PhD Graduate School

The IMW promotes the scientific training of doctoral candidates in the field of solid state and material research with a PhD at the TU Dresden, in particular at the Faculty of Mechanical Science and Engineering, at the Faculty of Physics and School of Science (Chemistry).

The IMW recognizes its responsibility for a high-quality doctoral education with the aim to train outstanding scientists and thus to support their successful (scientific) career.

The IMW offers all doctoral candidates:

  • Individual scientific mentoring
    The doctoral students at IMW work in interdisciplinary research groups and are individually accompanied by an experienced scientist on the path of scientific carrier. The cooperation between doctoral candidates and mentors is based on the joint signing of a doctoral agreement.
  • Structured PhD training
    The objective of a PhD student at IMW is independent scientific research, which should be completed within three years. To achieve this goal, the IMW offers an ideal environment and a structured PhD training, which contains a clear demarcation of the important milestones and transparent requirement profiles.
  • Scientific stay abroad
    A scientific stay abroad up to 6 month is very much appreciated at any time during the PhD training. A research stay abroad can be a great experience during PhD-time and gives the unique opportunity to engage in networking.
  • Professional encouragement and engage in networking

    In addition to the scientific qualification, the IMW promotes all PhD students to participate actively in conferences, especially international conferences, and in interdisciplinary internal seminars.
    All interested doctoral candidates can take part in further training courses as part of a doctoral student day, for example in the areas of methods, preparation of publications and proposals for third-party funding, presentation techniques, project management and media competence.
    All doctoral candidates can take advantage on the offers of the Graduate Academy of the TU Dresden. (Qualification offers, advice and support programs).

  • Balancing the doctorate with family life
    During the PhD period, the doctoral students are granted flexible working times and all the standard institutional support for balancing of work and family life applies to the doctoral students.

  • Recommendations of the Leibniz Association for structures to promote junior researchers
    The doctoral training at IMW follows the Carrier Guidelines of the Leibniz Association.

Structured IMW PhD Training

Milestones (MS)

MS 1:

  • (a) written draft "state of the art" (approx. 10-20 pages) or with agreement of your group head/supervisor you can also prepare a review paper or a progress report.
  • (b) seminar talk* part 1: "state of the art" and part 2: own scientific results (15 min + 15 min + discussion) and subsequent audit for follow-up contract: conversation with Prof. Nielsch and supervisor about current status and aims of own scientific work

MS 2:

  • seminar talk*: status of current work (20 min + discussion) and subsequent audit for decision on agreement extension: conversation with Prof. Nielsch and supervisor about work tasks and time frame to complete the doctoral thesis; specify date for C1
    preparation for audit: definition of the objectives, work tasks and time frame to complete the doctoral thesis (4-8 slides)


  • 6 months before the end of the agreement: start writing phase and discussion about the thesis outline (with Prof. Nielsch and supervisor)


  • 2-4 weeks before submission: Coordination of PhD thesis submission / vote of reviewers Rigorosum examinations (with Prof. Nielsch and supervisor)

MS 3:

  • submission of PhD thesis

(*)... talks are given at the annual IMW-seminar or at in-house seminars