Doctoral Education

The SimTech Graduate School (GS SimTech)

Gaining your doctoral degree with SimTech

A doctorate is proof of aptitude for scientific work and forms the basis of an academic career and, increasingly, a career in business. The SimTech Graduate School offers an interdisciplinary structured and international training program in order to prepare the candidates with optimal conditions for their successful doctoral degree and beyond. SC SimTech does award the following academic degrees:

  • Dr.-Ingenieur/Dr.-Ingenieurin (Dr.-Ing.)
  • Doktor/Doktorin der Naturwissenschaften (Dr. rer. nat.)
  • Doktor/Doktorin der Philosophie (Dr. phil.)
  • Doktor/Doktorin der Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaften (Dr. rer. pol.)

Why you should do your doctorate at SimTech Graduate School

  • You have at least two supervisors from different subject cultures
  • You benefit from a second reviewer from outside the University of Stuttgart
  • You can attend courses and seminars specially designed for the field of simulation technology
  • You are able to exchange technical and methodical information
  • You are integrated with their projects into the overarching research contexts of the project networks
  • You have an optimal feedback possibility through a milestone presentation after one and a half years
  • You establish international contacts through a mandatory three-month stay at a foreign research institute

Join the SimTech Graduate Academy

How to gain your doctoral degree

In addition to appropriate academic qualifications, a doctorate requires a high degree of independence, motivation, and interest in scientific work. Furthermore, you must fulfill the formal admission requirements of the University of Stuttgart.

If you have a foreign degree, it will be checked when you submit your documents ‐ this may take some time. If your field of study does not include the disciplines related to the topic of your dissertation, additional seminars, etc. may be imposed on you which you must fulfill within a certain period of time.

If you do your doctorate at SC SimTech, your (main) supervisor must be member of SC SimTech and you usually do it together with another faculty. Note that doctoral researchers at GS SimTech are advised by at least two members of SC SimTech.

The current Doctoral Degree Regulations of 2019 came into effect on April 1, 2019. If you started your doctorate before April 1, 2019, you can continue to do your doctorate according to the Doctoral Degree Regulations of 2016 and according to the Doctoral Degree Regulations of 2011. However, please note that transitional provisions must be observed here (cf. §21 of the doctoral degree regulations of 2019). Further information about the current doctoral degree regulations can be found here.

Transition to the current Doctoral Degree Regulations

If you are doing your doctorate according to older doctoral degree regulations, you also have the option of switching to the current Doctoral Degree Regulations of 2019. To do so, you must submit an application to the dean's office of your faculty. If necessary, you can obtain information from the Graduate Academy GRADUS.

Together with your supervisor, you will draw up an agreement on doctoral studies. In this agreement, you agree on certain rules during the doctoral process, e.g. on the work and time schedule (which also includes the individual qualification program stipulated in the doctoral degree regulations, which must include at least 9 credit points).

Upon conclusion of the doctoral agreement, you are obliged to register via the CAMPUS Management System of the University of Stuttgart.

More detailed instructions can be found at GRADUS.

The doctoral agreement should take into account the qualification program specified by the GS SimTech (in total at least 9 ECTS):

  • subject‐specific courses (at least 6 credit points)
  • at least one course in the field of key qualifications (e.g. from the GRADUS program)
  • at least three offers from GS SimTech

When applying for acceptance as a doctoral student, please indicate "SC SimTech" in addition to your faculty ‐ this means that you will be doing your doctorate at both your faculty and SimTech. Please also note that your faculty may have specific regulations on certain topics! 

Do not forget to indicate a co‐advisor ‐ this means another SimTech advisor who will assist you during the doctorate and especially during the milestone presentation.

In addition to being accepted as a doctoral researcher, you should also apply for admission to the GS SimTech. For this purpose, please fill in the application for admission to the GS SimTech, in which you acknowledge the additional rules of the GS SimTech.

As soon as the Coordination of the GS SimTech has received your doctoral file, the doctoral committee will review your documents. After the examination, you will receive a notification of acceptance as a doctoral candidate, if necessary with additional requirements, from the chairperson of the doctoral committee. The doctoral committee will also send a copy of the acceptance notification to GRADUS, where it will be posted to your account.

