The format of the DocAGs aims to promote the early scientific independence of the doctoral candidates by encouraging them to form self-organized, thematically or methodically focused groups. In addition, DocAGs serve as continuous research workshops for common data interpretation and as a device of peer mentoring for reciprocal feedback.

At this time, the following DocAGs have already commenced active work : Biographical case reconstruction according to Rosenthal; ethnography; age/childhood/space; social inequality/transitions/practice theory/ gender; youth and help (on the level of institution-individual).