Guidelines for the Education and Support of Graduate Students at the Helmholtz Zentrum München - PDF

Guidelines for the Education and Support of Graduate Students at the Helmholtz Zentrum München As a young scientist, your doctoral studies are an important time that will prove crucial and formative for

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Guidelines for the Education and Support of Graduate Students at the Helmholtz Zentrum München As a young scientist, your doctoral studies are an important time that will prove crucial and formative for your academic career. Here at the Helmholtz Zentrum München, we recognize that we have a duty to support Graduate Students during their doctoral studies and to promote them to the best of our ability. For this reason, every adviser for doctoral work takes on a high level of responsibility and must be aware of this. These guidelines are intended to contribute to a successful conclusion of studies and to the completion of the doctoral period. 1. Education of Graduate Students at the Helmholtz Zentrum München To a considerable extent, Graduate Students contribute to the success of projects at the Center and make important contributions to research. The dissertation records the ability of the Graduate Student to do independent scientific work. The doctoral examination procedure is carried out by the universities, in accordance with the doctoral regulations in force there. The primary duties of the Center in the education of Graduate Students are To guarantee supervision that is intensive, academically competent and geared to the needs of the individual Graduate Student, To create optimal basic conditions and to provide the free space necessary to achieve top scientific performances. In addition, the Center offers the Graduate Student the opportunity to acquire complementary abilities ( soft skills ); this includes the collaborative, and, if necessary, interdisciplinary treatment of a research subject, the publication of the results, project management skills and competence in communication for the exchange with expert colleagues as well as for the dialogue with an audience foreign to the field (see 7. Education and Further Education). 2. Duties of the Helmholtz Zentrum München In addition to the scientific excellence of the supervisors, clear procedures and clear, mutual responsibilities guarantee a high level of education. This includes: Appropriate preparation of the dissertation Intensive support of the Graduate Students A sensibly limited time for the dissertation (normally 3 years) Secure funding during the time of the doctoral studies; with a positive recommendation from the Thesis Committee, financing is possible after the regular doctoral study period of three years. Offers for professional education and further training (hard skills) Offers for the acquisition of complementary abilities (soft skills) 3. Appointment of Graduate Students In order to appoint a Graduate Student, the Human Resources Department requires, in addition to personal data, the following documents: Subject of the dissertation Brief work and time schedule Name of the adviser at the university as well as of the direct adviser at Helmholtz Zentrum München (both functions may be undertaken by the same person, provided this is authorized within the rules of the university). Confirmation from the adviser is given by means of the corresponding signature of the adviser Allocation to and integration in the ongoing research projects 4. Conducting the Dissertation Working on a dissertation takes place on the basis of a written work contract between the Graduate Student and the Center, in which the mutual rights and obligations are set out. The doctoral regulations of the faculties remain unaffected by arrangements made with the Helmholtz Zentrum. An accompanying documentation by the Department of Program Planning and Management includes the individual work steps during the work on the dissertation, as well as the participation in the Graduate Student Program. The documentation comprises the following information: Composition of the membership of the Thesis Committee Reports/statements from the Thesis Committee Participation in the Graduate Student Program of the Center Participation in scientific conferences Participation in advanced education and training Final report of the Graduate Student: dates of submission and examination; on a voluntary basis: copy of the Doctorate Certificate, employment after the completion of the doctorate and new address 5. General Conditions Doctorate work at the Helmholtz Zentrum München, including writing the dissertation, should be concluded within a controlled period of 3 years. As a rule, Graduate Students receive an initial contract of one year. Based on the Thesis Committee s reports, continuation of the contract will be decided through the professional/direct adviser at the HMGU. Variations in this may occur due to the employment on third party funded positions. Within the first month of beginning the dissertation, there should be a mutual discussion between the Graduate Student, the professional/direct adviser and the adviser at the university (submission of a recommendation for members of the Thesis Committee possible). Within six months the Graduate Student will make sure (s)he obtains admission to the doctoral examination procedure at the faculty and produce evidence of this at the Graduate Student Office. Any dissertation started at the Center after December 31 st 2008 will be supervised by a Thesis Committee. The Thesis Committee will consist of at least three people and will generally comprise the following: o The professional/direct adviser (institute director/group leader). o The adviser at the university. o An independent, preferably external, specialist expert. o An additional, fourth member may be included in the Thesis Committee. In the first six months after the Graduate Student has started work on the dissertation, the Thesis Committee will be assembled by the Graduate Student with support from the professional/direct adviser, if need be, and officially approved by the Graduate Student Office. The Thesis Committee has a mentoring function and is both an adviser and a point of contact for the Graduate Student during his/her doctoral studies. The professional/direct adviser is responsible for chairing the Thesis Committee. The Thesis Committee will meet once a year. In principle, all members should be present at these meetings. Thesis Committee meetings will be organized by the Graduate Student, with support from the professional/direct adviser if need be. The Graduate Student will prepare a written progress report (3-5 sides) for the meeting. The report should be made available to the members of the Thesis Committee in good time before the meeting and contain the following points: scientific context, project aims, results, points of discussion/conclusions and an outlook on the next steps to be taken and planned experiments. The Graduate Student will present the members of the Thesis Committee the results of his/her work. During the meeting the results obtained and any possible problems will be discussed. On the basis of the progress report a comparison of targets and actual results will be carried out and reasons for discrepancies established. The Thesis Committee will issue a written report of the meeting to the Graduate Student Office. The liaison persons for Graduate Students will take note of the Thesis Committee s reports on request. The report on the Thesis Committee s first meeting and the Graduate Student s progress report must be submitted to the Graduate Student Office nine months after the doctoral studies have begun, but eight weeks before the end of the oneyear contract at the latest. The Thesis Committee will advise the professional/direct adviser at the HMGU in his/her decision on whether to extend the doctoral contract. The second meeting will take place after approx. 1.5 years. The third meeting will take place in the third year (after approx. 2.5 years at the latest). The Thesis Committee will approve plans for completing the work and recommend whether it is necessary to extend the contract beyond the usual timeframe for doctoral studies. In cases of conflict the Graduate Student can refer to any member or the Thesis Committee or one of the selected liaison persons for Graduate Students. In addition, the Graduate Student Office or the Graduate Student Representatives will offer their support. 6. Liaison Persons for Graduate Students The liaison persons are points of contact for Graduate Students and will advise and mediate in cases of conflict. After consultation with the chairs of the WTR and the speakers meeting as well as the leader of PPM, the Graduate Students or Graduate Student Initiative will recommend liaison persons for Neuherberg and the Großhadern Campus respectively to the WTR. By resolution the WTR will appoint the liaison persons for a term of 2 years. 7. Graduate Program The Environmental Health graduate program offers Graduate Students comprehensive scientific training in Environmental Health research. The graduate program comprises mandatory core elements, the successful completion of which is necessary for the Environmental Health certificate. For all Graduate Students who started their dissertations at the Center after December 31 st 2008, compulsory elements of the graduate program Environmental Health are: Participation in the orientation course Participation in the Lecture Series Environmental Health (more than 80% attendance; students can catch up on missed lectures in the second year) Yearly reports submitted to the personal Thesis Committee Presentations in the student s own institute Participation in interdisciplinary seminars and journal clubs A poster exhibition on the annual Graduate Students Day (once) Participation in courses from the Management, Leadership and Communication Skills training program Participation in a Graduate Student retreat The corresponding guidelines for attaining the Environmental Health certificate are currently being compiled and will be agreed upon with the committees of the Center in the course of the second half of 2009.
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