A Joint Programme of Friedrich Schiller University and the Max Planck Institute of Economics, Jena

The DFG Research Training Group 1411 "The Economics of Innovative Change" is a distinguished PhD programme in Economics and has been jointly offered by the Department of Economics of the Friedrich Schiller University and the former Max Planck Institute of Economics, both in Jena, Germany. We offer a comprehensive PhD-level training to 40 outstanding young graduates. The programme is international and highly committed to quality in teaching and research. All academic activities of the PhD programme are conducted in English.

The programme

The PhD group hosts doctoral candidates from the Max Planck Institute of Economics and from the Friedrich Schiller University. Additionally, highly competitive scholarships sponsored by the German Research Foundation (DFG) are awarded to 12 selected PhD candidates. The PhD students are expected to complete their PhD projects within 3 years. The first year is devoted to improving the theoretical knowledge and competences, while the second and the third year concentrate on the dissertation-related research. The programme offers a 2-week summer school each year, and for the second or third year a research-stay at a partner university abroad for about three months. The programme serves as a platform for collaboration, as a facilitator of joint scientific activities, and as a forum for knowledge exchange. It also provides senior expertise for junior research training in all necessary areas of competence: thematic, methodological, and transferable skills such as networking, scientific management, time management, and career planning.

Research Topics

Allowing for a broad concept of "innovation" we address a wide range of topics: industrial dynamics; entrepreneurship; innovation decisions and behaviour; competition, cooperation and strategic interaction in innovation; innovation in the development of consumption and consumer behaviour; human capital, skills and employment; innovation and regional development; innovation and economic dynamics of developing countries; energy, environment and innovation; innovation policy, and innovation management. The analytical approaches we pursue range from theoretical and empirical modeling, game theory, simulation analysis to experimental economics.


Through methodological and theoretical courses the programme deepens the capabilities of our PhD students to conduct a world-class research in economics. The courses are proposed both by the faculty and by the PhD students. Here you find an overview of our current and past courses.


Wednesdays are seminar days. Our PhD students are welcome to invite distinguished scholars from all over the world to present their current work and discuss it with the group. At least once a year the PhD students present their own dissertation progress. Their work is then discussed and refereed by peers and senior researchers. Please visit our calender with external-guest seminars and PhD-student seminars.

Research environment

The PhD group shares the capabilities, the resources, and the facilities of the University in Jena and the Max Planck Institute of Economics. Additionally it is integrated in an environment of related graduate programmes in social sciences. The Graduate Academy is further dedicated to supporting PhD students with additional advice, courses, and financial aid.


You are not the first historically important person who decided for the educational excellence of the 450-year old University of Jena. Philosophers such as Shelling, Hegel, Schopenhauer, and Friedrich Schiller, mathematicians such as Leibniz and Frege, and physicists such as Ernst Abbe studied and worked in Jena.

Today Jena is a lively city with a strong presence of students and researchers. Besides the University, Jena hosts 3 Max Planck Institutes, a Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Optics and Precision Engineering, a Leibniz Institute for Age Research, and a University of Applied Sciences. The historical presence of companies such as Carl Zeiß and SCHOTT make Jena a world center of optics research. Check what Jena can offer for you today.


9th Jena Summer Academy on Innovation and Uncertainty

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Members of the GK EIC participated and contributed to the TEDxJena More information and videos:

Uwe Cantner and Silke Übelmesser are providing doctoral courses for the CGDE in the upcoming winter term

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The 8th Summer Academy on Innovation and Uncertainty starts on Sunday with an Opening Lecture by Jennifer Arlen (New York University)

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Work-Related Demands Originating from Social Change and Life Satisfaction

In their new paper, in "Social Indicators Research", Uwe Cantner and colleagues, based on the concept that individuals have a rather stable trait-like level of subjective well-being from which they may vary when confronted with changes of the external ecologyanalyzed the relationship between the reported load of demands and subjective well-being assessed as general life satisfaction and average satisfaction in domains of life (i.e., family, work, finances, and leisure). Read more

Regional characteristics, opportunity perception and entrepreneurial activities

In their new paper, in "Small Business Economics", Uwe Cantner and colleagues seek to better understand the link between regional characteristics and individual entrepreneurship. Their findings point to the importance of an indirect effect of regional characteristics as knowledge creation, the economic context and an entrepreneurial culture have an effect on the individual perception of founding opportunities, which in turn predicted start-up intentions and activity. Read more

Universities open up possibilities: Uwe Cantner explains why invenstments in universities matter:

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Its all about visions: Uwe Cantner recently answered five questions to the Handelsblatt:

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We are happy to announce that Dr Alexia Gaudeul joined our team of Post-Docs.

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International research networks in pharmaceuticals: Structure and dynamics

In their new paper, in "Research Policy", Uwe Cantner and Bastian Rake find that accumulative advantages based on connectedness and multi-connectivity are positively related to changes in the countries’ collaboration intensity whereas various indicators on similarity between countries do not allow for unambiguous conclusions. Read more

Occupations at risk: job tasks, job security, and wages

In her new paper, in "Industrial and Corporate Change", Ljubica Nedelkoska investigates the determinants of occupational change. Read more

Junior Best Paper Award for Josefine Diekhof

With her paper 'Do Entrants Enhance Incumbents’ R&D Activity? - Escaping the Lock-In, Spurring the Technological Change and the Transition to Sustainability within the Automotive Industry', Josefine Diekhof won the prize for the best junior paper on the Belfort Summer School "Innovation and Research Policies for a Sustainable Transition" in Belfort-France, 28th-31st August 2013.

Best Paper Presentation Award for Fernanda Puppato

Fernanda Puppato won the prize for the best paper presentation at the 2013 Ingenio PhD Days at Valencia University, IT. Conference in Cambridge, UK.

New Insights Into Optimal Control of Nonlinear Dynamic Econometric Models: Application of a Heuristic Approach

In their new paper, forthcoming in the "Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control", Ivan Savin and Dmitri and Viktoria Blueschke investigate some flexible optimization methods for nonlinear dynamic econometric models. Read more

Russia's Comparative Advantages in Foreign Trade

In his recent book, Dr. Ivan Savin aims at identifying factors which stimulate regional growth and international competitiveness and using them for forecasting. Departing from the theory of comparative advantages and their impact, the author demonstrates that such an approach has to be based on a sound theoretical foundation and on appropriate, advanced econometric methods. He proposes the use of heuristic optimization techniques, Monte Carlo simulation experiments and Lasso-type estimators to avoid bias or misleading findings, which might be the result of applying standard regression methods when key assumptions are not satisfied. In addition, the author demonstrates how some heuristic optimization-based methods can be used to obtain forecasts of industrial production in Russia and Germany founded on past observations and some leading indicators. Read more

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