KIT Center Humans and Technology


The curriculum is divided into three areas: 1) a base area for general knowledge, 2) a pillar area, in which the doctoral researchers are assigned to a discipline or a methodological approach typically in just one of the four pillars and 3) the roof, an interdisciplinary area in which the actual cooperation between the disciplines takes place. This should ensure that doctoral researchers first of all acquire general skills for writing a dissertation and establish connections to the professional world (science and practice; base). Secondly, that they obtain a ‘disciplinary home’ in which they can focus specifically on problems in their subject area (i.e., one of the four pillars). Thirdly, the roof provides them with a forum for the interdisciplinary approach. This is where the above-mentioned work on the identification of knowledge cultures, the navigation between them and their formation finds its proper place. Prerequisite for the certificate is the active participation in two courses, each in the base, in one pillar (or more) and in the roof.

Structure of the grad school in shape of a greek temple

Structure of the graduate school

In general, the wide range of courses (which can be held in a presentable and digital form) includes obligatory courses organized by the PIs. In addition, doctoral researchers are required to show initiative by preparing the annual program and, in close consultation with the board of directors and the KHYS (for the base area), generating events tailored to their needs. Finally, also achievements rendered externally, like active participation in conferences or organized meetings with EUCOR partners, can be credited. The same is envisioned for the involvement of doctoral researchers in research and teaching. The doctoral researchers keep a ‘diary’, which will form the basis for a transcript of records.

Interdisciplinary roof

A two-day Doc Retreat will be organized annually as an obligatory course (participation min. twice is obligatory): ideally, the Doc Retreat is attended by all members of the graduate school. At this event, the doctoral researchers present themselves, their projects and the progress of their work (posters, short papers) and collect ideas for the disciplinary and interdisciplinary events. This mutual exchange is the condition for interdisciplinary work in general and for planning the annual program in particular. In addition, a series of lectures will be held once a year, also an obligatory event, which will deal with the particular annual theme and will be taught by the P.I.s as well as by internal and external colleagues. In close consultation with the board of directors and the steering committee, doctoral researchers are free to organize interdisciplinary conferences, study days (journées d’études) and workshops, invited lectures plus discussion and method-oriented reading groups within the roof. Events of this kind are open to other young researchers, e.g., from the EUCOR or EPICUR framework, and established experts from Germany and abroad. In pillar four, researchers from outside Europe will be integrated as lecturers in (virtual) lectures. Starting in the second year, summer schools will be held.

Disciplinary pillars

In addition to the mandatory courses already included in master programs of the faculties (e.g., master classes and advanced seminars (“Meisterkurse”)), there will also be obligatory courses offered specifically for doctoral researchers, such as doctoral colloquia of the respective institutes or departments. Also, doctoral researchers are free to plan reading groups on methodological issues, invited lectures plus discussion and study days in close consultation with the board of directors and the steering committee.


The base provides for interdisciplinary basics for preparing and implementing a dissertation and the connection to professional life. This can be achieved through already existing internal KIT events, above all those of the KHYS, which offers numerous educational courses for doctoral researchers and also refers to those of other corporate partners. We also offer courses by the KIT library, e.g. courses on literature research and literature administration. Workshops on digital humanities are also to be held. Digital courses will be used all throughout in our graduate school. In particular, courses of the newly founded KIT Academy ARRTI are to be integrated into this level of the doctoral program, for example, one-day workshops on Scientific Integrity, courses in epistemic aspects of particular relevance for interdisciplinary cooperation and such that foster the reflection of responsibilities of scientists and engineers towards society. In cooperation with doctoral researchers, events with a focus on transfer to professional life (for example, workshops with directors of publishing houses and museums) will be developed. The doctoral program concludes with a certificate verified by the supervisor/mentor.