Expert supervision throughout the research activities leading towards a doctoral degree is one of the hallmarks of the DIPP. Being considered to be of utmost importance, the PhD program ensures that each PhD student has a Thesis Advisory Committee (TAC) in addition to the day-to-day supervision by the primary supervisor. The main task of the TAC is to guide the PhD student throughout their thesis work, to monitor and evaluate the progress of the research project and the individual development of the PhD student, and to ensure that the PhD thesis is completed in time. The recommended duration of thesis is 3.5 years, the maximum duration of thesis is 4 years.
The TAC consists of three DIPP faculty members from at least two participating institutions. The primary supervisor is the group leader in whose laboratory the research is being performed. The second and third supervisors are chosen on the basis of their research specialty in order to provide scientific expertise required to realize the proposed thesis project. At least one TAC member is a University professor of the TU Dresden.
The TAC and the PhD student convene according to a defined schedule: Following the submission of a project proposal after one month, and an initial report meeting after 3 months, TAC meetings take place on an annual basis. They include a written report and an oral presentation. The Initial Report focuses on the detailed outline of the thesis project, the theoretical knowledge needed for thesis work, and planning for future experiments. Annual Reports review the results obtained so far and experiments to be done in the future. The 3rd Annual Report meeting defines the remaining tasks for finishing the thesis, and the time frame for writing up and submission to the university. In case the PhD thesis is not handed in after 3.5 years, and additional TAC meeting will be called in to ensure that the PhD thesis can be finished within the maximum duration of 4 years.