Annual progress report & Annual TAC minutes

Doctoral candidates have to submit a progress report every year once they have passed the public presentation.

These reports constitute attachments (annexes) to the doctoral thesis agreement. They must be evaluated by the supervisor(s) and signed by the student and the supervisor before submission to the executive manager of the Vienna Doctoral School of Ecology and Evolution.


The annual progress reports serve two purposes

First, they take stock of the progress made during each year of the doctoral studies. This may sound trivial, yet it helps both doctoral candidates and their supervisors to keep track of their doctoral projects and to avoid pitfalls that could have been easily avoided in retrospect (e.g. unrealistic timetable, procrastination, etc.).

Second, in the annual reports changes can be documented that become necessary or even desirable during the doctoral studies which could not have been anticipated when the dissertation agreement was signed. For instance, it might occur that the initially intended data collection becomes impossible because access to special archives or datasets was denied. Alternatively, it might be that new opportunities turn up, such as a new conference or workshop on the topic of the doctoral project. These changes to the dissertation agreement need to be documented in the annual reports. However, it is important to emphasize that ultimately it is up to the Director of VDSEE to accept those changes.


TAC meeting minutes annexed to annual progress reports

Mandatory for PhD students admitted since 2020W onwards.

The Thesis Advisory Committee - TAC is consisting of supervisor(s) and 2-3 co-mentors encompassing the relevant discipline(s) of the thesis topic. The only mandatory requirement from any of the 2-3 TAC co-mentors is that they are experts in one or more fields of the thesis topic, ideally those in which supervisor(s) and the student could most benefit from additional expertise.

The TAC will meet at least once a year and its main purpose is to advise the student and his/her supervisor(s) on research plans, and in this capacity it can act as mediator in case of divergent opinions between supervisor(s) and student. The TAC is an opportunity to foster collaborations, encourage cross-disciplinary approaches, provide technical support as well as increase the research network of supervisor(s) and student. They are further encouraged to look outside of their own specific working groups and shall discuss the study plan with the student and shall ensure that the working plan is feasible for timely completion of thesis project, that he/she will obtain sufficient training in all the required research areas, but as well in career development skills.

The signed summary of the TAC-Meetings is to be annexed to the annual progress reports.


Please note that to be eligible for the VDSEE Completion Grant, studying according to the university regulations is required. This includes the submission of annual progress reports.