Public presentation (=TAC meeting) and approval of thesis project

The first step toward a successful PhD is to get your thesis project approved of. Alas, this involves quite a bit of paperwork and brainstorming with your supervisor, to be done in the first months.

A public presentation of your thesis project (aka TAC meeting) in the presence of your committee members (CMs) must be held within 6-12 months. Usually, the presentations are done within the framework of your Work in Progress Seminars. If you are a student in one of the PhD tracks, please contact your track manager for specific information.

Right after the presentation, a non-public meeting between the candidate and the TAC members will take place to discuss the work plan and scientific and organizational issues. A protocol (signed by all TAC members) describing the research project (exposé and/or progress report) including suggestions for improvements, criticism, etc. is to be sent to Gerlinde.

  • Make sure to have your first TAC within 6 months after starting
  • For the first TAC, write a proposal (= expose) and send it to your committee at least one week in advance


What is the thesis advisory committee (TAC)?
The thesis comittee consists of your supervisor plus 2 scientists of your research area. In exceptional cases 3 scientists can be chosen). TAC members can be recruited from the VBC Faculty, but also from other institutions in Austria and abroad. However, TAC members should not belong to the same institution.

Who is eligible for the TAC?
Your PhD supervisor and scientists who are acknowledged experts on the topic of your thesis project. TAC members must be tenured (“habilitiert”) or independent group leaders who have their own funds. The committee should provide support and guidance for your project by following it from the initial presentation, through annual work progress presentations, to the final thesis defence.


After your successful presentation, the Doctoral Thesis Agreement will be signed by the SPL, and a copy will be returned to you by email. In the following years, Annual Progress Reports will be required.


E-mail the following paperwork to Gerlinde, who will collect the SPL's signature:

In case there is a confidentiality agreement with your instiution, please attach a copy of the agreement.