Measures of Quality Assurance during the Doctorate

In addition to their supervisors, mentors will support the doctoral candidates during their doctoral research work. In general, mentors provide subject-specific support, but they can also focus on advising the candidates with regard to transferable skills, coaching and career development.

Supervision Agreement
The supervision agreement is the basis for every doctoral project at TUM. It defines the key aims, objectives, and milestones of the research project and lists the qualification elements. The supervision agreement is akin to a declaration of commitment that specifies the rights and obligations of the parties involved in the doctoral process.

Cooperative Doctorate
Doctorates in cooperation with Universities of Applied Sciences, Non-University Research Insitutions, and companies have to live up to the highest standards. They are subject to the same strict quality assurance mechanisms as internal doctoral projects. In collaboration with partners from the Munich Area, TUM-GS has developed recommendations that ensure the quality of cooperative doctorates and guarantee full transparency. You can download the handout here (in German only).

The mandatory membership in the TUM-GS ensures that all doctoral candidates at TUM benefit from the same structural framework. It also enables them to complete the required subject-specific qualification and transferable skills training.

Kick-Off Seminar
At the beginning of their doctoral program, all doctoral candidates attend a three-day TUM-GS Kick-Off Seminar that is held at a location outside of Munich. The goals of the event are to teach the basic principles and methods of academic and scientific work and give the doctoral candidates an opportunity to network and learn about the wide range of services and programs offered by the TUM-GS.

Good Scientific Practice
All doctoral candidates at TUM are obliged to work according to the principles of good scientific practice (GSP). At the Kick-off Seminar, every candidate will be sensitized to the issue and receives a copy of the TUM Code of Conduct for Safeguarding Good Academic Practice. In addition, TUM-GS and its Graduate Centers offer advanced seminars and workshops.

Active Participation in the Academic Environment
All doctoral candidates at TUM are expected to actively participate in the academic environment, including external doctoral candidates in particular. In general, participation in the academic environment is demonstrated by attendance at TUM, working at TUM, teaching, supervision of students, or through participation in a TUM research group.

Feedback Talk
No later than 4 semesters after entering the TUM-GS, a feedback session about the doctoral project is held together with the candidate’s supervisor. The feedback session is based on the agreements in the supervision agreement. During the session, the status quo is documented and all further steps and tasks are defined.

Publishing is an essential component of any academic career. TUM therefore expects all doctoral candidates to present their research project to experts in the international scientific/academic community for discussion during the doctoral phase. As a rule, this is done by submitting peer-reviewed publications or conference contributions that are subject to a peer review process.

Subject-specific Qualification and Transferable Skills Training
All doctoral candidates are required to attend subject-specific and subject-related courses and participate in qualification measures for a minimum of 6 weekly hours per semester. The relevant courses and events are offered by the chairs and degree-awarding institutions.
Participation in the transferable skill training courses offered by the TUM-GS is voluntary and financially supported by the TUM-GS. The courses help doctoral candidates develop key competencies, facilitate their personality development, give them an opportunity to network, and offer valuable orientation for their next career steps.

A crucial goal of the TUM Graduate School is to support the doctoral candidates’ international research experience and their participation in global networks. The TUM-GS therefore offers funding of up to 3,000 euros for a research stay abroad or to invite international guests to TUM.

Certificate of Completion
Upon successful completion of the doctoral project and the TUM-GS qualification program, doctoral candidates will receive, in addition to their Doctoral Degree Diploma, a certificate of completion from the TUM-GS. This certificate lists the courses and qualification measures the graduate has completed as well as the supervised master’s thesis and his/her research stays in foreign countries.