The IDEALAB program is a modularly structured, joint doctoral program of three full academic years (180 ECTS) with a fully integrated curriculum. There is joint training in transversal and core skills in common summer (one per edition) and yearly winter schools (2 weeks each) by teachers from all institutions to all doctoral candidates (20 ECTS) and local home education at the institutions where the doctoral candidates are hosted (10 ECTS). The joint and local programs offer courses which belong to one of four modules (see below); furthermore, a total of 150 ECTS will be spent on a fifth research module: the dissertation project under co-tutelle, resulting in a doctoral thesis.
The modules comprising the program directly reflect the articulation between education, training and research, and the public sector. There is
Module 1: Publication and Presentation
Module 2: Employment
Module 3: Technological and Empirical Methods
Module 4: Research Methods
Language of instruction in all institutions is English.
On the basis of their preferred topics and background, doctoral candidates are assigned to a participating university which is his/her home university. Doctoral candidates are members of the graduate school of this home university. Here they have a first supervisor who is responsible for both the organization and the quality of the research project. Each doctoral candidate has a second supervisor from one of the other participating institutions either another full partner or an associated institution. Both supervisors are well experienced and have been successful in supervising doctoral projects. The supervision is, hence, always joint.
All students attend joint summer and winter schools. The winter school takes place annually. Two years in three this is hosted by the University of Trento, the third year it is hosted by Macquarie University, Sydney. The summer school is held at the beginning of the course, and at the end of the first year at the University of Potsdam. The universities provide classes in their respective fields of specialty. Apart from specialized courses, soft skills and language and culture classes are offered locally in the program.