On 1.1.2010, a Graduate Institute was founded for the first time at a University of Applied Sciences in NRW to support doctoral students who are primarily academically active at the H-BRS in their doctoral projects and to ensure quality assurance with the help of qualification programmes. The Graduate Institute officially started its work on 1.1.2011.
During the start-up phase, the necessary, completely new structures and numerous qualification measures were developed. In recent years, the focus has finally been on the further development of the research culture at doctoral level at our university and cross-university networking via the NRW Graduate Institute. Currently, more than 100 doctoral students are being supervised at H-BRS, and 31 doctorates have already been successfully completed in cooperation with partner universities that award the highest academic degree.
Since June 1, 2011, the founding director, Prof. Dr.-Ing. Rainer Herpers, has been heading the institute and has been supported by the managing director, Dr. Rita Cornely, since 2012. Dr. Barbara Hillen joined the team in 2017 as scientific advisor, Bitgit Jendrock in 2019.
The jubilee year 2020 is characterized by ongoing qualification measures, the preparations for the ten-year anniversary and the corona pandemic, which is why attendance events will probably not take place again until autumn. The anniversary year will also see the conversion of the Graduate Institute NRW  into a Doctoral College NRW, which will soon be granted an independent right to award doctorates .
On the way there, the GI of the H-BRS celebrated the completion of the founding phase of the Graduate Institute as early as 2016 on the occasion of its 5-year anniversary. Since the foundation phase of the department 70 doctoral students have been graduated in all faculties that run their doctoral projects predominantly at this university. During this time 9 scholars have successfully completed their PhD.
The following milestones have been achieved since 2010:
- Development of a doctoral study programme based on the law on the future of universities in NRW (Hochschulzukunftsgesetz NRW),
- Development of places for academic exchange.
- Installation of committees and organizational structures
- Awarding of doctoral scholarships
- Cooperation with the Graduate Department NRW