JADS - Joint Academy of Doctoral Studies

Flagship partnership program of TUM and Imperial College London

TUM and Imperial College London (ICL) have recently combined their strengths in research, innovation and education in a strategic flagship partnership. As an essential part of this partnership, the new Joint Academy of Doctoral Studies (JADS) is starting in 2020 with the aim of fostering research collaboration at the doctoral level and beyond in fields highly relevant to the partnership. Within the context of this bi-lateral cross-disciplinary program, a cohort of six joint projects will be funded in a field of interdisciplinary cutting-edge research, in which both universities enjoy an outstanding reputation. The specific topic for each year's cohort is jointly selected by TUM and ICL and will address grand societal challenges to research and involve several schools and departments on both sides. Each university also names an academic lead for the topic.

Each year, a call for project proposals on the selected topic is published at both TUM and ICL. Up to six collaborative research projects, with each individual project led by both an Imperial and a TUM supervisor and underpinned by two doctoral candidates (one from TUM and one from Imperial) as well as one postdoctoral researcher will be supported and form a cohort. Doctoral candidates in the program will have access to world-leading academic supervisors and state-of-the art facilities at both institutions and participate in a specifically targeted qualification program. Each cohort of doctoral candidates will start at the beginning of October. All JADS doctoral candidates at TUM are members of the IGSSE.


The JADS cohort 2020 - Artificial Intelligence, Healthcare and Robotics

The university management boards of ICL and TUM have jointly selected the field of Artificial Intelligence, Healthcare and Robotics as the topic for the cohort starting in 2020. Prof. Nassir Navab  of TUM and Dr. Aldo Faisal of ICL , respectively, have been named as the two academic leads for this field.

The call for applications now open, the deadline for submitting proposals has been extended until May 19, 2020.


How to submit your project proposal:

  • The call document including specifics of the call and the application form is available here.
  • PIs from TUM should submit the fully completed application form, in electronic format (Microsoft Word or Adobe PDF) to IGSSE via jads.igsse@tum.de; PIs from ICL should submit the same file to globalseedfunds@imperial.ac.uk.


Key Elements and Criteria for the Call:

  • Joint applications from researchers at TUM and ICL, respectively, focused on projects at the intersection of AI, Robotics and Healthcare;
  • The same PI cannot submit more than two project proposals;
  • Students will be expected to spend at least one year in the partner university (this can be a full 12-month period or two 6-months periods);
  • Each selected project is to be supervised by 2 PIs (one at TUM & one at ICL).
  • All TUM doctoral candidates will be members of IGSSE
  • All doctoral candidates attend a subject-specific curriculum and the annual joint “JADS Symposium”, organised by IGSSE (at TUM) and Imperial College London
  • Joint thesis examination committee.


Call Timeline

Call Opens: 21-04-2020
Call Closes: 19-05-2020 Deadline extended!
Notification Date: June 2020
Start of PhD projects: October 2020

NB: In light of the present Covid-19 pandemic, timings might be subject to changes, in line with Imperial’s and TUM guidelines.

TUM funds for JADS

Projects will be supported through their individual institutions based on doctoral training stipends and relevant mobilities and consumables funds for a total of four years. At TUM this support includes:

  • 1 doctoral scholarship per project (2000€ per month stipend)
  • Mobility funds for doctoral researchers (4000€ total)
  • Accommodation grant for research stays at ICL (additional 4000€)
  • Funds for student helpers (4000€ total)
  • Direct project costs/consumables (4000€ total)

Qualification program

TUM and ICL doctoral researchers complete a flexible, yet mandatory qualification program, consisting of

  1. Subject-specific curriculum (joint seasonal schools, selected courses, etc.)
  2. Annual JADS Symposium
  3. A 12-month research stay at the co-supervisor's research institute
  4. Professional skills training (incl. e-learning, entrepreneurship, science communication).

At TUM, all JADS doctoral researchers, being members of IGSSE, also complete an adapted IGSSE qualification program including these requirements. Their peers from ICL are invited to participate in all trainings.

A JADS transcript of records, presented along the doctoral degree by the hosting university, lists all accomplished elements of the training program.

In addition, all doctoral candidates benefit from the co-supervision by the ICL and TUM principal investigators and the joint thesis examination committee. This is mirrored in a special joint supervision doctoral certificate.