Previous Winners

TUM Supervisory Award

Nomination for 2021 OPEN! Nominate your supervisor by clicking here.


TUM Graduate Councils honours outstanding doctoral supervision

On behalf of all doctoral candidates, the TUM Graduate Council awards since 2018 on a yearly basis the TUM Supervisory Award under the patronage of the President of TUM Prof. Dr. Thomas Hofmann and funded by the TUM Graduate School. The TUM Supervisory Award which also encompasses a prize of 5,000€ is presented as part of the festivities of the Dies Academicus to a distinguished TUM doctoral supervisor – either a professor or a post-doc – who has comitted herself or himself in the past to an outstanding supervision and education of her or his doctoral candidates.

The TUM Supervisory Award not only aims at rewarding extraordinary supervision of doctoral candidates but also at raising the awareness for the necessity of a reliable, sincere, and respectful relationship between the supervisor and the doctoral candidates. Thus, the TUM Supervisory Award lies at the heart of the purpose of the TUM Graduate Council and the selection, respectively the election of the laureate is conducted accordingly (see details below).

TUM Supervisory Award 2021

In 2021, the TUM Supervisory Award will be awarded for the fourth  consecutive year. All doctoral candidates who are currently members of the TUM Graduate School and all alumni who left the TUM Graduate School during the previous year (relevant is the date of defense) are called to nominate their outstanding supervisor (either a professor or a post-doc) until the 14th of March (24:00), 2021. To nominate your supervisor, you and up to 2 of your fellow doctoral candidates only need to fill out the nomination form found at this link.

Please note: Before nominating, please make sure you briefly run through the nomination criteria and fill in the “non-disclosure agreement”. You can find both information on this website, just reading on. We look forward to your nomination!



The Graduate Council has released a position on good doctoral supervision where the expectations of doctoral candidates towards their supervisor are summarized. In addition to the points mentioned in this document, the evaluation will also consider additional criteria and a written reasoning by the nominating doctoral candidates.

Download List of Criteria: [English]


Every professor or post-doc who is employed by the Technical University of Munich can be nominated for the TUM Supervisory Award. Besides an outstanding supervision, the only formal criterion is that at least one of the supervised doctoral candidates is/was an active member of the TUM Graduate School. A supervisor can be nominated by an individual doctoral candidate or by a group of up to 3 doctoral candidates. Notice, however, that each professor or post-doc can only be nominated once per year, i.e. multiple nominations from different doctoral candidates are “combined” and count as one nomination. To nominate your supervisor, you need to fill the form here, and sign the [non-disclosure-agreement].

Selection Procedure


The selection procedure of the TUM Supervisory Award comprises three phases: The nomination period at the level of the individual chairs and working groups (Phase I), the selection period at the level of the differnet Graduate Centers (Phase II), and the evaluation and election phase at the level of the TUM Graduate Council (Phase III). A detailed description of the the different phases is provided below.

At all three phases and beyond, a maximum of care is taken to ensure absolute anonymity of the nominating doctoral candidates as well as of the non-nominating doctoral candidates. Results at the level of the individual Graduate Centers are only published upon request and after careful consideration.

  • Phase I: Nomination period at the chairs/working groups (January – March) Until the 14th of March, doctoral candidates can individually or in groups (up to 3 persons) nominate their supervisor by filling the nomination sheet here. After the nomination period, all submitted nominations are reviewed by the doctoral representatives and the respective Graduate Center’s manager. They decide objectively based on the given criteria, the nomination sheet and prior knowledge which of the nominations advance to Phase II in which typically 5-10 nominations are considered.

  • Phase II: Graduate Centers select best supervisor (March – May) One nominator of each nominee selected for Phase II will be invited to a discussion meeting at which the nominators, the doctoral representatives and the managers of the Graduate Centers are present. Attendance at the discussion meetings is mandatory. Prior to the meeting, all participants sign a non-disclosure agreement and have the option for an anonymous self-exclusion. The meeting will be chaired by the doctoral representatives. After a short individual presentation and an open discussion, a voting will determine the Top3 nominees for each Graduate Center. These Top3 will be brought into order by their nominees and the doctoral representatives according to the criteria used in Phase I. After the meeting, the doctoral representatives report the results to the TUM Graduate Council.

  • Phase III: TUM Graduate Council evaluates the Graduate Centers’ nominations (June-August) A committee of experts will review the nominations of all Graduate Centers and suggest the TUM Graduate Council a short list of about five supervisors. This decision will be based on the nomination sheets, the report of each Graduate Center and additional information which the committee might want to acquire. The short list, along with the reasoning for the selection, will be presented to the TUM Graduate Council, which then votes on the winner of the award in one of its regular meetings during the summer semester.


As part of the TUM Supervisory Award a prize money of 5,000€, funded by the TUM Graduate School, will be awarded to the winning supervisor. The supervisor must spend this prize money for the benefit of his or her doctoral candidates according to the public budget law e.g. by organizing workshops, supporting research stays abroad, buying relevant software or updating the chair’s library. The TUM Supervisory Award trophy as well as a corresponding certificate will be awarded to the winning supervisor by the Senior Vice President for Research and Innovation during the festivities as part of the Dies Academicus.


For further questions or additional information regarding the TUM Supervisory Award, contact the Working Group Supervisory Award of the TUM Graduate Council via email or use our online contact form.


Responses to frequently asked questions can also be found in the TUM Supervisory Award FAQ section.

Winner of the Supervisory Award 2020

Prof. Dr. Dimitrios Karampinos 
Experimental Magnetic Resonance Imaging
TUM Faculty of Medicine & Munich School of Bioengineering

In its 73rd meeting, the TUM Graduate Council voted on the winner of the Supervisory Award 2020 for outstanding doctoral supervision. The Award is presented for the third time and runs under the patronage of TUM President Prof. Thomas F. Hofmann. Following Prof. Dr. Bernhard Wolfrum (2018, Assistant Professor of Neuroelectronics, Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Information Technology) and Prof. Dr. Sonja Berensmeier (2019, Professor of Selective Separation Technology, Faculty of Mechanical Engineering), this year Prof. Dr. Dimitrios Karampinos (Assistant Professor of Experimental Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Faculty of Medicine) prevailed in a three-stage selection process. The TUM Supervisory Award is endowed with a prize money of €5,000 to support PhD-related activities and was presented to Prof. Karampinos at this year’s TUM Awards Dinner. 

Winner of the Supervisory Award 2019

Prof. Dr. Sonja Berensmeier
Bioseparation Engineering Group
TUM Department of Mechanical Engineering

Professor Dr. Sonja Berensmeier was awarded the TUM Supervisory Award 2019 for her exemplary supervision and for her commitment in the training of her doctoral candidates. The TUM Supervisory Award 2019 is presented as part of the festivities of the Dies Academicus (Dec 5, 2019). 

Winner of the Supervisory Award 2018

Prof. Dr. Bernhard Wolfrum
Neuroelectronics Group
TUM Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering  

Professor Dr. Bernhard Wolfrum was awarded the TUM Supervisory Award 2018 for his exemplary supervision and for his commitment in the training of his doctoral candidates. His doctoral candidates emphasize that “he wouldn’t hesitate to spend a few hours in the lab or in the office solving problems and discussing our publication strategy.” (Citation from the nomination form) Besides his commendable support during the doctoral studies (international research stays, conference visits, additional qualification possibilities), Professor Wolfrum also ensures that his doctoral candidates are very well prepared for the time after their theses – be it either for a scientific career or for a future outside academia.

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