Curriculum of the IMPRS-CMS
The IMPRS-CMS offers a curriculum designed to support the students’ thesis research and enhance their scientific qualifications and complementary skills. The curriculum follows a five-component model.
1. Introductory Course
The IMPRS offers an introductory course with a series of presentations organized by the research groups participating in the IMPRS. The presentation provides a tutorial introduction to their research topics and a tour of their laboratories. This way the students get to know the people, expertise, and infrastructure on the Stuttgart campus at the beginning of their stay.
The backbone of the IMPRS-CMS curriculum is a set of summer and winter schools on specific topics of multidisciplinary character. These Schools not only present state of the art overviews in important fields of science, but also provide a perfect opportunity to initiate or strengthen international cooperations. IMPRS students play an active role in planning, organizing, and running these schools.
The curriculum stipulates that each Ph.D. student follows two university lecture courses of their choice, which help to either fill up knowledge gaps or broaden the scientific horizon. The Physics and Chemistry Departments at the University have an extensive and rapidly growing set of courses taught in English. Additional block courses may be organized in the semester breaks to fill knowledge gaps.
4. Annual Retreat
We organize an annual retreat, where students present short talks or posters to each other and to their thesis advisors. These retreats offer excellent opportunities for feedback on scientific results and presentation techniques and for informal discussions and networking.
5. Complementary Skills
In cooperation with the Ph.D. students' representatives of the MPIs, we offer complementary-skills courses for all IMPRS-CMS students. The groups are small and guarantee efficient learning. Examples are communication training (in English and German), scientific writing skills, presentation skills, proposal writing, job-hunting and interview skills, conflict management, and leadership training.
Thesis Advisory Committee (TAC)
Each IMPRS-CMS student is assigned to an individual thesis advisory committee (TAC) composed of the principal thesis advisor, the day-to-day supervisor, and an experienced scientist in a different group. The TAC meets with the student at least once a year to discuss the progress of the thesis. The main goal of the TAC is to identify any problems before they become serious impediments to the student’s thesis research.