Insights in our education


To advance young doctoral researchers is central to the Research Training Groups SystemLink. We do so with a tailored qualification programme that has three main pillars:

Structure of work


Doctoral researchers in SystemLink are part of a large cohort of 12 persons working in a common scientific context. The diversity of backgrounds allows fruitful exchange and brings in extra fun. The cohorts divide into Research Teams of three students that look at the same system from different angles. This is key to the transdisciplinarity of SystemLink.

Master and PhD in parallel

Fast-track Study

Can’t wait for the next step? SystemLink offers a fast track option that allows exceptional students to merge the phases of academic education. You can enter in three ways: (1) by applying after you finished school, (2) by taking the first Bachelor courses while still at secondary school, or (3) by being nominated by a lecturer during your Bachelor or Master degree at RPTU. This way, you can start your doctoral research already during your Master.

Knowledge according to need


SystemLink offers tailored workshops for each phase of a PhD. Here, students actively improve their skills and knowledge and explore neighbouring disciplines. Six workshops are obligatory during the three years, but most students go for more. One set of workshops helps to develop soft skills that everyone in academia needs. The second set covers specific topics of SystemLink, focussing on practical, hands-on experience. Advanced innovation workshops prepare for your professional life beyond the doctoral research phase.

Soft skill development workshops

(i) Project management
(ii) Scientific writing & presentation
(iii) Conversation & conflict management
(iv) Rhetorical skills
(v) Project funding

Advanced innovation workshops

(xvi) Entrepreneurial design thinking
(xvii) Science-business interaction
(xviii) Ethics in science/Good scientific practice
(xix) Science-policy interaction
(xx) Science-social media interaction

Specific topic workshops

(vi) Hydrology
(vii) Environmental chemistry
(viii) Environmental physics
(ix) Ecotoxicology
(x) Geoecology
(xi) Molecular ecology
(xii) Physiology/food web analysis
(xiii) Ecosystem analysis
(xiv) Advanced data analysis
(xv) Soil microbiology

Moving beyond these three pillars a step further towards the professional scientific career, doctoral researchers in SystemLink build their academic network and reputation by presenting regularly at scientific conferences. And by organizing their own international workshops to exchange the latest developments of our research area. Students are encouraged and enabled to invite leading experts to Landau (SystemLink lecture series), or to spend time abroad as visiting scientist.