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Department of Physics

Course of a Dissertation

Through the structured doctoral process, we aim to ensure a high-quality doctorate through the following elements:

  • In addition to the professional supervision, the doctoral candidate is entitled to at least two feedback meetings per year, in which the status of the doctorate and the development of the doctoral candidate are discussed.
  • The progress in the doctorate is recorded in annual reports.

Throughout the doctoral program, the Graduate School is available as a point of contact. In addition, regular meetings are held for doctoral students to exchange ideas and information.

Dissertation process


A doctorate is already a lot of work, why is it neccessary to write additional interim reports?

The annual interim reports should provide an opportunity to reflect on the progress of the doctorate. Especially when other activities could distract from the doctorate, it is good to reflect on what the research goal of the doctorate is.

The interim reports should also provide food for thought for the feedback discussions, as the interim reports must be signed by the doctoral student and the supervisor.

To keep the workload low, we have prepared a form the interim reports.

What are feedback meetings?

In addition to talks about the research results, feedback talks should be used to discuss the progress of the doctoral studies. For example, feedback on the performance status can be given. In the later course of the doctorate, career counseling is recommended. With the feedback talks, we also want to promote timely and regular communication about the expectations of all parties.

Current research deviates greatly from planned goals, now what?

Research can and should take new and unexpected paths! Accordingly, this is not a problem. Flexible adjustment of the project outline to unexpected research results can be mapped in the annual interim reports.

The PhD is not completed in 3 years, what happens?

Many doctorates in physics take longer than 3 years, this has also been shown, for example, by the doctoral study of the German Physical Society. In the case of a longer doctorate, a further report is prepared annually, where it should be addressed what the expected duration of the doctorate is and how the degree can be achieved.

Please note that the initial enrollment for the doctoral studies is restricted to 3 years.  You can write to the Dean's office and apply for an extension of the doctoral studies. It is a goal of the Dortmund Graduate School of Physics to make the duration of the doctorate reasonable and to provide assistance in case of problems during the doctorate.