The scientific backbone of IGSSE research projects is formed by TUM’s renowned chairs and faculties with their internationally distinguished expertise in natural and engineering sciences, medicine, mathematics and computer science. More than 100 interdisciplinary project teams have been set up since the graduate school’s inauguration in October 2006. They cover research topics in the areas of Computational Science & Engineering, Biomedical Engineering, Nanotechnology & Advanced Materials, as well as Energy, Geodynamics & Environment.

A typical IGSSE project team has one or more

  • Principal Investigator/s (the supervisor of the doctoral candidates and head of the group) from divergent TUM faculties or a foreign university,
  • Project Team Leader/s (in charge of individual projects within the group),
  • Doctoral Researchers
  • Associate Doctoral Researchers 
  • Master Students

In the second funding phase of the German Excellence Initiative, the IGSSE has evolved into a strategic instrument for the medium- to long-term development of the Technische Universität München with the introduction of Focus Areas. Given the model of IGSSE Project Teams, a Focus Area includes up to 7 teams comprising about 30 doctoral researchers, 15 PIs, 7 postdoctoral researchers acting as Project Team Leaders (PTLs) and a number of Master's students from associated study programs. This accumulated research force is expected to generate outstanding scientific value for the university, as it does not only enable effective interdisciplinary research within a single project team but also creates significant synergy between all teams of a Focus Area.

'GreenTech' has been the first Focus Area to establish new Project Teams, followed by 'Biomaterials' and 'Water'. The Focus Area ATUMS has commenced its research in July 2015.