According to the Statutes, doctoral candidates have to pass the public presentation of their dissertation project within the first year. The research proposal (Expose) and the public presentation (FÖP) are the requirement for the approval of the dissertation project and the conclusion of the doctoral thesis agreement.

The public presentation serves two purposes. Firstly, to introduce new doctoral students and their research topics. Secondly, the public presentation provides a platform for exchange and feedback for all participants.

The public presentation is chaired by the study programme directors of the VDS PhaNuSpo and attended by members of the Thesis Advisory Committee (TAC), the PI panel and doctoral students, and is open to the public. The chairpersons and reviewers of the research outlines will provide valuable feedback on the research projects and will assess whether the projects are up to scientific standards and whether they can be successfully completed within a reasonable period of time.

After a successful presentation, the topic and the supervisor(s) will be approved by the study programme director. If the research plan is not approved, the doctoral student has the possibility to withdraw the application, adapt the research proposal and reapply for the approval.

 Dates for the study year 2024/25

  • Tuesday 12 November 2024
    • Registration deadline for PhD speakers is 01 October 2024.
  • Tuesday 21 January 2025
    • Registration deadline for PhD speakers is 10 December 2024.
  • Tuesday 18 March 2025
    • Registration deadline for PhD speakers is 04 February 2025.
  • Tuesday 17 June 2025
    • Registration deadline for PhD speakers is 06 May 2025.

The public presentations are held online and generally start at 9:00 Vienna time.

 Registration for the public presentation

In order to register for the public presentation, the following documents need to be submitted by email to the executive manager. 

  • Exposé (max. 10 pages, in English), guidelines and template below
  • Registration of the topic of doctoral thesis and supervisor(s) by using the official forms SL/D11 and SL/W1 and if necessary, the forms SL/D12 and SL/W4 (see below)
  • Please name your files as follows: Expose_Surname.pdf, SL.D11_Surname.pdf, etc.

 Exposé Guideline

With your exposé and your presentation you should

  • Demonstrate that you have carefully planned and thought through your doctoral project.
  • Provide a comprehensive summary of your doctoral project to the members of the faculty.
  • Allow the faculty to assess the quality and feasibility of your research project, to give valuable and constructive input and ultimately approve your doctoral thesis project.

If your project is part of a larger competitive, extramurally-funded and collaborative project by your supervsior, you will need to take particular attention to ensure that your individual contribution to the project leads to your doctoral qualification.

Please use the template that is available on our intranet.


Exposé structure and content

A) Title Page

  • (Working) title of your dissertation project
  • Your name, student number and email address
  • Supervision team: at least 2 experts in your research topic; the formation of a larger thesis committee is strongly recommended
    Examples: 2 supervisors, or at least 1 supervisor + 1 co-mentor/advisor
    Supervisor: must be
    a habilitated or tenured professor, one of two supervsiors can be an external professor
    Co-mentor/advisor: can be an e
    xperienced postdoc, senior scientist or professor. They can be from the University of Vienna or external.
  • Funding: salary/fellowship/others and costs for consumables

B) Main part: within a maximum of 10 pages (font size 11 pt., minimum line spacing 1)

  • Introduction: i.e. brief background, current 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 achieve/answer with your thesis project? Why is this important?
  • Workplan: What methods and experimental setups will you use to address your specific aims/ hypthesis/ research questions? What infrastructure and/or collaborators do you need or you have on your disposal? Which methods are already running in your lab, which will need to be established or optimised?
  • Timetable: When do you plan to do what to achieve your goals? (Gantt chart)
  • Contingency plan & risk analysis: Where do you see potential problems in following your research plan? Have you considered solutions/ alternatives?

C) Cited References


Visit the public presentations! This will give you a first impression of what is expected of you. It is also a great way to find out about current research projects at your doctoral school.

The Centre for Doctoral Studies offers regular workshops on academic writing. For more information and to register, visit