The structure of the training program is as follows:
- During the entire four‑year period, work on the dissertation is carried out under close supervision of ICS faculty and external experts.
- In the initial eighteen months, students are offered various courses in theory construction, research methods, and the integration of theory and research methods, in combination with practical training.
- During all courses, the PhD students work in small groups on assignments with special emphasis on a critical application of theoretical knowledge to problems of empirical research.
- In the remaining thirty months, the PhD students regularly present their research in progress in seminars attended by ICS faculty and other university faculty. This phase likewise includes an external traineeship.