Jena Alliance Life in Focus course: Thesis Defense Training

Dr. Malte Engel, Institut für Argumentationskompetenz

JSMC building, Neugasse 23, SR 101

Target group: PhD students in their final year

In their thesis defense, doctoral students have to present their research to a board of examiners and then answer critical questions. This course is designed to prepare doctoral students optimally for this situation. In the first part of the course the participants get practical tips for their introductory presentation: how to structure the presentation, how to build up the central argument, what language to use, etc. The second part of the course addresses problems that can occur during the discussion. We look at various types of difficult  questions and discuss strategies that the participants can use to respond to them. In the third part, participants get the chance to practice their presentation, simulate the defense, and to receive feedback from the group and from the trainer.

Objectives The participants...

  • give a convincing and well-structured presentation
  • deal confidently with counter arguments and critical questions
  • are well prepared and feel confident about their thesis defense


All contents will be developed interactively, and they will be applied directly to the participants' topics. All participants are given the opportunity to simulate parts of their disputation.

The number of participants will be limited to 10.

To register please send me an email to
First come, first served!

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