an internationally competitive level.


With VHB-ProDok, the Association is a pioneer and instigator. On the doctoral programme, like-minded people are brought together (increasingly not just from German-speaking countries, either) and, at the same time, put in touch with experts from the field.