When you receive the notification of acceptance from the doctoral committee of the SC SimTech, you must enroll as a doctoral student. Though, under certain conditions, you are exempt from this requirement. Please check with GRADUS and/or your supervisor. More information about enrolment can be found here.

In order to promote interdisciplinary networking and to broaden professional horizons, all doctoral researchers of the Graduate School should actively participate in at least three seminars of the graduate school. At least one seminar should be attended until the milestone presentation and the second until the PhD examination. The selection is made in consultation with the respective doctoral supervisor and the co-supervisor of the doctoral thesis.

Besides the qualification program of your doctoral agreement, a Milestone Presentation after about 18 months is a requirement by the GS SimTech. By the time of the Milestone Presentation you should have completed (most of) your qualification program and also taken up one or two offers from GS SimTech.

During the milestone presentation, interim results are reflected upon and the further work program is determined. The milestone presentation consists of a public lecture and a non-public oral examination interview by the supervisors of the doctoral researchers' project. In addition, the doctoral researchers write a "Milestone Report", which reflects the status of the research work to date and the further work program.

Please register your Milestone Presentation at the GS coordination, so we can invite SimTech members to your presentation. To enable your supervisors to prepare for your presentation, you should write a 10‐page report about 2 weeks in advance (please also send it to the GS coordination).

The Milestone Presentation consists of a half‐hour presentation as well as an "examination discussion" with your supervisors ‐ a protocol will be kept.

For more information click here.

SimTech offers all early-career researchers in the Graduate Academy a research stay abroad, typically in a collaborating institution, to broaden their horizons. Many fruitful joint international projects resulted from such visits. They allow researchers to discuss their results with international partners and acquire knowledge and experience abroad.

Funding is available for the duration of the EXC 2075 for all SimTech Graduate School members. Funding is subject to availability. There are no deadlines for your applications, you can apply for funding all year round.

Further information about “How to organize your Stay Abroad” and how to request funding from GS SimTech can be found in Confluence.

In principle, a cumulative dissertation is possible at SC SimTech. Please have a look at the special guidelines.

In the case of doctoral theses taken together with a faculty, the faculty's rules on the submission of the thesis and admission to the exam apply (please check ‐ there are quite different procedures in place here, as to when you have to submit what to whom)!

In principle, one printed copy of your thesis must be submitted to each reviewer as well as to the Dean's Office of your faculty. In addition please hand in one copy to SimTech), an electronic version of your thesis, the confirmation of the compliance with the SimTech rules, and a list of publications.

Please note on the front page as well as the faculty`s name that you are submitting at SC SimTech! As a doctoral researcher within the GS SimTech, the cover sheet must contain the naming of SimTech: “A thesis submitted to the Faculty xx and the Stuttgart Center for Simulation Science in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor xx (xx)”.

Usually you coordinate your examination date with your main and co‐reporters and inform your dean's office about the date. You will also have to take care of the room yourself. Please also inform the coordination of the GS SimTech about your examination date.

The examination follows a 30‐45 minute public talk (mandatory at SimTech).

If you are doing your doctorate without the participation of a faculty, then a "Rigorosum", i.e. a general subject examination on a core area of SimTech, is part of your oral examination.

After you have incorporated any changes into your dissertation and it has been approved for printing by your main reviewer, you can publish it.

As a doctoral student within the GS SimTech, the cover sheet must contain the naming of SimTech: "A thesis accepted at the Faculty xx and the Stuttgart Center for Simulation Science in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor xx (xx)".

After submitting the deposit copies, the thesis has to be approved by your main examiner and the dean's office/SimTech. Afterwards it will be published and your certificate will also be approved for handover.

Further information about the requirements for publication can be found at the university library.

For further details please have a look at the guidelines of your faculty as well as at the guidelines for Conducting Doctoral Research at the SC SimTech (and if necessary at the guidelines for writing cumulative publication).


This image shows Katharina Fuchs

Katharina Fuchs


Coordinator GS SimTech

[Photo: SimTech/Max Kovalenko]

This image shows Johannes Kästner

Johannes Kästner

Prof. Dr.

Computational Chemistry | Head of GS SimTech

[Photo: SimTech/Max Kovalenko]

This image shows Dirk Pflüger

Dirk Pflüger

Prof. Dr. rer. nat.

Scientific Computing | Vice-Head of GS SimTech

[Photo: SimTech/Max Kovalenko]

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