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Success in Your Doctorate IV: The Defense

WWB-Area | Learning field

Research Management | Successful Doctorate

Starting Point

You’re almost there! The goal is within reach. Your dissertation has been submitted and now it "just" has to be defended.

Coming at the end of a long process, the defense requires continuing full commitment on various levels. In addition to content, both psychological and rhetorical preparation can significantly contribute to a successful defense.


Following the workshop, participants will be prepared for the many challenges of the defense. They will be aware of the importance of precise knowledge of the formalities and be able to plan the preparation of their presentation and technical discussion. They will feel more confident in their self-image as experts in their field, who can hold a discussion with the defense committee on an eye-to-eye level. By developing knowledge of rhetorical techniques and receiving feedback on their own presentation style, participants will gain confidence in their self-presentation.


  • Clarify general conditions/formalities: Doctoral regulations, commission, procedure, technology/room, clothing
  • Preparation of content: concept, preparatory talks, identification of relevant topics for the expert discussion
  • Psychological preparation: attitude and self-image, dealing with stress, profile analysis of the committee members
  • Rhetorical preparation: techniques of asking questions, dealing with difficult questions, verbal and non-verbal behavior, feedback on presentations


Short input from the trainer, individual and small group work on self-reflection, role-plays, peer feedback, possibly video playback of presentations, exchange of experiences.
Max. number of participants: 12.


The course is aimed at researchers from all disciplines who are in the end phase of their doctorate. It follows the courses "Successful Doctorates I & II & III"; prior participation in these courses is recommended, but not required.

Course number
Wed, 22.09.2021, 09:00am-5:00pm

1 day, 10 working units á 45 min
Classroom meeting
ZEWK, Fraunhoferstr. 33-36, R 1019 
Dr. Siofra McSherry
Course language
For employees, assistant lectures, registered doctoral candidates at TU Berlin and junior scientists at HU Berlin, FU Berlin, Charité, the course is free of charge. If you do not belong to these groups of people, please contact  for information on fees.
Participants should have English language skills at least the B2 level.
Assuming successful participation, you receive a certificate of attendance.
Applicable for certificate Research Management.

For registration, please fill in the provided form. In case of any questions regarding the course, please contact .

In case of any organizational questions please contact .


Your binding participation is very important to us. On the one hand, our courses are connected with high costs. On the other hand, we plan much group work and work interactively with you. Hence, should you be unable to attend the entire course or should you be prevented from attending the course at all, please let us know as soon as possible so that we can allocate the place to other interested persons. In the event of multiple unexcused absence, we reserve the right to exclude you from further ZEWK courses.

Please help us to develop our program in a targeted manner. Your data will not be disclosed to third parties.

Registration Success in Your Doctorate IV: The Defense (FM VI-4)

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+49 30/ 314 - 240 30
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