A central aspect of the interaction between the Project Teams and creation of the IGSSE´s own identity has been the setting-up of the annual IGSSE Forum. During this three-day symposium, approximately 200 members of the IGSSE meet up with international guests in scientific workshops, lectures and ambitious training programs. The Forum takes place in the Monastery of Raitenhaslach, which has now come to be regarded as a hallmark of the Graduate School.
Located in Burghausen in the south-east part of Bavaria, this former Cistercian monastery is gradually evolving as TUM´s Off-Campus Study and Residence Center.
The Forum is of utmost importance for IGSSE´s goal of opening up the minds of its young researchers and encourages them to look beyond the borders of their own research interests. In Raitenhaslach, IGSSE members learn about various aspects, solution concepts and visions of divergent research fields. The doctoral candidates are required to present their own projects to an interdisciplinary audience and get the opportunity to exchange and develop ideas in the inspiring atmosphere of the century-old abbey.
Since 2007 the IGSSE has hosted 6 Forums (2012). During the first part of each Forum (day 1 and 2), about 80 doctoral candidates gather for enabling skills courses designed according to the special needs and wishes of the IGSSE members (entrepreneurial skills, scientific paper writing, leadership in science, etc.). In the evenings, networking and social events are organised by the IGSSE Graduate Council. The second part (day 3) focused on the exchange of scientific ideas between larger clusters of Project Teams. This part is designed, organised and led by the doctoral candidates and Project Team Leaders themselves. To this, renowned international guests are invited and doctoral candidates may take the opportunity to present their research in a talk or a poster competition. The third part (day 4) is a large networking and celebration event with over 200 doctoral candiates and guests from both science and industry. Renowned keynote lecturers are invited to address a scientific topic that is of interest to a larger audience. Past speakers have included Prof Wolfgang Heckl, Director General of the Deutsches Museum, Prof Bert Sakmann, Nobel Prize Winner, and Prof Raoul Weiler, Club of Rome.