Scientific fields and graduation


The DK training programme is compatible with the current physics PhD curriculum at the University of Innsbruck which is essential for the efficiency of the training.

The academic degree is Doctor of Philosophy in Physics (PhD). The students will gain 180 credit points according to the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS). The PhD curriculum gives flexiblity to implement additional training activities according to the specific needs of the DK and for the benefit of the DK students.

The central part is the work on the PhD thesis (150 ECTS), complemented by the training programme (30 ECTS), which includes successful completion of courses (25 ECTS) and scientific contributions to international conferences (5 ECTS). In addition, the PhD students gain international experience by a long-term research stay abroad. Furthermore, the PhD students are given the opportunity to acquire teaching skills, expertise in scientific ethics, project management and conflict management.

Ph.D. thesis

At the beginning the PhD thesis project and the research plan will be formulated by the thesis committee which is formed by two supervisors and a third scientist.

Training content

The students of the DK will carry out ambitious research projects in the wide range from fundamental atomic, molecular and optical physics and neighbouring disciplines to the application of developed tools. They will be fully integrated in the scientific environment with access to high-quality experimental laboratories and a powerful computational infrastructure. They will interact with their supervisors and team colleagues on a daily basis, and they will interact with the international scientific community.

Research work.

The research work will be accompanied by a training programme that provides the DK students with the necessary scientific background for their research and that gives them a broader perspective of the whole field of atomic, molecular and optical physics. Moreover, training in important complementary skills will prepare them for their future careers.

Interdisciplinary discourse. 

DK students will be trained to present their research work to a general audience of scientists from other fields within an interdisciplinary seminar to develop the necessary didactical skills.

Teaching experience. 

The DK considers teaching experience a valuable additional qualification for the future career of the PhD students. They will be given the opportunity to teach undergraduate students in laboratory courses and problem-solving classes of the bachelor programme. This will be organised in a way that they will assist experienced teachers.


Intensive networking activities will create a stimulating environment, where the students will optimally benefit from the knowledge and experience of the DK faculty, from other students, and from the international scientists collaborating with the DK.

Research stay abroad.

The DK will allow the PhD students to work abroad (for six months). Research work will provide them with additional know-how and with international experience and will stimulate future contacts to other researchers working on atomic, molecular and optical physics all over the world.

Participation in international scientific meetings. 

The PhD students will have to participate at least in two one-week international scientific conferences, workshops and summer schools to present and discuss their research work, thereby initiating future collaborations with other research institutions.

Possible PhD research projects

The PhD research projects will be set up by the thesis committee and the intensive day-by-day interaction with the supervisors and the research team. Research in the DK will centre on the seven joint scientific tasks. These tasks represent core topics in present day AMO physics that are of world-wide interest. The PhD students that will join the DK will be offered research topics geared towards reaching these joint scientific tasks.

  • Atomic ensembles for simulations of condensed matter systems
  • Quantum many-body physics under non-equilibrium conditions
  • Tools and protocols for quantum information processing
  • Intergrated quantum optics
  • Development of advanced instrumentation
  • Controlling atomic and molecular interactions
  • Molecular structure and dynamics of astrophysical relevance
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