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In the course of the program, the doctoral researchers are expected to achieve about 30 credit points from two different categories. Our credit point system corresponds to the standards of the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS).

Download MatSEC credit point template.

Download examples

Scientific Modules

  • Lectures, Seminares and Practical Courses
    All lectures and seminars provided by our member institutions and the scientists associated with the Graduate School are open to the members of MatSEC.

    It is the purpose of the practical courses to introduce doctoral researchers to new methodologies. These courses are thematic upon request. The doctoral researchers are free to additionally participate in practical courses organized by external institutions. For reimbursement of course fees, please contact the coordinator.
  • Scientific events
    It is our goal to integrate MatSEC doctoral researchers into international scientific community and to facilitate networking. Doctoral researchers are encouraged to invite guest scientists, organise symposia and colloquia, and to present their own work at international conferences and to actively participate in the shaping of their scientific field.

    The  attendance of the MatSEC Research Colloquium is mandatory for all students.
  • Publications
    The doctoral researchers are strongly encouraged to present their own work to the scientific community and submit at least one part of their research to a scientific journal within the 3-year doctoral period .

Complementary Modules

  • Soft Skill Courses
    The Graduate School is part of the Dahlem Research School (DRS) , which offers a variety of soft skills courses. MatSEC covers the fees for DRS courses for MatSEC doctoral researchers.

    Additionally, relevant courses at any institution affiliated with MatSEC can be attended. For a reimbursement of potential course fees, please contact the coordination office before course enrolment.

    Once a year the doctoral researchers affiliated with the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin organize a retreat for all doctoral researchers.
  • HZB School Lab "Blick in die Materie"
    Student laboratories offer children and young people an opportunity to discover the fascinating world of research. Doctoral researchers are wellcome to join the team.


Work progress is monitored through regular departmental seminars and semi-annual research colloquia. According to the HZB guidelines on doctoral training, doctoral researchers have to  present a formalized progress report on the current status and planning of their work to their supervisor at intervals of 6, 18 and 30 months after the start of their doctoral contract. This report must be forwarded to the MatSEC Coordination Office after being signed by the doctoral committee and the report will be assessed in writing by the MatSEC spokesperson.