Cooperative Doctoral or PhD-Programme

In this programme FHV – Vorarlberg University of Applied Sciences – offers support in PhD-Programmes of partner universities, including the University of Innsbruck and the University of Agder in Norway.

With the FHV Cooperative PhD-Programme, you benefit from cross-university and international cooperation between research and academic teams.

As a graduate of PhD studies, you are able to conduct theoretical and empirical research. The core competence of graduates is to write scientific papers that meet the international standards of peer-reviewed publications, to apply relevant research methods and theories, and to discuss findings from the relevant special fields and present them to an academic audience as well as to interested laypersons.

In general, a PhD-Programme qualifies students to work as scientists in scientific and research-related fields of work at universities and research institutions or in corresponding areas of responsibility in organizations and companies.

Key Facts

Doktor:in (Dr.) or Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), awarded by the respective partner university
Part-time study, 6 semesters (study period)
Language of instruction: English and/or German
Semester abroad optional (depending on the partner university)     
Co-supervision and/or courses offered at FHV
Free access to the laboratories and Campus
Admission deadline: by 15 March (summer semester) or by 15 October (winter semester)
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Who can participate in the Cooperative PhD-Programme at FHV?

The Cooperative PhD-Programme at FHV was originally designed for project staff and scientific employees of FHV’s research units. It also enables FHV employees (not only academic staff) to access a PhD-Programme in the course of their further education. It is also open to graduates of master's and diploma degree programmes for a fee.

Since 2020, access to FHV’s Cooperative PhD-Programme has been extended to PhD students from outside our FHV who wish to take advantage of on-site support in Vorarlberg – provided that their research topics can be covered by FHV staff in terms of content. This programme is particularly advantageous for working students who live or work in the vicinity of FHV. At present, the focus of possible support by our university is primarily in the area of technical studies.

What are the possibilities within the framework of the Cooperative PhD-Programme at FHV?

Co-supervision and infrastructure

At FHV, research and teaching are carried out by academic staff who have already been and are being approved by various universities for co-supervision of dissertations. Most of them work in the environment of one of our research centres.

Co-supervision on site at FHV is possible if your dissertation topic falls within the area of competence of one of our staff members. This means that you have an academic contact person on site with whom you can discuss the content of your research question and, if necessary, gain access to our entire infrastructure at FHV (laboratories, software, library, etc.).

Electives for the Cooperative PhD-Programme

The electives for the Cooperative PhD-Programme provide courses to develop the ability to conduct independent scientific work and research as well as to train and promote young scientists who already graduated at least with a master’s degree on their way to a doctorate.

The courses in this programme are intended to enable our students to carry out theoretical and empirical research and to support them in the analysis and development of research questions, research design and to publish nationally and internationally. The students become familiar with research methods used in their area of expertise and get ready to discuss, analyse and develop these methods critically. The actual creditable selection of courses must be coordinated with the partner university in the respective dissertation case.

What are the admission requirements?

The prerequisite for participation is a successfully completed diploma or master's degree programme that entitles you to pursue further PhD studies. As soon as you are enrolled in a PhD-Programme by a recognized university on the basis of your completed studies, it is possible in principle to take advantage of services from the FHV Cooperative PhD-Programme. In terms of content, the focus of possible support from FHV is primarily in the area of technical studies due to its personnel portfolio (see the spectrum of our research centres at
The academic director of the Cooperative PhD-Programme at FHV grants admission based on the following criteria:

  • the applicant can provide evidence of at least one supervisor at the university,
  • an exposé accepted by the supervisors at the partner university is available,
  • an agreement has been reached with the partner university on the courses to be taken at FHV,
  • in the case of co-supervision by FHV, the consent of the co-supervisor(s) has been obtained,
  • any confidentiality and usage rights have been clarified between the persons, universities and companies involved,
  • the education contract with FHV has been signed,
  • the FHV can organize the implementation of the agreed services according to the current state of knowledge (e.g., to be clarified if the minimum number of participants is not reached),
  • if the maximum number of participants is exceeded, the decision on acceptance will be made after consultation with the supervising research staff. If an increase in the number of participants is not possible, criteria such as research and innovation potential, relevance for strategic competence building at the university, relevance for strategic cooperation with the partner university, assessed probability of success, etc., will be used.

In individual cases, the criteria listed can be extended and adapted by means of additional requirements or agreements with the partner university. The required documents, information sheets and forms can be found on the website of the respective partner university. The admission deadlines of the respective partner university must be observed.

How much are the fees for the Cooperative PhD-Programme?

Within the framework of the Cooperative PhD-Programme, the student is entitled to make use of co-supervision at FHV or to attend selected courses, or to make use of co-supervision as well as to attend selected courses. The fees incurred for participation in the Cooperative PhD-Programme (pursuant to FHG §9) are based on the scope of the services used in each case. To get an idea of the possible orders of magnitude, a case study is mentioned here:

  • If, for example, you only complete creditable courses amounting to 12 ECTS for your PhD studies at FHV, the fees to be paid currently amount to EUR 6,980.
  • If you only use co-supervision for a period of three years (6 semesters), the fees charged amount to EUR 9,980.
  • For the total package (creditable courses amounting to 12 ECTS and a three-year co-supervision) you would be charged a total of EUR 15,980.

Subject to change - we will be happy to provide you with more detailed information for your individual requirements at the following contact address.

If you make use of services from the Cooperative PhD-Programme, you will – parallel to enrolment at your university – also be enrolled at FHV as an "extraordinary student" according to the Austrian University of Applied Sciences Act. This is also a prerequisite for proper access to our infrastructure (laboratories, IT infrastructure, library, etc.).

Please contact us!

Prof. (FH) Dr. Oskar Müller
Lecturer, Course organization

+43 5572 792 3008

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