Structure of the Graduate School

The premises underlying the education and training programme of the Research School for Geoinformatics are:

  1. That innovation and productivity demand high level of interdisciplinary understanding;
  2. That structured course work can be of great benefit, yet shall not prolong doctoral studies;
  3. That career development  be supported by training measures and cooperation with associated industrial or governmental partners; and
  4. That milestones permit individual monitoring of progress and achievements.

The education and training programme is structured into the following five phases, each of them containing a small set of specific milestones:

  1. Introduction, including preliminary course programme, and proposal for dissertation, publications, and exchange.
  2. Exploration, including defense of revised proposal, and at least one publication submitted to an international conference.
  3. Implementation, including at least one publication submitted to an international, peer-reviewed journal.
  4. Finalisation, including synopsis and final version of dissertation.
  5. Mobility, typically involving a three to six-month exchange with an external partner, to be conducted following Phase 1 and prior to Phase 5.

It is also possible to define additional phases on individual bases.

For traditional candidates with no additional external obligations such as holders of grants or scholarships, the doctoral programme is expected to be completed within 36 months. For doctoral candidates with additional external obligations, the duration can be extended up to 54 months (4.5 years). The expected duration will be defined in all cases at the commencement of doctoral studies, with extensions possible in appropriately justified cases.
The structure also includes a modular course programme and an optional one-month training module. Further innovative aspects of the programme include an annual international symposium organized by the Graduate School, a monthly virtual joint seminar using teleconferencing between sites, a vibrant visiting researcher program, and career development measures.

Graduates of the Graduate School for Geoinformatics will apply and develop methods for computer-supported solutions to spatially referenced problems, whether  global, regional, or local. They will possess specialized knowledge in Geospatial technologies and Geographic Information Science as well as in Informatics and Mathematics. The following core competencies are taught within the regular courses or by additional courses: English language, research methods, creative and critical thinking for problem-solving, decision-making and responsibility, strengthening of competences and the cognitive basis, individual initiative, team work, presentation of results (oral, written), practical experience, and inter-cultural competencies.

Such knowledge and skills qualify graduates of the School to pursue professional careers in:

  1. The private sector, through geoinformatic consultation or development in such domains as environment, planning, financial services, marketing, energy, transportation, agriculture, forestry, fishery, conservation, or cultural heritage.
  2. Research, through academic careers in natural and social sciences in universities and other research institutions.
  3. The public sector, through geoinformatic consultation and development in local and regional administrations, including planning and management for regional governance, mobility, or ecology, along with major policy implementations such as INSPIRE.

Further detail of the structure of the Graduate School is available in the German language Regulations of the Study Progamme, the guidelines of the University’s Faculty of Geosciences, and the general Doctoral Regulations for the University of Münster (also in German).