Program structure


Joint supervision 

The supervision of the doctoral thesis is not only performed by the group leader, but by a committee of several experienced scientists. They meet regularly with the doctoral candidate and offer interdisciplinary, joint supervision as well as scientific and personal support. Information for potential thesis committee members is available here.

Supervision agreement 

Doctoral candidate and supervisors sign a supervision agreement that fixes the rules for the supervision and the scientific work. The details are governed by the doctoral regulations of the candidate's respective faculty. BrainLinks-BrainTools is following each of these regulations.

Reporting obligation

Doctoral candidates are subject to the obligation to report on the progress of their thesis. This obligation is based on the doctoral regulations of the candidate's original faculty. If the faculty does not demand any written report, the doctoral candidate will hand in a report every two years about the progress of the doctoral project including a plan how and when the thesis shall be finished. The supervisor adds a statement to this report with a focus on the expected timeline.


Beside a regular colloquium and a guest speaker seminar, the program contains courses that can be chosen from a menu by the doctoral candidate in cooperation with the supervisor of the thesis and the program coordinator.

ECTS points

Members of the program collect ECTS points during their doctoral thesis. To finish the program successfully, doctoral candidates must collect 20 ECTS points that can be gained by different activities and achievements, like publications, supervision of students, courses, workshops, conferences or because of engagement within the cluster (organization of events, junior scientists representatives etc.). A list with the creditable achievements is available here. The documentation sheet for ECTS points is available here.


After the successful defense of the doctoral thesis and submission of the ECTS points documentation sheet, the graduated candidate will be issued a certificate of completion of the graduate program.