Annual progress report & Annual TAC minutes

Doctoral candidates have to submit the annual 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(s) before submission to the executive manager of the Vienna Doctoral School of Ecology and Evolution.

a) Annual progress report

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 his/her doctoral research project 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 doctoral thesis 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 thesis project. These changes to the doctoral thesis agreement need to be documented in those annual reports.
  • After submission to the VDSEE office, the study programme leader/VDSEE director will ultimately accept those change / or may request more information for  approval.

b) Annual TAC meeting minutes

Annual TAC meetings are obligatory for PhD/doctoral 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 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 got approved at the public presentation and is listed in the doctoral thesis agreement.
  • 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.