This page is intended as an internal collection of information - feel free to take from it whatever you like

General timeline of a PhD

What do I need to do to obtain a PhD?

  • get accepted as a PhD student by the department (Fakultät SLK)
  • register for the PhD examination (Anmeldung zur Promotion)
  • submit a thesis
  • defend your thesis (oral presentation and examination)
  • publish your thesis

What should I do while working on my PhD?

  • choose a topic that is important (to the world, to your community, to you, (to the funding agency))
  • focus on one core topic
  • find a good general question that guides your research - even if you will not be able to answer the question in the end
  • try to understand the full stack of your research question, prototypes, experiments (e.g., when investigating touch screen latency, aim to understand latency of nervous system, input and output hardware, operating system, applications, and measuring devices - even if your research focuses on only one of these aspects)
  • do not take shortcuts - read the literature, investigate effects that you do not understand, don't hide limitations
  • PhD allows for longitudinal studies and iteration
  • keep a lab notebook or some other kind of log
  • do not spend all your time reading all the literature on a topic - it's endless
  • conduct small experiments instead of assuming something
  • track the time you spend
  • respond to e-mails within one day
  • Attend conferences
  • Apply as student volunteer
  • Review papers
  • Write a blog and/or Twitter posts


to come

How a German PhD in Computer Science / Media Informatics is different to the U.S. system

(some things to be aware of when reading PhD guides from U.S. academics)