HITEC Supervision Scheme
In HITEC particular significance is attached to a good supervision concept: In addition to the principle supervisor a scientific advisor from the section supports the doctoral candidate in his or her day-to-day thesis work. Supervision of the PhD students will be complemented by internal mentoring to improve interdisciplinarity and by external mentoring to support the international networking in science and industry. The monitoring of progress and an arbitration function in the case of disputes is undertaken by the ‘Doctoral Committee’.
Supervisors and Scientific Advisors
The faculty members of the Graduate School are experienced scientists with a broad range of specialist knowledge and proven experience in supervising PhD students and master's students. PhD students have a supervisor and a scientific advisor. Professors and PDs are the PhD students supervisors. In addition experienced scientists are entrusted with supervising the students at the Graduate School in their day-to-day work, they are the scientific advisors. While the supervisor lays down the scientific topic of the thesis together with the student, accompanies work on the thesis by scientific discussions, monitors progress, reviews performance and grades the thesis, the scientific advisor provides the student with close support in implementing and discussing the work and supervises him or her on site.
Supplementary to the employment contract a PhD Agreement defines the corners of the PhD thesis, confirms the rules and responsibilities and lays down the framework for a successful process. Supervision comprises both scientific supervision and also monitoring of the formal requirements.
The envisaged time for completing a thesis is three years. The majority of the doctoral students will accomplish this ambitious task. Right from the beginning a work and time schedule will be compiled. Within the three-year period of funding, a total of three reports (PhD project documentation) are to be drawn up on the progress and existing results. The reports are due 6, 18 and 27 months after the start of the PhD project. The monitoring of progress is undertaken by the Doctoral Committee composed of elected scientists and the head of the Personnel Division. For HITEC doctoral fellows the managing director of HITEC takes part in the meetings of the Committee as a guest. In addition to the classical functions such as the evaluation of new applications and progress reports the Doctoral Committee is also the point of contact for PhD students, supervisors and heads of institutes should any problems arise. Doctoral candidates with access to the Jülich the intranet will find detailed information there.
In addition to the supervisor and the scientific advisor, each PhD student will choose a so called ‘internal mentor’ for the PhD phase. This internal mentor will work in the field of energy and climate research but will come from outside of the department and therefore from outside of the PhD students specific field of research. The mentor will be a contact person for discussing personal and scientific perspectives, for giving valuable feed back and for encouraging the PhD student in difficult phases of the thesis work. Up to three students share a mentor at a given time. A list of mentors is available within HITEC intern.
Each HITEC PhD student has the option of choosing an acknowledged scientist as his or her external mentor, whose experience will support the student in planning his or her own career. All scientific mentors will work at research institutions abroad. Mentors from industrial companies can be based abroad or in Germany. In order to find the right mentor the supervisor, the scientific advisor, and the student discuss the options and select the person who specifically suits the scientific and personal profile of the doctoral candidate. On one or two occasions during the three year period, the doctoral fellows visit their external mentors at their institutions, learn about the research topics of their mentors, discuss their own research, and maybe give a seminar talk. The mentor may also function as a dooropener for further contacts. HITEC provides funds for visits with the external mentor (travel and accommodation). As a rule these stays, 1-2 during the 3 year PhD period will last 2-3 days. For transatlantic visits the stay can be extended.