After passing the qualifying exam, students enter the dissertation phase, during which they focus on research towards a doctoral dissertation. A student in the dissertation phase registers with, and ultimately receives a doctoral degree from, the university where the respective advisor (or co-advisors) has oﬃcial advising rights.
During the dissertation phase, students work primarily on research under the guidance of their advisor or co-advisors.
Thesis Advisory Committee (TAC)
At the beginning of the dissertation phase, every PhD student is assigned an individual Thesis Advisory Committee (TAC) of three or four faculty members, who monitor the student’s progress and mentor the student regarding research, publications, and career planning. Each student writes an annual progress report to be discussed with the TAC. Meetings between the student and the TAC are at least once a year. When the focus of the dissertation is sufficiently clear, the student gives a Thesis Proposal talk to the TAC to obtain feedback.
IMPRS Research Seminar
Students in the dissertation phase regularly attend the IMPRS Research Seminar, which involves students from all research groups of all partners, for mutual information and inspiration across the different areas of Trustworthy Computing.
Each student is expected to give at least one talk in this seminar during the dissertation phase.
In addition, students regularly give talks on their intermediate results and research plans within the various research groups of the four partner organizations.
Thesis and Thesis Defense
Students end their doctoral research by submitting a thesis and taking a public oral thesis defense exam. The exam consists of a talk by the student followed by a round of questioning by the thesis committee.