MBA Fundamentals Program

For doctoral researchers of natural sciences and engineering.
project management

Base for Industry Entry and Further Academic Progress

This tailor-made MBA Fundamentals Program is especially designed for doctoral researchers of natural sciences and engineering: While still working towards their thesis it equips them with the ability to connect their current research with advanced management expertise to face todays challenges. Furthermore, it forms a strong base for industry entry and further academic progress.

Scientific Methods

Go above and beyond the normal graduate programs with the MBA Fundamentals Program. For a successful start in life in industry, many employers are searching for candidates with management expertise. Through the MBA Fundamentals Program, doctoral and post-doctoral researchers benefit from knowledge on management topics at an early stage of their career, conveyed in scientific methods that are easily accessible to engineers and natural scientists. Participants acquire additional management qualification, thereby fostering further career options.  

Research-Oriented, Non-Consecutive Approach

In seven units, the MBA Fundamentals Program follows a research-oriented, non-consecutive approach regarding, e.g., human resource management, project and operations management. The completion of the MBA Fundamentals Program is worth 18 credit points (in the European Credit Transfer System, ECTS). These credit points are recognized in international MBA Programs.
Participants have the freedom to choose the order of units individually. Available for selection are six out of the seven units. The program can be completed during the doctoral research project or parallel to your job. After the successful completion of all units, the MBA Fundamentals Certificate is awarded by the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT).

Download the MBA Fundamentals flyer to learn more

Key Facts

  • For doctoral researchers and post-doctoral researchers
  • Dedicated to engineers, and natural scientists
  • Language of instruction is English
  • Six out of seven units, each five days (Total: 30 days with 18 ECTS points)
  • No application deadline, individual start possible
  • Completion during doctoral research or partly on the job
  • Cost per unit: 2,100 EUR (Costs are covered for members of one of our cooperation graduates schools, the HEiKA Graduate School “Functional Materials”, the Karlsruhe School of Optics & Photonics (KSOP), and the Hector Fellow Academy.)


  • Management experience
  • Interdisciplinary networking
  • Perfect stepping stone for outside academia

Application Process

Please contact us first via the inquiry form or your direct contact person at one of the partner universities.
After that, fill out an application form for the subsequent binding registration and send it back to us together with your curriculum vitae and the acceptance at faculty/supervision agreement.

Insights into the Units

Unveil the secrets of Operations Management in order to understand the challenges companies are facing nowadays i.e. in the context of Supply Chain Management.

Hit the ground running with additional knowledge gained in Finance and Accounting, and Entrepreneurship: Both corporations and academic institutions expect their leaders to have a clear understanding of corporate metrics,  accounting practices, financing and ethical issues. Enhance your ability to communicate with the different departments and understand requirements set out by them for your work.

Prepare for your future career and become a strategic analyst. Marketing is key in all business areas and of growing importance in academia. It is necessary to learn relevant aspects and strategies in the field of marketing as even good products can fail if introduced improperly into the market. Learn how decisions are made in general and how you can make  the right decisions in any given situation.

You can use the methods of Human Resource Management and Leadership with your Bachelor and Master students as well as technicians you supervise. Applying the new tools will help you in your daily work: build and guide your team and get results on time. Learn more about Human Resource Management and gain the required skills for your Postdoctoral leadership career.

Define your own research work using supporting project management tools. You will learn how to determine time and resource constraints to proceed in the most efficient manner possible. This will help you to maintain a peace of mind while doing your research work and delivering your output on time.

Discover the hidden potential of Digital Transformation either within your own spin-off or as part of a company´s digital transformation. Understanding the principles and techniques in Data Analytics will give you an edge in making better decisions as a leader either in academia or industry.

Have a great research topic? Learn about the basic pillars of successful start-ups. Spin out your own technology based company and learn how to let it grow, protect your ideas and start your personal journey into business opportunities.

Participant Tanja Schmitt

„The MBA Fundamental Program is a great opportunity to gain important basic knowledge about management. This means a huge advantage for future job hunting, especially in industry. The MBA Fundamental Program is such that one can tailor the program to his/her individual interests since there are not only mandatory but also elective and optional courses. The program is very diversely designed as it consists of different modules which are a mixture of lectures, group work as well as case studies and presentations.”

Tanja Schmitt, Physical-Chemical Institute at the Ruprecht-Karls-University Heidelberg

Participant Voice Ho Hoai Duc

"The MBA program made me a more rounded person. I learned a great overview of the business world and gained more confidence."

Ho Hoai Duc Nguyen, Valeo

Participant Voice Oliver

"The MBA Fundamentals Program is an excellent complement to the mostly technical experiences gathered as a PhD student. It became an unexpected door opener for my career. I would strongly recommend it to anyone who contemplates a career outside academia."

Oliver Kahl, Investment and Portfolio Manager, Fluxunit GmbH - OSRAM Ventures

Participant Voice Radwanul

"Participation in MBA Fundamentals Program changed my viewpoint of research as it assisted me not only to realize how important it is to bring a lab research into existence (corporate market) but also how to pursue that path."

Radwanul Siddique, Postdoc, Caltech

Units 2023*

Units Dates
Mandatory for certificate  
Operations May 22 - May 26, 2023 
Values *** This unit always takes place online.
Markets September 18 - 22, 2023
People Management Accounting: 
April 26 - 27, 2023

Human Resource Management:
May 2, 8 + 9, 2023
Information & Data Analytics March 20 - 24, 2023


Projects June 19 - June 23, 2023
*** This unit always takes place online.
Intercultural Training** tba

*Dates can be subject to change.
**Optional (The Intercultural Training doesn't grant credits, but participation is strongly advised when completing the full program.)

Sabrina Wunderlich FotoHECTOR School, KIT
Ask Me

Ms. Sabrina Wunderlich
Operations Manager

mba-fundamentals does-not-exist.hectorschool kit edu

+49 721-608-47686