The oral examination for doctoral candidates: Well prepared into the home straight

Jun 21, 2018 from 09:00 AM to 05:00 PM

Graduate Center

Target Group:

All doctoral candidates at the end of their doctorate.

We recommend to attend this workshop 6 to 12 months prior to your oral exam.


Dr. Simon Golin*, golin wissenschaftsmanagement, Hamburg


After mountains of subject specific literature, numerous formulated and then discarded hypotheses, perhaps also after experiments, the doctoral thesis is finally complete. But the end of the road has not yet been reached: now follows the oral examination.

After completion of the thesis, personally defending it presents a new challenge for the doctoral candidate. For many, oral examinations are associated with nerves and worries about blackouts. However, they quickly lose their horror if systematic preparation is started in good time. If the process is known, one has found one’s own presentation style and can also deal with difficult situations in discussions, one can go into the examination more relaxed and is then able to present one’s competencies in an optimal light.

In this workshop participants have the opportunity to strategically engage with the upcoming oral examination. They develop individual strategies for preparing themselves and learn techniques so they can direct the discussion even at critical points.

The following topics are envisaged:

  • What is obligatory and what is freestyle?
    The expectations of an oral examination
  • Selecting topics:
    What do I have to consider when choosing my examination subjects?
  • All to plan?
    Self and time management in the preparatory phase
  • The optimal presentation:
    How do I present myself and my work?
  • The show must go on!
    Dealing with nerves and difficult situations in discussions
  • The oral examination:
    My next steps



Registrations are welcome until 20 May 2018 via our online-portal. We will then determine whether the minimum number of 7 participants has been reached. Should the minimum number of participants not have been reached, the event will not take place due to financial reasons. Once the minimum number of participants has been reached, further registrations are possible until 8 days previous to the beginning of the event.

Please note:

There are 16 places on this course. The persons that can participate in the course will receive an e-mail from the Graduate Center. Without this confirmation mail you cannot participate in the course. Only participants that have registered for the course via the Graduate Center will receive a certificate of attendance.

All further registrations will be placed on a waiting list. As soon as there is a free place on the course you will receive a message from us. If you do not receive any message from us concerning this course there are no free places and unfortunately you cannot participate in this course.


*: Dr. Simon Golin, Hamburg, heads the consultancy company golin wissenschaftsmanagement. For more than 20 years now he has been involved with not-for-profit management – with a focus on science, education and the foundation sector. Amongst other things, he has been managing director of the “Deutscher Studienpreis” at the Körber foundation, secretary general of the German National Ethics Council and secretary general of the Academy of Sciences and Humanities in Hamburg.

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