A Jointventure of
Graduate Schools
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Die Graduiertenschule LEAD
© Universität Tübingen © Albrecht - Universität Tübingen © Universität Tübingen © Albrecht - Universität Tübingen © Universität Tübingen

The LEAD Graduate School

Learning, Educational Achievement, and Life Course Development

The LEAD Graduate School & Research Network

The LEAD Graduate School & Research Network features an integrated research and training program for doctoral students and postdocs on Learning, Educational Achievement, and Life Course Development. It is funded within the framework of the Excellence Initiative via the German Research Foundation and admits up to 20 PhD students per year.

LEAD addresses young researchers in Education Sciences and five intersecting research fields, who are interested in broadening their disciplinary knowledge via the LEAD interdisciplinary research perspective. The LEAD mission is to strengthen the evidence-based approach in educational policy by securing empirical data on "what works" in education, by training qualified experts and finding answers to seven key questions in education:

  • Which factors are associated with high and low achievement, and how can achievement levels in reading, mathematics, and science be improved, especially in high risk groups?
  • How important are motivation and self-regulation for (academic) success in the short term and across the life course, and how can they be enhanced?
  • How can schools best deal with the increased number of students with mental health problems?
  • How can teaching quality be improved?
  • What are the characteristics of the most effective learning environments and how can such effective environments be made available to all students?
  • How can the potential of modern media environments be fully exploited for learning?
  • What are the origins of social disparities in education and how can these disparities be reduced?


In order to find the best answers to these questions, researchers from six core research fields collaborate within LEAD. These fields have not only proven to be highly productive in Tübingen, but also to be highly productive for answering the seven LEAD questions.
  • Educational Science
  • Cognitive and Social Psychology
  • Neuroscience and Informatics
  • Clinical Psychology and Psychiatry
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Sociology and Economics

For their fruitful interdisciplinary work, five LEAD Intersections were defined. 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 international guest professors, lab visits in different countries, expert sessions with key fact-finders from around the world, and support for conference contributions and trips.


The LEAD Graduate School 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. It hosts the particular strength of LEAD: the use and development of innovative study designs and measurement approaches as well as elaborated data analysis approaches for "finding the best answers to real problems".