TUM-University of Alberta Joint Supervision Program

Based on the partnership's long-term success in research and administration, TUM and the University of Alberta have recently established a joint supervision program for doctoral theses. The joint supervision program fosters a more structured research collaboration and international mobility of doctoral candidates and provides opportunities for doctoral candidates to strengthen their international research and career networks. 

Key program details

Doctoral candidates from TUM participating in the joint supervision program with the University of Alberta (UofAlberta) will be enrolled as non-award doctoral candidates at the University of Alberta for research stays of at least 6-12 months. They are not charged tuition fees but student services amenities fees may apply. 

During their research period at UofAlberta TUM candidates will have full access to UofAlberta library, laboratory, and other resources comparable to locally-enrolled doctoral candidates.

The candidates will have at least one supervisor at each institution from the start of their doctoral project. Both supervisors will be jointly responsible for the progress of the doctoral degree work as well as the thesis supervision and examination. Progression milestones will follow TUM guidelines for TUM home candidates. After successful graduation, TUM doctoral candidates will only be awarded with the respective TUM doctoral degree. However, TUM will issue a special TUM doctoral diploma mentioning the TUM-University of Alberta joint supervision, as well as the co-supervisor from UofAlberta.

The TUM-University of Alberta Joint Supervision Program is open to TUM doctoral candidates whose intended co-supervisors at the University of Alberta are affiliated with the University of Alberta Faculty of Science. In order to be eligible for the program the applicant must:

  • have the approval/support from the TUM supervisor
  • have found a co-supervisor at the University of Alberta
  • be a full doctoral candidate at the TUM (no guest doctoral candidates)
  • have attended the TUM Graduate School Kick-Off Seminar at the time of the anticipated mobility starting date
  • apply within the first 12 months of his/her doctoral registration at TUM

In order to apply for the program, please

  1. Contact your (potential) TUM supervisor to discuss your interest in participating in the TUM-Alberta Joint Supervision Program.
  2. Contact one of UofAlberta's Schools/Institutes to determine if there is a suitable advisor for you and to arrange your co-supervision and research stay(s).
  3. Once the School/Institute invites you to apply, you will need to complete the Shared Credential initial Approval Form as well as the Shared Credential Application Form and write a motivation letter, as well as submit an academic CV and an evidence of English language proficiency.
  4. Send all required application documents to the Program Exchange Liaison Officer at the TUM Graduate School Management Office.
  5. Upon approval of the application by TUM, the UQ Graduate School will issue an offer letter and package.

Due to semester start onboarding events and courses, there are three preferred intakes at UofAlberta each year in January, May and September. Please apply at least 3 months in advance of your intended start date.

Outgoing TUM doctoral candidates participating in the TUM-University of Alberta Joint Supervision Program may apply for the Research@UofAlberta Grant consisting of: 

  • one-time travel support 1,000 Euro (based on the actual ticket price)
  • 400 Euro per month to support accommodation and living expenses in Edmonton, Alberta 

The Research@UofAlberta Grant may be combined with other TUM-GS internationalization funding schemes

For all information about the TUM-University of Alberta Joint Supervision Program, please contact: 

Mrs Zizheng Zhang 
International Cooperation & Alliances
TUM Graduate School
Email: zhang@zv.tum.de 
Phone: +49 89 289 10631

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

Please find an overview of frequently asked questions (FAQs) about the TUM-UofAlberta Joint Supervision Program below:

My TUM supervisor does not have any existing contacts with faculty members at the University of Alberta. Can I still apply for the program?
Yes, you are still welcome to apply for the program. However, as you need a co-supervisor for your entire dissertation project, you should discuss your interest in the program with your TUM supervisor at the start of your doctoral research and identify possible co-supervisors. 

I am employed by my chair/research group at TUM, may I apply for the program and the Research@UofAlberta Grant?
If your TUM supervisor/your boss agrees, you may of course apply for the program. Please bear in mind to discuss your options (e.g. Fortbildungsreise) with your supervisor/boss as soon as possible. After admission into the Joint Supervision Program, you have to take care of your e.g. Fortbildungsreiseantrag etc.

I have a scholarship, may I apply for the program and the Research@UofAlberta Grant?
If your TUM supervisor agrees, you may apply for the program. However, please inform yourself as soon as possible whether your scholarship provider may have its own specific regulations about research stays abroad and the continuation of your scholarship payment during your stay at the UofAlberta.

