The DLGS offers an academic program and activities to support the development of a spectrum of knowledge and skills required for a doctoral degree in the field of spatial sustainability science. This combines a variety of formats, both compulsory and elective, that also reflect the specific needs in the different stages of a cumulative or monographic dissertation. The curriculum includes core, subject, methodological, and skill development courses. Additionally, fellows may choose courses from the wide ranging program of the Graduate Academy of TUD. For all international students, language courses in German are also supported.
The DLGS provides an academic program to facilitate the acquisition of a range of knowledge and skills necessary for pursuing a PhD in spatial sustainability science. These courses comprise compulsory and elective formats that cater to specific requirements at various stages of a cumulative or monographic dissertation. Each course is typically designed to consist of two components: lecture that imparts information and knowledge, and interactive session that involve hands-on activities or application of the acquired knowledge. The curriculum encompasses core, subject-specific, methodological, and skill development courses. The following is a list of mandatory and elective courses offered to candidates, which can be undertaken during their dissertation phase.
1. Core courses
The courses offered under this category are considered crucial for developing a solid foundation of knowledge and skills necessary to pursue a PhD in the field of spatial sustainability sciences. They have been carefully curated based on their relevance to the subject area. To ensure that candidates are well-prepared for their research, these courses are mandatory and must be completed during their dissertation phase. These highly compact courses have thus been designed to provide candidates with an early and comprehensive understanding of the fundamental concepts and principles in spatial sustainability science, allowing them to build on this interdisciplinary knowledge as they progress through their research. By completing these mandatory courses in a timely manner, candidates will be better equipped to tackle the challenges that they may encounter during their PhD journey, as well as develop a solid foundation of knowledge and skills that will benefit them throughout their academic career.
2. Subject specific courses
The courses offered under this category are designed to provide candidates with an in-depth understanding of the theoretical and conceptual frameworks that underpin the various subfields within spatial sustainability sciences. These courses are aimed at helping candidates to develop critical thinking skills and to apply these frameworks to practical problems. The course list comprises both mandatory and elective courses. The latter can be chosen depending on their relevance for the content to the specific research focus of the PhD candidates. The mandatory courses are essential for all candidates and are carefully selected to provide a comprehensive overview of the fields, ensuring that candidates have a solid understanding of the subject area. Overall, the courses offered under this category are intended to equip candidates with a subject specific foundation in spatial sustainability sciences, enabling them to approach their research work with a well-informed and critical perspective. By completing these courses, candidates will have a better understanding of the inter- and transdisciplinary implications of their research for the broader field.
3. Methodological courses
The courses identified under this category are related to the research design and methods that PhD candidates would implement in their dissertations. The focus of these courses is to provide candidates with the necessary skills and knowledge to effectively design and conduct their research. One mandatory course on systematic literature review is included in the course list. This course offers a comprehensive overview of the methods and tools required by candidates to conduct a thorough and effective systematic literature review. In addition to this, there are also several elective courses that candidates can choose from based on their specific research needs and interests. These courses are carefully selected to ensure that they are relevant and applicable to the research topics being pursued by the candidates. Importantly, given the changing research designs of PhD candidates, these courses are organized on a needs basis. This means that when a need is identified for a cohort, the relevant course can be organized on-demand. This approach ensures that candidates have access to the most relevant and up-to-date training in research methods, tailored to their specific research interests. Overall, the courses offered under this category are designed to equip candidates with the necessary methodological skills and knowledge to effectively design and conduct their research, ultimately leading to a successful dissertation.
4. Skill development
The courses included in this category have been chosen with the sole purpose of equipping PhD candidates with relevant skills that may aid them in their professional career as a researcher or in other fields. These courses are designed to enhance the development of multi-purpose skill-sets, providing the PhD candidates with tools and techniques to enhance their efficiency and effectiveness. The course list comprises both mandatory and elective courses. The TUD Graduate Academy offers a wide array of courses that have been curated to cater to the diverse needs of PhD candidates. These courses cover various topics such as writing and publishing, presentation skills, project management, among others. These courses are designed to equip PhD candidates with the necessary skills to effectively navigate the challenges of academia and beyond.
To foster inter- and transdisciplinary competences, joint co-creation labs are organized to enhance fellows' ability to think outside the box, to engage productively with other disciplines as well as non-science stakeholders, and to develop skills and reflexivity in terms of knowledge co-production and co-design. Moreover, the DLGS program is further enriched by a variety of other regular events and formats in which the candidates can get involved. This includes for example the quarterly Young Scientists Seminar, that fosters exchange between doctoral candidates and Post-docs at IOER, the PhD days at IOER and in the wider Leibniz Research Network R (Spatial Knowledge for Society and Environment), the Dresden Nexus Conference, as well as various other scientific events at either IOER or TUD. Last but not least, the DLGS also thrives with a number of informal gatherings and social events in the form of DLGS Conversation series, the Summer party and the Christmas party at IOER, beyond the regular curriculum that make a community of young researchers cohesive, livable and inspiring.