Information for students

Advising system

Prospective students should contact the research group leader or senior researcher to discuss the research/doctoral thesis topic and financial issues concerning the PhD studies. Doctoral students plan his/her work under the direction of a faculty member designated by the department as his/her supervisor. Entering students shall discuss the selection of courses, overall plan of their graduate programmes and particular issues with the supervisor.

Students should consult with their supervisors on all academic matters. The supervisors shall help their students with planning the Individual study plan (ISP), exams, research grant applications, research projects, research fellowships and dissertation. The student should meet the supervisor at least two times per semester.

Usually, the original supervisor remains in this capacity during a student’s period of doctoral study. However, in the event that a student wishes to change the supervisor originally assigned by the department, he/she may do so after consultation with and approval of the two faculty members involved (the original and new/proposed supervisor). The necessary forms are available from the Study Office.


All the PhD students are obliged to complete four courses and prove a sufficient level of the English language by the end of second year of study. The PhD students are permitted to attend any courses offered by the department.


Doctoral students commonly take part in activities such as demonstrating in practicals, participating on the laboratory courses, marking progress tests, helping with study groups and problem classes, supervising bachelor theses, preparation of teaching materials etc. The teaching plan is usually developed in accordance to your specialization and after consultation with your supervisor. The teaching activities should not exceed 150 hours in the 4-year period.

Research and thesis work

The research project and research activities in general are the core of the doctoral studies and constitute the largest part of the doctoral training, usually about 2 to 3 years. The research activities, such as research work, project work, presentations, publications, conference attendances and presentations are subjects to evaluation (taken into  consideration when preparing a progress report, state exam and thesis defense).

One of the most important outputs is the dissertation thesis. Usually, the dissertation thesis is written as a monograph. The dissertation thesis should demonstrate and prove a student’s ability to conduct independent research at a high academic level and meet international standards. The student is obliged to publish not only the dissertation thesis itself but also numerous scientific articles in recognized journals in the field. Concerning the dissertation thesis the student must be the sole author of this thesis.

Research fellowship

Our students are encouraged to spend a period of their study at a foreign research institution as a part of their PhD studies. Basically, the research institution’s/university’s expertise should correspond to the research objectives and aims of the research work and should be approved by the supervisor. Students may want to study abroad for a semester while completing coursework. This is possible and requires appropriate planning.  In any case, the research fellowship should be discussed and planned with the supervisor.

Annual progress report

Every year, the PhD student and the supervisor must submit separate written reports on the progress of the doctoral studies. In order to ensure that the training is completed as far as possible within the prescribed timeframe, both the supervisor and the PhD candidate are obliged to actively follow up issues that can potentially lead to a delay or non-completion of the PhD studies. The progress report should be consulted with the supervisor and head of the Study Office.