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Thesis Committee

All research school students are supported by a personal Thesis Committee. The Thesis Committee provides mentoring and guidance in the scientific project as well as personal career development.

The Thesis Committee is assembled within the first three months of the doctoral thesis by the graduate student with support from the direct adviser. It consists of at least three scientists and generally comprises the following persons:

  • The direct adviser
  • The adviser at the university (if the direct adviser is also the adviser at the university, an additional person is to be included in the Thesis Committee)
  • An external expert, e.g. from the partner institution
  • An additional fourth member may be included in the Thesis Committee

All members of the Thesis Committee as well as the graduate student have to sign the Supervision Agreement and submit it to the research school office.

Annual Thesis Committee Meetings

The annual Thesis Committee meetings take place after 9 months, 1.5 and 2.5 years and are organized by the graduate student.

Graduate Students prepare a written progress report for the members of the Thesis Committee. For the first Thesis Committee meeting this includes a proposal with project title, outline, objectives and milestones which has to be signed by all Thesis Committee members and submitted to the research school office.

During the meeting graduate students give a presentation where they outline their research results. Based on the goals and actual results, the research progress and future perspective is reviewed and discussed.

The Individual Career Development Plan of the graduate student as well as the acquired scientific and professional expertise is discussed and future actions steps are designed. Graduate students are encourage in their scientific activities and initiatives, as well as their individual training program.

After the meeting the Annual Thesis Committee Meeting Feedback Form has to be submitted to the research school office.


An extension of the 3-year initial contract is possible if all members of the Thesis Committee agree to work and time plan for finishing the doctoral thesis. The plan has to be developed at the third committe meeting and signed by all members of the Thesis Committee. Please be aware that a contract extension requires a minimum of two weeks after all necessary documents are submitted.

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