PhD Life

Interdisciplinary Research Tandems

The highly successful PhD-tandem concept foresees that groups of several doctoral students from two disciplines are formed, computer science and an other discipline of the RTG i.e. Sociology, Business Informatics, Law or Psychology. The advantages of cross-fertilisation, doctoral quality and jointly developed interdisciplinary progress are exceptional.

These doctoral tandems are analogous to 'supervisor tandems'. The aim within the RTG is, to assign two supervisors from different disciplines to each promoter right from the start in order to ensure interdisciplinarity.

The structure of our RTG tandem concept is viewable on our People webseite.

Weekly Seminar

In order to strengthen the coherence within the RTG, the RTG seminar – an one-hour-event – takes place every week and in which, all doctoral students take part.

At the seminar, doctoral students work together on RTG topics, colloquia organised by external speakers, supervisors or doctoral students, Reading Groups in which the RTG doctoral students jointly study basic specialist publications and research meetings at which research results of individual subfields are presented to all doctoral students.

Associates are included in the colloquia and the reading groups.

Interdisciplinary Seminar

In the winter term 2017/2018 the first interdisciplinary teaching event in form of a seminar for students and organised by the RTG PhDs took place.


RTG Retreat 2021

Within the RTG, a two-day retreat is held every year at varying locations, at which the doctoral students can get to know each other better and exchange information on their subject matter.


Barcamp 2020 Organizers

Each year there is a' barcamp', a conference with open workshops organised by the doctoral students themselves. They should bring together their disciplinary views on the GRK topic into a coherent interdisciplinary view. The bar camps are open to the professional public.


RTG-Day 2018

The RTG-Days are the opportunity to get all the PhDs, PIs, associates PhDs together, in addition to guests PhDs and professors.

Students are given the opportunity to present their topics and the latest research results they are working on. The experienced expert audience gets a general impression of the work and interests of the students, which later leads to fruitful discussions within this panel of experts.


The members of the GRKs meet in irregular intervals in loose round to be able to talk about topics for which there is otherwise no opportunity. The Stammtisch also contributes to getting to know each other better through joint leisure activities.

1st Kamingespräch “Career Opportunities with Prof. Dr. Max Mühlhäuser”

On January 30th 2018 Prof. Dr. Mühlhäuser presented possible career paths and opportunities to the PhD students. In an informal environment, he talked about the experience of close to 60 finished PhDs and their following careers. The informal setting allowed the PhD students to gain insights into the advantages and disadvantages of the three larger career paths into academia, industry, and “knowledge management”. The most important gain was the light shed on the process to become a professor. Moreover, light was not only shed on the process and the advantages but also on the disadvantages on the pursuit to become a professor.

Besides the rather obvious academic path, Prof. Dr. Mühlhäuser was able to tell insights from his former students that moved into the industry sector. As such, the PhD students were able to compare and learn that the often stated “insecurities” in academia are often matched by comparable issues in the industrial world. The myths of the freedom and insecurity in academiaand security and money in industrywere discussed such that every PhD student was able to gain additional insights into both career paths.

Prof. Dr. Mühlhäuser was also able to present a third, often unacknowledged career path into knowledge management and public institutes like ENISA. This path provides an opportunity to move in-between academia and industry, and to combine advantages (and disadvantages) of both.

The feedback to this session showed that it was well received by both the PhD students and Prof. Dr. Mühlhäuser and may be repeated for the second cohort of PhD students.

All INGENIUM and Skill courses and Talks

The GRK PhDs regularly take part in advanced training courses and lectures on various topics. The GRK cooperates closely with Ingenium, the umbrella organization for the promotion of young scientists at the TU Darmstadt. In cooperation with the faculties, graduate schools and research training groups, Ingenium promotes young scientists with regard to academic and non-academic careers.

In addition, both external and TU-internal experts are invited to give lectures on various topics at the various events of the GRK such as Barcamp, GRK Day, etc