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Educating current and future top scientists is an important task for which the DIGS-BB is strongly committed. Nowadays, PhD students are not only expected to acquire deep scientific knowledge to pursuit a successful PhD degree, but also a set of complementary skills that will endorse them with the necessary tools to work hand-in-hand with scientists from their same and different disciplines. The DIGS-BB curriculum is specially designed to bridge and make that interaction between disciplines smooth and possible. Emphasis is therefore placed on research-base training as well as on excellence in the communication of science.

A large part of the DIGS-BB curriculum is linked to the curriculum of the Dresden International PhD Program (DIPP) and is therefore organized jointly with the other graduate school under its umbrella, the IMPRS-CellDevoSys.


Within the DIGS-BB program, advanced training courses are seen as a backbone of a strong PhD thesis, helping to improve the capabilities, productivity and performance of our PhD students. Our training is divided into two parts: a mandatory part for all first-year PhD students as a requirement for completion of their PhD degree and an elective part, which can be used to acquire additional skills that will enhance their PhD degree.

The mandatory part is composed of an Introductory Predoc Course and the Foundation level scientific writing course.

Infographic of the course of the training at the DIGS-BB
DIGS-BB PhD students are offered to perform top-level research towards the PhD. A training program including mandatory and elective modules is thoughtfully structured according to the needs of each PhD students.

Thesis Supervision

Another hallmark of the DIGS-BB is the provision of expert mentoring and thesis supervision by each student’s Thesis Advisory Committees (TAC). Each TAC is composed of three experienced DIPP faculty members usually representing different PhD program disciplines and research institutions. The TAC will accompany each PhD student throughout the thesis work.

PhD students at the DIGS-BB will meet their TAC on 3 or 4 official occasions: 3 months after the start of the PhD, 1 year, 2 years and 3 years after. On occasion, they also meet half a year before the end of the PhD (4 years as a maximum). For each TAC meeting, PhD students prepare a report and a presentation on the current status of their thesis work. At the end of each TAC, the scientific performance of the PhD student is evaluated and recommendations are made for future work. But the role, usefulness of the TAC does not stop here. Each member of the TAC can be approached individually at any time during the PhD period for guidance and recommendations.

Scientific Writing Course: Excellence in the Communication of Science

Even the most brilliant scientific discovery is of little value if it is not communicated appropriately. To ensure that students develop the skills they need in effective scientific communication, the Dresden International PhD Program provides an extensive and innovative training program in scientific writing and communication.

The course comprises a mandatory on-site workshop “Laying the foundations for Effective Writing” and several optional e-learning courses for gaining advanced skills. All parts of the course are conducted and supervised by experienced scientific writing consultant Dr. Iain Patten

©, Roco Julie

Infographic on the writing course “Excellence in the Communication of Science”
The “Excellence in the Communication of Science” program addresses the needs of young scientists when writing science for both specialist and non-specialist audiences.

Research Exchange Program

The DIGS-BB scientific community is large and extends beyond the Dresden campus. We maintain close ties with our alumni groups, and have established worldwide partnerships with distinguished partner groups. Our PhD students can profit from these connections via the Research Exchange Program. The aim of this program is to allow DIGS-BB PhD students to conduct collaborative research or to learn a specific method that is not available on campus. Research placements can be up to 6 months and require recommendation from the student’s TAC.

Annual Predoc Symposium

Every year around springtime, PhD students put on their backpacks to join the 3-day long off-campus scientific retreat. The aim is to exchange research ideas and to discuss science and related topics with their peers and invited internationally renowned scientists. It is also a great opportunity to network.

The Annual Predoc Symposium is part of the DIPP common curriculum and is therefore open to all PhD students at the DIGS-BB and the IMPRS.

Graduate Academy of the TU Dresden

Due to the fact that DIGS-BB PhD students are members of the Technische Universität Dresden, they can not only profit from the offers of our PhD program but also from the trainings, workshops, and funding schemes the TUD Graduate Academy (GA) provide through its various support programs.

Awards & Career Development

At the DIGS-BB, we recognize outstanding performance, creativity, knowledge and hard work through the DIGS-BB Fellow Awards. We help students to communicate their results to larger audiences and extend their scientific network through the DIGS-BB Travel Awards, and to acquire expert training in techniques that are not available on campus through the DIGS-BB Training Awards.

Organized by our PhD students, there is the Annual Career Symposium or Career Day: speakers giving insights into their career after their PhD or postdoc in short talks and open discussions.