Educational concept/Curriculum

The educational programme of the Research School is composed of three years training with special courses focussing on the common research field Earth System Sciences. Since all PhD students will have primarily experienced a traditional education and have a background in geoscience topics, no one is educated in an interdisciplinary way.

Here lies the challenge of the Research School: to bring all members of the Research School together at the highest possible level in the interdisciplinary field of Earth System Sciences, to be able to speak a ‘common language’ when discussing problems and searching for solutions.

This goal can be reached with the following three-year study programme, which is composed of


Basic Courses, giving an introduction to all related research fields;

Expert Courses, which will teach special topics with detailed knowledge on selected problems. These courses are partly taught by guest professors, who will be invited for these lectures;

Soft Skill Courses, complementing the scientific education with training in social and management skills and which support the development of career building competences. Suchlike skills are important today in both, research or commercial businesses.

All courses take place in form of condensed, full-day block seminars of 2 weeks per semester, in order to make the teaching most efficient alongside the students’ independent Ph.D research.

Complementary to the block seminars, weekly Seminars have to be visited, in which the students will also give regular talks. This provides a basis for the attendance of International Conferences and Meetings, to which the students are encouraged from the second year on.

A special offer and support is given for all attendees who can apply for a stay at a Foreign Lab or institute for a certain period of up to 3 months. This stay should be closely related to the research field of the attendee’s thesis and is supported or envisaged by the students’ supervisor and through the PhD-committee.

And not to forget: working on the Research Project is the main task in the 3-years term of the PhD programme, which finally will lead to the doctoral grade.