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Graduate Institute

History of the Graduate Institute

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The Graduate Institute was founded at the H-BRS on 1 January 2010, the first of its kind at a university of applied sciences in NRW. The aim was to support doctoral students who are primarily engaged in academic work at the H-BRS in their doctoral projects and to ensure quality assurance with the help of qualification offers. The Graduate Institute officially began its work on 1 January 2011.

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2010-15: New structures

In the start-up phase, the underlying structures of the institute and numerous qualification measures were developed. In the following years, the focus was on the further development of the research culture at doctoral level at our university as well as cross-university networking via the Doctoral College NRW.


2016: Consolidation

In 2016, the GI of the H-BRS celebrated the completion of its founding phase after 5 years of business activity. Members of the university as well as guests and cooperation partners were able to learn about the diversity and quality of research at the H-BRS in the presence of Ministerial Councillor Dr. Dietmar Möhler from the Ministry of Innovation, Science and Research of the State of NRW. The president of the university, Prof. Dr. Hartmut Ihne, and MR Dr. Dietmar Möhler paid tribute to the visible success of the numerous young scientists involved as well as the impact on science policy that had resulted from the establishment of the Graduate Institute at the H-BRS.

Also in 2016, Rainer Herpers was elected spokesperson for the digitisation section at the GI NRW. He continues to chair the resulting department of "Informatics and Data Science" at the PK NRW as director. 


2020+: Pandemic, new scholarships and doctoral law

The anniversary year 2020 was marked by the Corona pandemic and in 2021, too, at least the Rheinbach doctoral students had to cope with severe setbacks due to the flood disaster. The Graduate Institute initially continued its qualification measures online, later hybrid offers were added. The awarding of doctoral scholarships could also be carried out hybrid. In 2021 and 2022, further funding instruments were added with the writing scholarship for the home stretch of the doctorate, the Corona scholarship and the flood water aid. 

The tenth anniversary celebration had to be somewhat smaller due to the pandemic and took place in autumn 2021 as a barbecue. In the anniversary year, we also accompanied the conversion of the Graduierteninstitut NRW into the Promotionskolleg NRW, which is expected soon to receive the right to confer doctoral degrees independently. 



The GI has achieved important milestones in its 10+ years of existence:

  • the establishment of committees and structures in the Institute
  • the development of a doctoral study programme on the basis of the Hochschulzukunftsgesetz NRW (North Rhine-Westphalia Law on the Future of Higher Education) 
  • the establishment of formats for scientific exchange as well as qualification modules for scientists and scholars
  • the establishment of platforms for the scientific exchange of supervisors
  • issuing doctoral scholarships and other funding instruments
  • support in the establishment of the Doctoral College NRW, in particular the Department of Computer Science and Data Science