I am an "external" doctoral candidate, may I apply for the program and the Research@UofAlberta Grant?
If your TUM supervisor agrees, you may apply for the program. However, please discuss your plans with your employer to find out whether there are any objections.

Do I need to provide any proof of English language proficiency? 

Is the number of program candidates limited? 
There are up to three funded joint supervision placements per year for TUM applicants in the program.

I wish to do a shorter research stay at the UofAlberta. May I still apply for the program? 
The joint supervision program with its benefits is only open to TUM doctoral candidates who wish to have a joint supervision of their doctoral research and do a minimum 6-months research stay at the UofAlberta under the supervision of their co-supervisor. 

May I split the 6-12 months research into several shorter research periods? 
You may split the required research period of 6-12 months into several research stays. However, you will only be awarded with the Research@UofAlberta travel support of 1000 Euro once. The monthly support of 400 Euro will be paid for max. 12 months in total. 

May I submit my application after the official program application deadline?
Due to semester start onboarding events and courses, there are three preferred intakes at UofAlberta each year in January, May and September. Ideally, a student from TUM would do his/her visit starting at the beginning of one of the mentioned dates. As that may not always be possible it will be possible to register at the UofAlberta at any time.

After application, when will I receive the outcome of my application? 
After the application deadline, applicants shall usually be informed of the application outcome within 6-8 weeks. However, the decision procedure may be prolonged due to incompleteness of application documents or public vacations.  

What are the anticipated expenses for the joint supervision program? 
As part of an official program, you are not required to pay any tuition fees at the University of Alberta. However, you need to cover other expenses like visa, accommodation, travel, food, insurance etc. by yourself. Furthermore, you may be eligible for charges for non academic/non-obligatory facilities, services or activities. 

How and when will I receive the Research@UofAlberta Grant?
In case of a successful admission, the Research@UofAlberta Grant will start after your arrival in Edmonton. In order to receive the Grant, please send us a copy of your flight ticket/boarding pass within the first month of your research stay at UofAlberta. The monthly support of 400 Euro will be paid in the beginning of each month during your research stay. Please note that the Research@UofAlberta Grant must be mentioned in your final application for travel costs reimbursement at the TUM travel office and/or when applying for the TUM-GS internationalization support. The amount received within the Research@UofAlberta Grant will be charged against the overall expenses. 

Besides the Research@UofAlberta Grant are there any other funding options?
TUM research/teaching associates and scholarship holders are usually applicable to apply for the TUM-GS Internationalization Support. Please visit the section on "Research Stay Abroad" on the TUM-GS' website for further information. Please note that TUM-external institutions, e.g. the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) also offer own scholarship programs for research stays abroad. 

I need to cancel or shorten my research stay at the UofAlberta. What will happen with my Research@UofAlberta Grant? 
If you need to cancel your research stay within the first six months after you have started your research at the UofAlberta, you will have to repay the entire Research@UofAlberta Grant to the TUM Graduate School. You may be exempt from the repayment if you are able to provide a very good cause for cancellation (incl. proof of evidence).

If you have to shorten your research stay but your research stay is still longer than 6 months at the UofAlberta, you do not need to repay the financial support already received. Please note that you have to inform the TUM-GS immediately of any changes in your research dates. Should you fail to do so, you have to repay the entire Research@UofAlberta Grant to the TUM Graduate School.

I do not wish to participate in the official program but want to do a shorter/longer individual research stay at the UofAlberta. May I still apply for the Research@UofAlberta Grant?
No, the Research@UofAlberta Grant is exclusively for candidates in the TUM-UofAlberta Joint Supervision Program. 

Will the UofAlberta or the TUM-GS take care of my visa application?
No, you have to take care of your own visa application. To study in Canada for six months or longer, you must obtain a Study Permit from the nearest Canadian Embassy, High Commission, or Consulate. You will need to apply for these documents before you travel to Canada and you should begin this procedure immediately after submitting your application for admission. The process of obtaining immigration documents differs between visa offices and can take up to 12 months to complete.

Will TUM/TUM-GS or UofAlberta take care of any travel, accident or health insurances?
No, program candidates are responsible for their own insurances. Please clarify with your health insurance provider in due time whether your research stay in Canada will be covered by your current insurance scheme. 

Does the UofAlberta offer housing support?
Information on accommodation options can be found through UofAlberta Accommodation website or the UofAlberta Residence Services for grad students.

May I develop my research collaboration with the UofAlberta into a joint doctoral degree? 
No, TUM does not offer any joint or double doctoral degree programs with the University of Alberta.