The Ruhr Graduate School of Economics (RGS Econ) is a center for research and higher education in economics. Combining the expertise of three economics departments of the University Alliance Ruhr and one of Germany's leading economic research institutes (RWI) allows the RGS Econ to cover almost all areas of economics. Core competencies in microeconomics, macroeconomics, and econometrics are organized in RGS Econ's three research clusters, comprising more than 35 senior researchers. Additionally, RGS Econ closely cooperates with participating institutions' other, often policy oriented research groups in diverse fields such as labor, health, energy, and resource economics. During their studies, doctoral students become members of one or more of these research teams.
RGS Econ was founded in 2004. It is based on the competencies developed and experiences gained in the German Research Council (DFG) Graduate Programme "Allocation theory, competition policy, and collective decisions", which started in 1996 as a cooperation of TU Dortmund, Ruhr-University Bochum and RWI. From the beginning, RGS Econ and its predecessor were conceived to place theoretical and empirical analyses on an equal footing and to productively combine them in policy analysis. With the establishment of RGS Econ, the collaboration with RWI has been strengthened and the University of Duisburg-Essen joined the alliance as a new partner. The doctoral program has from the start placed emphasis on a collaborative research and learning environment and a comprehensive education in economics at the doctoral level.
The explicit combination of research and higher education in Economics, both complying with the highest international standard of excellence, is the core objective of the RGS Econ. This goal entails a transmission and advancement of sophisticated research methods and their application to real world problems in Economics. The structure of the doctoral program - including its curriculum, infrastructure, close supervision and guidance- is geared to allow outstanding and research-oriented students to pass their exams and finish their thesis within three years. The quality of the program and of its students' dissertations and research contributions allow graduates to obtain distinguished positions in academia as well as public and private institutions. In order to attract students based solely on merit and ability, RGS Econ charges no tuition fees and provides scholarships or other forms of financial assistance to all of its students.