About LEAD

More than 130 researchers from six research fields are part of the LEAD Graduate School & Research Network. LEAD features an integrated interdisciplinary research and training program for doctoral students and postdocs on Learning, Educational Achievement, and Life Course Development. Funded within the framework of the Excellence Initiative via the German Research Foundation (DFG) it is the only Graduate School that exclusively focuses on education.


Our mission is to achieve cutting-edge research in an interdisciplinary context, to contribute to the evidence-based approach in educational policy by securing empirical data on "what works" in education, to train highly qualified experts for research and practice, and to find answers to some of the most challenging questions in education.




Within LEAD, researchers from six core research fields collaborate:


  • Educational Science
  • Cognitive, Social, and Motivational Psychology
  • Neuroscience and Informatics
  • Clinical and Personality Psychology
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Sociology and Economics


For their fruitful interdisciplinary work, five LEAD Intersections were defined (see illustration). They form the essential structure for the transdisciplinary approach of the research work.



Young scientists in LEAD benefit from the vast international network of all scientists involved and from the open-minded, respectful atmosphere. Measures to experience various thinking and working environments include lab visits in different countries, expert sessions with key fact-finders from around the world, and support for conference contributions and trips.


The following long-standing and internationally renowned experts in Education Sciences and related interdisciplinary fields belong to LEAD as Distinguished International Professors:



Not only do they work in Tübingen for several weeks per year, they also co-mentor and teach doctoral candidates, work with early-stage researchers and group leaders, and collaborate within LEAD research projects. Last but not least, they add to the accessibility of research opportunities around the world.



LEAD aims at fostering outstanding doctoral research on education-related issues and at maintaining the highest standards at all levels of academia: through providing cooperative exploration and supportive thesis supervision, professional career building, and smooth administrative services. 


To this end, the unique LEADing Research Center was established. Through offering the following services, it contributes to the strength of LEAD's mission and aims:


  • the use and development of innovative study designs and measurement approaches as well as
  • sophisticated data analysis approaches for "finding the best answers to real problems".


LEAD also aims at contributing to the relevance and responsibility of educational research by further developing existing structures in this research area. With this focus on finding "best answers to real problems", LEAD fits perfectly into the academic profile of "Research - Relevance - Responsibility" of the University of Tübingen.



Funded by the Excellence Initiative of the German federal and state governments via