Public defense

With the positive assessment of the doctoral thesis and when all demands of the curriculum have been met a registration for the public defense is possible. This has to be done at the respective StudyServiceCenter Life Sciences.

The public defense consists of

  • a presentation of the central findings
  • followed by a general discussion about the research subject with the examination commission.


The examination committee is approved by the Director of PhaNuSpo (upon suggestion by the candidate/supervisor), consists of (at least) three persons and usually does not include the supervisor(s). Optimally, the two reviewers are part of the committee. At the end of the presentation each member of the committee awards a grade for the whole examination (1-5). If a majority decision can be achieved, meaning that the majority of the members of the committee award the same grade, then this decision states the grade (e.g. 1,1,2 -> majority decision is 1 = “very good”). If all members award a different grade, then the mean average is awarded (e.g. 1,3,5 -> mean average 1+3+5=9 divided by 3= 3). The grade of the defense is a numeric grade.

After the positively assessed public defense the academic title is awarded.

The doctoral candidate has the possibility to celebrate his/her completion of the doctoral study with a conferring ceremony. For more information please follow this link.


We recommend to visit public defenses prior to the own defense to get an impression of the atmosphere and the procedure of defences at your department. Defences are open to the public.

The dates are announced here