A central PhD program is provided for PhD students in systems and control. It consists of a course programme offered in Utrecht, international summer schools and a yearly three-day Benelux Meeting.

PhD education

DISC provides a program for graduate studies in systems and control offered to PhD students of the participating departments. Educational activities of DISC include:

Graduate courses on Systems and Control

PhD students are offered a course program of weekly lectures that are given by top specialists in a central location in Utrecht. The courses cover a wide range of topics from mathematical systems theory to control engineering and intend to bring PhD students in short time to an internationally recognized research level. The course program consists of a set of basic courses (6 ECTS) and a number of specialized short courses (3 ECTS).

Summer School

Every year DISC organizes a Summer School to familiarize students with a research topic of current interest. International specialists are invited to lecture in these summer schools. Recently organized schools are “ “Machine Learning for Control” (2018),  “When game Theory meets Systems and Control” (2019), “Planning, Learning and Control for Multi-Robot and Multi-Agent Systems” (2021), “Security and Resiliency for Cyber-Physical Systems – foundations and recent advances” (2022) and “Control in Power and Energy Systems” (2023).

Winter Course

Since 2009 DISC organizes a Winter Course, lectured by an international guest lecturer on a particular topic or research field relevant for systems and control. The course is typically scheduled in the winter trimester and can be organized in one or more university locations. The topic of the Winter Course 2022 was “Data learning & Dynamics at the Intersection of Neuroscience and Control ” and it was hosted by Delft University of Technology.

Benelux Meeting on Systems and Control

The annual Benelux Meetings on Systems and Control are held alternately in The Netherlands and Belgium. They provide graduate students and researchers with a podium to present and discuss research results. The program includes keynote talks by invited international speakers and one or two mini-courses by senior researchers. Since 1996 the Best Junior Presentation Award is annually awarded for the best presentation by a PhD student.


Besides direct educational activities, disc provides PhD students with a network of contacts with colleague students and with national and international scientists in the field. This environment is considered to support their development as independent researchers that participate in and contribute to the international research community.

Besides the PhD program in systems and control, disc is represented in two interuniversity/national MSc programs: