Public Presentation of the PhD thesis project

According to the statutes of the University, the topic of the doctoral thesis and supervisor(s) have to be approved by the study programme leader of the Vienna Doctoral School of Ecology and Evolution within the first year (recommendation 6 months).
The approval is based on the research proposal (Exposé) and the public presentation (FÖP). The research exposé shall be submitted to the Executive Manager 6 weeks prior to the announced presentation date. The exposé will then be evaluated by two members of VDSEE PI-panel, and, upon approval by those and the VDSEE study programme leader, the PhD candidate will be admitted to present their PhD topic.
The public presentation is chaired by the Dircetor or Vice-Director of VDSEE and attended by the supervisor(s), members of the doctoral advisory committee (TAC) and VDSEE-community.

They will provide feedback to the PhD student and assess whether the submitted PhD project meets scientific standards and can be successfully completed within a reasonable timeframe.
If the presentation was successful, the topic and supervisor(s) get approved by the study programme leader. Should an individual doctoral topic not be approved by the programme director based on the evaluation of the exposé and the performance at the public presentation, the doctoral candidate has the option of revoking their application, adapting the research project and reapplying for the approval of their doctoral thesis at the next public presentation.

Therefore, the public presentation serves several purposes:

  • According to the statutes of the University of Vienna, the successful public persentation is the final approval of the doctoral thesis project and supervisor(s).
  • The new doctoral candidate can present their research to a wider audience.
  • The public presentation offers all participants a platform for feedback, exchange and networking.


  • Friday 10 November 2023
    Registration deadline on 29 September 2023
  • Friday 15 March 2024
    Registration deadline on 02 February 2024
  • Friday 14 June 2024
    Registration deadline on 03 May 2024

Registration via email:

Planned to be hybrid: Lecture/seminar room at UBB to be announced timely, and Moodle BBB



 Registration for presenters

In order to register for the public presentation, the following documents need to be submitted to

 Guidelines for Exposé

Structure and content of your Exposé. Please use the template provided in the VDSEE intranet

1) Title Page

  • (Working) Title of your Dissertation Project
  • Your Name, student number and email address
  • Supervisor(s)
  • TAC members: beside your supervisor 2 co-mentors
  • Funding

2) Main part: within 10 pages

  • Introduction i.e short background, outline of the state of research:
    What is your specific field of research? Where do you start from?
  • Aims/Main questions/Significance of your planned research:
    What do you want to reach/answer during your thesis? Why is this important? Description of the topic of the doctoral thesis project including a clear research question
  • Illustration of the chosen Research methods:
    Which methods and experimental setups will be used; which infrastructure/collaboration partners do you need/have at hand
  • Time and work schedule:
    When do you plan to do what and achieve your goals. Gantt chart
  • Contingency Plan/Risk Analysis:
    Where do you see potential problems/risks in your work/research plan? Have you thought of solutions/alternatives?
  • Funding/Financial stability to conduct PhD studies:
    E.g. Salary and further description on funding such as coverage of consumables, etc
  • TAC Committee:
    Choice of supervisor(s) and co-mentor(s), etc.

3) Cited References

ad funding
  • Funding of the dissertaion project must be secured.
  • This is important particularly resp. consumables and lab costs. Therefore, estimation of costs and coverage of those costs have to be described in the Exposé. This might also be an issue in (third-party) funded projects (in case only salary is covered).
  • The coverage of costs for consumables has to be approved by your Department Head/Faculty in advance (for registration to presentation this would include the submission of the SL/W4 form)
  • Self-funded students are welcome, but the aim should be that you can work on your dissertation as full-time as possible.
ad Thesis Advisory Committee (TAC) - for PhD students admitted and enrolled since 2020W onwards, and students not passed the public presenation yet
  • The TAC is consisting of supervisor(s) and 2-3 co-mentors encompassing the relevant discipline(s) of the thesis topic.
  • The mandatory requirement for any of the 2-3 TAC co-mentors is that they shall be well-experienced in the respective research area of your doctoral thesis topic, so that they can provide profound feedback during the process, but at least Senior PostDoc level with profound international research experience .
  • The TAC has to be established latest at the public presentation at faculty.
  • The TAC shall meet together with the PhD student at least once a year (see Annual Report)
  • TAC members will not be allowed to assess the final dissertation, like the supervisor(s).

 Please Note

According to the Statutes, doctoral candidates have to pass the public presentation of their dissertation project within the first year after admission.

The research proposal and the presentation at the faculty are the requirements for the approval of the dissertation project and the conclusion of the doctoral thesis agreement.


Visit the public presentations! In doing so you can get a first impression of what will be expected from you. Additionally it is a great way to learn about current research projects at your Doctoral School.

The Center for Doctoral Studies offers regularly workshops on "Outline and Exposé writing". Registration for these workshops is possible via UNIVIS online. To the workshop offer of the Center for Doctoral Studies.




Vorgeschriebene Formulare

Optionale Formulare