The Research Training Group (RTG) provides a broad education and numerous qualifying measures for the PhD students.

Major aims of the qualification program are

– to improve graduate training by creating an active, motivating, excellent and international research environment
– to foster critical thinking and acting, creativity and personal responsibility
– to encourage graduates to develop own ideas, discuss them in an open forum and convert them into meaningful action
– to generate an open-minded international environment in which both the PhD students and the PIs can work together
  with tolerance and respect, in collaboration with people from different cultural backgrounds
– to guide graduate education by establishing a definitive and transparent program structure
– to advance graduate career opportunities in both the academic world and in industry


The elements of the qualification program are divided into compulsory and facultative tasks: 


1st year

2nd year

3rd year

Compulsory Tasks


RTG Seminar (monthly)

Presentation of scientific results


one presentation

one presentation

one presentation

GDCh Colloquia





Methodology seminar incl. discussion

and RTG colloquium

(8 times per year)

presented by visiting researchers






Mercator lecture

(once per year, 10-15 h)

by visiting researchers


active participation exercises incl. examination

active participation

exercises incl. examination

active participation

exercises incl. examination


Annual meeting

(once per year for several days)



active participation including flash presentation

active participation including poster presentation

active presentation including poster or oral presentation


Good scientific conduct

Time management

 Data management



Research stay abroad (UC, Berkeley)



Participation in the course „Ethics in Science and Engineering“ (4h/week)

*Speakers from industry will be invited in the 3rd year (Topics „Career opportunities in industry”)




1st year

2nd year

3rd year

Facultative Tasks (15 Credit Points (CP) must be reached)


Conference visit

National or international conference



Active participation by poster (2CP)

or oral presentation (3CP)


Article writing




1st author (or equally contributing 2nd author, if two groups collaborate) of an article in a peer-reviewed journal

(1.  Article: 5CP, 2. Article: 4CP, 3. Article: 3CP etc.)




One task

-       Organization of RTG seminar for one year (1CP)

-       Organization of methodology seminar and RTG colloquium for one year (2CP)

-       Organization of lecture series with a Mercator Fellow (1CP)

-       Organization of three-day-symposium within an organizing committee (2CP)


Workshop of the GSCB

(RUB research school)


Presentation, Communication, Proposals or Writing (1CP)


Language, Career or Site visits (1CP)