Thomas Koch studied chemistry at the Technical University of Darmstadt, Germany, and at the University of East Anglia in Norwich, UK, where he obtained a PhD in Physical Chemistry in 1994. Subsequently, he worked as a postdoctoral researcher in atmospheric sciences at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne and as a project scientist for the ESA comet mission ROSETTA at the University of Bern in Switzerland.
In 2002 he continued his career in research management as Scientific Coordinator of the faculty-wide Graduate School of Chemistry and Biochemistry at Ruhr University of Bochum (RUB), Germany. He was responsible for its establishment, day-to-day management and consolidation. Moreover, he played a pivotal role in developing the framework for an overarching, institution-wide RUB Research School , which was selected for funding within the Excellence Initiative in 2006, the first research assessment exercise run by the German federal and state governments.
In 2007 he became Head of Office for Research and Early Career Researchers and provided senior administrative advice and support on research funding and policy issues to the university top management. He was also member of the steering committee and a driving force behind the development and implementation of RUB`s institutional strategy to promote top level research.
From 2011 to 2015 he consolidated his administrative career at Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich (LMU) as Head of Division for Research Funding and Promotion of Junior Academics. He was responsible for more than 50 staff providing centralized internal consultancy and support services for both researchers and university top management – covering the professional development of researchers, national and international funding programmes, research and technology transfer as well as continuing professional development for senior managers and experts in non-academic sectors. He coordinated the reengineering of the support services, processes and structures related to external grant income as well as the introduction of process management into the central university administration.
Since 2005 he has been giving numerous conference and workshop contributions on professional development and research management in higher education. Moreover, he has been working for several years as an independent expert and reviewer, e.g. for the European Commission, the European University Association, the Helmholtz Association as well as higher education institutions. He is fluent in English and German and has a sound knowledge of French and Italian.