Technische Universitaet Berlin


Sinje Steinmann (

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Technische Universität Berlin (TUB) is one of the largest and most internationally renowned universities in Germany. While the university was re-established in 1946, its historic roots date back to 1799. Today, nearly 35.000 students are enrolled at TUB, instructed by ca. 350 professors and 2700 research and teaching staff. Nearly 33% of the students are women and 24% are foreign citizens.

The main profile of TUB is science, engineering and technology (SET). However, its seven faculties and 40 institutes offer more than 130 study programs from both the fields of engineering and natural sciences and from economics and business, planning sciences, humanities and the social sciences.

On PhD level, more than 2.500 candidates are enrolled, more than 1800 of them in SET disciplines. Each year around 500 doctoral degrees are conferred.
In Germany, doctoral candidates constitute the major part of the academic staff on fixed-term contracts as the dominant status while aiming for doctoral qualification is employment. Thus, the largest part of PhD candidates pursues research within the individual qualification framework of working together with the supervisor or in the respective research team – the traditional apprenticeship model. Other doctoral candidates work at research institutions or in the industry and obtain a status of “external doctoral candidates”. Also, a relevant number of PhD students are affiliated with one of the 36 structured doctoral programmes of TUB (research training groups, initial training groups, graduate schools and the like).
TUB is committed to strong international ties with leading universities abroad, such as the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Politecnico di Milano or Warsaw University of Technology. Further strategic cooperations exist with scientific institutions in Southeast Asia and South America.

Among others, TUB is a member of the Conference of European Schools for Advanced Engineering Education and Research (CESAER) and the Association of the Top Industrial Managers Europe (T.I.M.E.).



Astrid Vigtil (

Harald Lenschow (

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Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) is the largest university in Norway. With a history dating back to 1910 and traditions going back to 1767 NTNU now have 42.000 students, 7400 teaching and research staff, campuses in three Norwegian cities and offices in Brussels and Japan.

NTNUs main profile is in science and technology, but also offer a variety of programmes of professional studies in medicine and health sciences, social sciences, economics, humanities, educational sciences, architecture, entrepreneurship, art and artistic activities.

Extensive research infrastructure is key to NTNU. Occupying approx. 170.000 m2 the university operate more than 120 laboratories within their strategic research areas,

About 2000 candidates are at any time enrolled in a PhD program at NTNU, within the SET disciplines there are about 250 PhD defences every year and more than 40% of the candidates are non-Norwegian citizens. Doctoral training is a three-year full time study including a training program equal to the workload of at least 30 ECTS. Some requirements apply but the candidate and supervisors design plans to cater for individual training needs. Admission require secured three-year funds and a master’s degree in a relevant field. Most candidates are offered scholarships from the University or they bring a scholarship from their home country.

NTNUs network of cooperation is widespread with extensive national and international industry cooperation as well as relations to more than 700 institutions in more than 100 countries

Politecnico di Milano


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Politecnico di Milano since 1863 – A world class university for Architecture, Design and Engineering

The Politecnico di Milano is one of the most outstanding technical Universities in Europe. Founded in 1863, in many disciplines, it is regarded as a leading research institution worldwide.
Nowadays, it covers the 17th position in the QS ranking for Engineering and Technical universities worldwide (6th in Europe). Politecnico di Milano has three main campuses located in Milan (Milano Leonardo and Milano Bovisa), economic capital of Italy, the heart of fashion and design industries, and five more premises around the Lombardy region. Many important scientists and architects studied and taught here, among them Achille Castiglioni, Gió Ponti, Renzo Piano and Aldo Rossi, both Pritzker Prize in 1990 and 1998 respectively, and Giulio Natta, Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1963.
Teaching is increasingly related to research, a key commitment that enables to achieve results of high international standards, while creating connections with the business world. Strategic research is carried out mainly in the fields of energy, transport, planning, management, design, mathematics and natural and applied sciences, ICT, built environment, cultural heritage, with more than 130 laboratories, among which a Wind Tunnel, a Crash Test center, PoliFAB (the University’s infrastructure for micro and nano production) and PoliFactory, a laboratory where new design processes are developed.
The PhD Programmes at Politecnico di Milano aim at training professionals with high research skills, capable of designing products and managing processes with high technological and innovative content in various industrial sectors. This general objective involves the development of the typical mentality of the experimental scientist through the extensive use and deep knowledge of experimental methods, and with the achievement of a high degree of qualification in specific methodologies.
Part of the basic research training aims to complete the candidates’ preparation, also considering their previous studies. Courses are also envisaged to familiarize the student with various experimental and theoretical methods of general use in the research activity.
The PhD School of Politecnico di Milano completes the offer by organizing a set of courses aiming to train the PhD candidates in soft and transferable skills. The skills and abilities provided by these courses are expected to help candidates across different areas of their careers in order to respond to the rapidly evolving needs of the global economy and society at large.

PhD School Key facts & figures:

  • 3 years of duration
  • 19 Doctoral Programmes
  • all Doctoral Programmes have at least one English track
  • approximately 1,200 PhD candidates (a.y.2018/2019)
  • about 30% international students (a.y.2018/2019), candidates from 60+ countries


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