Qualification Programme



The concept of the qualification programme of the research training group is based on the subareas knowledge and competence, scientific development, and personal development.

The foundation of this concept is the goal-orientated and enduring assistance given to the doctoral researchers to help guide them along their way to internationally recognised findings and visible scientific excellence. The training programme is divided into three qualification years: (year 1) introduction phase, (year 2) production phase, (year 3) completion phase, each oriented towards the specific needs of doctoral researchers in the respective phases. The programme follows a holistic approach, which encompasses not only an individually specialized doctorate, but furthermore, a comprehensive specialized qualification, as well as support for doctoral researchers’ personal development.


Potential professional avenues, within and outside of academia, for researchers who have completed their doctorates within the research training group are:


  • Scientific career: postdoctoral programmes, tenure-track programmes
  • Public Health (development and implementation of interventions and prevention measures)
  • Psychotherapy training (will start after the three-year doctorate)


  • Scientific career: postdoctoral programmes, tenure-track programmes
  • Medical career (hospital, practise)

Natural scientists:

  • Scientific career: postdoctoral programmes, tenure-track programmes
  • Outside academia: pharmaceutical industry, consulting etc.

The qualification programme is embodied by the domain “knowledge and competence” and represents the endorsement and furthering of specialized knowledge through scientific lectures and meetings. The core areas of the qualification concept include classical lectures and presentations from international scholars on relevant topics, as well as a journal club for doctoral researchers. Furthermore, overlapping with the “scientific development” domain is the methodology field, devoted to the improvement of methodological competence in various fields (e.g., neuroimaging or statistics) and the “personal development” domain, where seminars on interdisciplinary topics (e.g., scientific writing, time management) will be offered. The aim of this domain is the specific acquisition of fundamental knowledge and “soft skills” for the completion of a successful doctorate.



Introduction phase (year 1): Basic knowledge and competences will be acquired in biweekly two-hour seminars and lab workshops to lead into a project presentation at the ACE spring school (seminars to trauma related topics and scientific reading, introduction of all projects through poster sessions held by doctoral researchers, networking, and teambuilding). Afterwards, biweekly appointments (seminar combined with journal club respectively later on progress report) complemented by bimonthly lab workshops will broaden participants basic knowledge and competencies.

Production phase (year 2): Seminars of biweekly appointments and lab workshops intensify content of the first year and will be completed by a scientific retreat (2 days) in the middle of the year. An internship up to three months is possible during summer break (in year 2 or 3).

Completion phase (year 3): Begins with a two-day master class, focusses on the output (papers, finalization PhD/MD, future research training group research), offers optional seminars on career development and alternative career paths, and finally ends with a symposium (presentation of results/findings, international speakers, networking).