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Teaching and Training at the Bernstein Center Freiburg

Rules and Regulations PhD Program Bernstein Center Freiburg


The curriculum comprises a core program and an advanced program. In total, 40 ECTS are required to complete the PhD program, of which 20-25 must be part of the core program. One ECTS credit point is equivalent to 25-30 hours total workload (including self-study). The remaining (15-20) ECTS should be obtained from the advanced program and can be accumulated from any of the courses listed in the advanced program or other approved courses at the University of Freiburg. Additionally, the regular and active participation in the Bernstein/PhD seminar, a journal club and at least three secondary skill courses is mandatory.

Thesis Committee

Each PhD student has a thesis committee, consisting of at least three members. The committee members advise and support the student in all scientific and organizational issues arising during the PhD work. The thesis committee has a particular responsibility for the scientific quality of the candidate’s research program, and the progress made in its implementation. All scientific members of the BCF can be member of a thesis committee. In addition, external researchers can be sought to serve in a thesis committee. The committee for each student should be established not later than six months after the start of the project.

The primary advisor (“Doktorvater”, “Doktormutter”) is a member of the thesis committee. The thesis committee members meet regularly with the candidate to keep track of his/her progress. These meetings take place immediately before the progress report presentation in the PhD seminar and will be documented in a protocol (first meeting, follow-up meetings). The thesis committee should participate in all presentations of the candidate in the BCF PhD seminar and approve the written proposal and progress reports. 

Project Proposals and Project Reports

At most six months after starting the thesis work, each candidate will give an oral presentation of the planned project in the BCF PhD seminar. After that, progress reports will be presented annually. Project proposals and progress reports also have to be prepared in written form, in agreement with the respective thesis committee, and will be sent to the teaching & training coordinator, accompanied by a statement of the primary advisor, confirming that the committee has agreed to the proposal/report. The written version must reach the teaching & training coordinator within one month after the oral presentation. 

PhD Thesis

PhD students have to register in the Faculty in which they seek to obtain their PhD degree. This needs to be done within six months after starting the thesis work. A preliminary title of the thesis and the name of the primary advisor must be mentioned on the registration form. The formal acceptance of the student to perform his/her thesis in the framework of the Faculty is decided by the Promotionsausschuss of the respective Faculty. The doctoral student receives an information sheet summarizing the regulations of that Faculty. The format of the PhD thesis must conform to the requirements of the respective Faculty.