Entry Phase

1. Writing the Research Proposal

The research proposal plays a major role when planning your research and doctoral thesis project. It is a thematically and methodologically concise description of your doctoral thesis project. Given the deep technical and engineering-oriented nature of computer science, this means a full-fledged research proposal may in many cases not yet be possible at this point in time. Thus, the research proposal has the goal to set the scientific context of the work, identify relevant research questions in comparison to the state-of-the-art, and to point out interesting directions for the research work to be performed.

Guidelines for a research proposal

Dimensions of your proposal depend on the current practice in your research discipline; please note that it should not exceed the extent of ten pages (European A4 size with 15,000 to 20,000 characters). A research proposal has to include the following information:

  • Description of the topic of the doctoral thesis project including a clear research question,
  • outline of the state of research,
  • illustration of the chosen research methods,
  • relevant literature,
  • choice of supervisors and
  • time and work schedule, possibly financial budget and overview of resources.

You can find a detailed description of the doctoral process including writing the research proposal on the website of the Center for Doctoral Studies.

2. Public Presentation of the Research Project

According to the Statutes, the topic of the doctoral thesis has to be approved by the Director of the Doctoral Study Programme within the first year. The approval is based on the research proposal and its public presentation. The public presentation serves a twofold purpose. Firstly, new doctoral candidates and their research topics are introduced to the faculty. Secondly, the presentation is supposed to offer all attendants a platform for exchange and feedback.

If your presentation was successful, your topic and the supervisor(s) usually get approved by the Director of the Doctoral Study Programme right after the presentation. If your topic is not approved you have the possibility to recall your application, adapt your research proposal and reapply for the approval of your topic.

Registration for the public presentation

In order to register for the public presentation (FÖP), the following documents need to be submitted to the StudiesServiceCenter Computer Science, in English or in German:

Participants and date for the public presentation

At least 3 members of the Doctoral Advisory Board other than the supervisor or co-supervisor have to be present during the faculty-open presentation. The supervisor has to be present as well. Co-supervisors shall be present if possible. The DSPL, vice-DSPL, or a member of the Doctoral Advisory Board (Doktoratsbeirat) will be assigned as head of the committee by the DSPL. 

It is the responsibility of the doctoral student and their supervisor to find a date and time when these persons can join the faculty-open presentation and reserve a room for it (currently all faculty-open presentations take place online). Any other member of the Doctoral Advisory Board has the right to join as an advisor, but no obligation to do so. Generally, the faculty-open presentation takes about 60 minutes.

Faculty-open presentations are announced faculty-wide at least two weeks before they take place. Currently planned faculty-open presentations are published on our website "News & Events".

Supervision: DoCS co-advisor

It is a Doctoral School Computer Science requirement regarding doctoral students admitted to the doctorate starting from WS2020/21 to define a DoCS co-advisor. Please write the name of your DoCS co-advisor to docs@cs.univie.ac.at (please CC to your supervisor) after your public presentation has taken place.

DoCS Professors (full, associate, assistant) from the University of Vienna, but also from other universities can act as DoCS co-advisors.

The DoCS co-advisor does not have to be a co-supervisor in the sense of study law (i.e. co-supervisors are defined in the document "Registration of the doctoral thesis topic and announcement the supervisor(s) (SL / D11)"), even though this is possible as well.

You can find a detailed description of the doctoral process including the public presentation of the research project on the website of the Center for Doctoral Studies.

3. Doctoral thesis agreement

The doctoral thesis agreement is concluded after a positive presentation at the faculty.

Besides writing their thesis doctoral candidates have to earn study credits (e.g. through seminars, lectures etc.). The amount of credits which have to be earned are defined by the respective curricula. The doctoral candidate and the supervisor specify within the doctoral thesis agreement how these credits will be achieved. Doctoral candidates are also encouraged to take part in courses teaching transferable skills as well as obtaining other scientific qualifications (e.g. through presentations at conferences). 

Courses should be chosen as to best suit a doctoral candidate's research project and his/her intended professional career.

Doctoral Thesis Agreement

Doctoral candidate, supervisor/s and the university sign a doctoral thesis agreement (DZ/V01) comprising the following points:

  • All participants' rights and obligations,
  • detailed description of the doctoral thesis project,
  • time schedule and specification of financial aspects,
  • extent of supervision (frequency of feedback meetings) and
  • requirements that have to be fulfilled.

The doctoral thesis agreement is concluded after a positive presentation at the faculty (in English or German). The progress of the doctoral thesis project is documented in yearly annexes to the agreement (annual progress reports).

You can find a detailed description of the doctoral process including the doctoral thesis agreement on the website of the Center for Doctoral Studies.

 Additional links

» Curriculum Doctoral Programme in Natural Sciences and Technical Sciences in the field of Natural Sciences

» Curriculum Doctoral/PhD Programme in Business, Economics and Statistics

» Course Directory (2022S)

» All current forms for the doctorate (English)

» All current forms for the doctorate (German)

» PhD process (Center for Doctoral Studies)

» Submission and review of the thesis (Center for Doctoral Studies)

» PhD Handbook Navigating your Doctorate (Center for Doctoral Studies)

» Orientation Guide for International PhD Candidates (Center for Doctoral Studies)

» Early Career Researchers - Funding Programs (Research Services and Career Development; University of Vienna)

» grants.at (online database for scholarships and research grants)

» University Law 2002 (German)

» Statutes of the University of Vienna

» Study Law