The Max Planck Society points out in its guidelines for doctoral training and education - and we in IMPRS-CPQM fully agree with this statement - that a responsible supervision with transparent framework conditions and rules makes a decisive contribution to the successful course of the doctoral phase. At IMPRS-CPQM, we thus have established a general supervision concept which is valid for all our students. The main goal of this concept is that the same conditions on supervision, mentoring and monitoring apply for all PhD students at our programme while providing sufficient flexibility for the best possible implementation of supervision for every individual student.
Every research project pursued in IMPRS-CPQM is supervised by at least two of our Principal Investigators, one of them being based at MPI CPfS and the second one at one of the partner universities. This dual approach ensures that all students can fully benefit from our supervision concept, regardless of at which institution they perform their research work, in particular in the case of inter-institutional projects. A written supervision agreement is completed between every student and his/her supervisors which specifies the rights and responsibilities of both sides in a clear and transparent way.
The second main aspect of our supervision concept is the appointment of a Thesis Advisory Committee (TAC) for every student. The TAC will include the project supervisors and additional experienced scientists. Thus, it establishes a platform for the PhD students to discuss the progress of their project on a regular basis not only with their direct supervisors, but also with scientists who may not be directly involved in the project and thus may have a different view on it and provide additional valuable feedback.
Students can also approach the PhD Officer at MPI CPfS to confidentially discuss any issue. In addition to offering advice to the PhD students regarding their PhD work, the PhD Officer also can, for example, mediate between students and their supervisors in case of a conflict or bring general issues to the attention of the board of directors.