PhD Program

Vorsprung through courage, curiosity, enthusiasm - PhD students at Audi. Shape this Vorsprung with your spirit of exploration and your personality! We offer you freedom and possibilities to implement your ideas, a mentor concept and personal, individual support.

What you can expect

We at Audi are at your side as a reliable and practical application partner during your three-year PhD program. The job announcement describes the thematic framework of your doctorate in advance. Together with you and your academic supervisor, the topic will then be fleshed out. Awarding of your PhD will take place at the university. Your admission as a PhD student is, therefore, the sole responsibility of the university and is governed by the respective PhD regulations.

Internal PhD project

Internal PhD project

As an Audi employee with an employment contract limited to three years, you work on a research project that is relevant for Audi. In doing so, the subject of the dissertation as well as the associated research question is defined in close consultation with the respective university and professor. Internal PhD positions are announced on our job portal.

External PhD project

External PhD project

With an external PhD project, your employment contract is for a position at the respective university and is limited to three years, during which you work on a research project that is relevant for Audi. The specific content is based on the university’s research question and is defined in coordination with all project partners. You can find current research topics as well as information on the associated application process on the job portals of the universities.

Proactive applications are unfortunately not possible for organizational reasons.

Insights into the topics of our PhD students

Learn more about Miriam Wilmsen’s courage for pursuing her goals while expediting software technology for Audi. Cornelius currently is in the PhD program of Audi. He is enjoying the challenge for his favourite employer and himself to move Audi to the forefront of electric mobility.

Portrait Miriam

Miriam Wilmsen, 26, Innovation Strategy

"During my studies I already did an internship at Audi and recognized early what I would like to study in my doctorate."

Audi RS 7 Sportback: Fuel consumption, combined*: 11.6–11.5 l/100kmCO₂ emissions, combined*: 265–263 g/km

Audi RS 7 Sportback: Fuel consumption, combined*: 11.6–11.5 l/100kmCO₂ emissions, combined*: 265–263 g/km

More details

Seize opportunities and be brave!

Miriam Wilmsen, 26, Innovation Strategy

Anyone who talks to Miriam Wilmsen about her job at Audi will immediately notice how enthusiastic the 26-year-old is. In the doctoral program, she is currently working on her PhD in innovation management in cooperation with the Institute for Product Development at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology. She had previously studied mechanical engineering in Karlsruhe. Already in her bachelor thesis she worked with her current doctoral supervisor Professor Albert Albers on the subject of innovations. "Innovations shape the brand and play a fundamental role in Audi's future competitiveness. They are difficult to plan, especially in an early project phase, and are subject to a high degree of uncertainty." Miriam wants to change this and provides developers with useful processes and methods that provide them with the best possible support in their respective situation.

She got in touch with Audi early on: "During my studies I already did an internship at Audi and recognized early what I would like to study in my doctorate." When the time finally came, there was no officially advertised position and no official cooperation between Audi and her university. What to do? "Be brave, take chances and just ask", Miriam describes her approach. "Of course, there were a lot of interviews at the university and a job interview. Forms and the necessary bureaucracy were part of it, too, but I can only advise students to seize their opportunities and then proactively push everything forward. My experience is that most of the doors at the university and at Audi are open."

No wonder that she is grateful to Audi - and above all to her superiors and colleagues. "I ended up in a smaller area that is driving new software technologies and innovations for Audi. We are 150 colleagues here and we all know each other. This makes it much easier to work together and to network with each other. In addition, many colleagues know my PhD project and therefore simply show the will to help me if they can. I am perfectly supported by my superiors and also get any kind of help, resources or budget from them when I need it. I don’t take all of this for granted." What the native of Karlsruhe expects in the future is still uncertain. She is currently looking at "different options, but it is not yet ready to decide how to proceed after the doctorate."

Portrait Cornelius

Cornelius, 28, Doctoral candidate

"We live and work in exciting times. And it is especially exciting to experience those times so close to Audi. There are many challenges. The shift towards e-mobility is in full swing and other areas such as autonomous driving are on the rise."

More details

Help to shape the future

Cornelius, 28, Doctoral candidate

As a doctoral student at Audi, Cornelius is working on the future – his own future and Audi's. The 28-year-old is currently writing his dissertation in cooperation with the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg at Professor März's Chair of Power Electronics. The focus of his research is how the capacitance of a traction inverter’s dc-link capacitor can be designed as small as possible. For those who haven't understood a word: Cornelius works at the interface between battery and engine in electric vehicles. His work helps Audi to save costs, space and weight.

Cornelius is a former spokesman of the 120 doctoral students at Audi. In addition to the regular events and seminars that Audi offers especially for doctoral students – like seminars on rhetoric or conflict management – the group does a lot together. "We form a very interesting community. The interdisciplinary exchange is very valuable, but also the support around organizational questions is very good."

The doctoral programme is not the only reason to rejoice: "We live and work in exciting times. And it is especially exciting to experience those times so close to Audi. There are many challenges. The shift towards e-mobility is in full swing and other areas such as autonomous driving are on the rise." Cornelius raves and this is no coincidence. "I've always wanted to work for Audi. If you work for your favourite employer, your own motivation is even higher." No wonder he applied years ago to be able to write his master's thesis at Audi.

Even then, he dealt with his current field of topics. If the possibility arises, he would like to continue in Ingolstadt after his dissertation. "I would very much like to stay at Audi and help to shape the future here and develop concepts for it. Audi is a very open company with a great atmosphere. The cooperation is really great and from a technical point of view there are many big challenges. You can't wish for more."


  • University graduates with above-average academic achievements and interest in an industry-related doctorate
  • Experience in scientific work
  • Practical experience through internships or first professional experience (up to 1 year of professional experience)
  • Experience abroad through study and / or internship is desirable


What else you need to know...

Individual guidance and further educational opportunities

The Audi PhD Program offers you the chance of individual support and further education during your work while providing you with the opportunity to build up an exciting network.

Individual support and further education

Intermediate feedback meeting
During an intermediate feedback meeting, the first year of the PhD program will be discussed with you and both with the supervisor of the department and of the PhD program.
Orientation meeting

An orientation meeting will take place about 9 months before the end of the PhD program. The aim of this interview is to discuss your plans regarding a possible future with Audi.


Final meeting
At the end of the PhD program, the past three years and further procedures until the PhD degree are discussed.
Seminars and professional development opportunities
During the Audi PhD program, students have the opportunity to take part in various seminars on interdisciplinary professional development. It is also possible for you to attend relevant training measures on the initiative of your department.


PhD student network
The Audi PhD student network offers you the opportunity to network with other Audi PhD students and PhD students in the Group through various events and to exchange ideas. This allows you to benefit from the knowledge of other PhD students and gives you the opportunity to broaden your own horizons.
Get involved in the PhD student network
The network thrives on the initiative and involvement of each individual. You can actively participate at any time and put your interest in contributing to the program by, for example, taking on responsibility as a spokesperson for PhD students or by working in various project groups.
Technical discussions and fireside chats
During technical discussions and informal fireside chats with managers and experts from AUDI AG, you have an opportunity to think outside the box and network across departments.
PhD Student Day
Audi holds a PhD Student Day each year with the aim of networking and exchanging ideas throughout the company on a specialized basis. Representatives of the universities will also be our guests on this day, in order to strengthen the dialogue between science and industry and to share ideas each other.

Your application

If we have open internal doctoral projects, you can find them here.

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