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Systematic supervision during the doctoral degree

In addition to supervision by a specialist at the institutes, doctoral researchers at Forschungszentrum Jülich also benefit from reliable framework conditions and quality assurance procedures. When they begin their doctoral projects, for example, a work plan and time schedule are drafted. These are continuously updated and progress is monitored by the Doctoral Committee.

Employment as a doctoral researcher

After the subject of the doctoral degree and the framework conditions have been agreed upon the institute and future doctoral researcher, the institute submits an official employment request to Human Resources. The employment request must be accompanied by the following documents:

  • Doctoral agreement
    The doctoral agreement is a supplementary part of the contract of employment and contains a summary of the doctoral project (topic, funding period, university involved, responsible specialist). It is signed by the doctoral researcher and by the head of institute.
  • Doctoral project documentation
    Doctoral project documentation comprises a project plan and a time schedule as well as a list of the relevant work packages for the entire period of employment. The time schedule should cover 36 months and must include at least three months for writing the doctoral thesis or time to write publications in the case of a cumulative doctoral thesis. It must also include a risk assessment (e.g. statements on what is needed to ensure that the time schedule can be adhered to).
    Doctoral project documentation is drafted and updated at set points in time by the doctoral researcher in consultation with the doctoral supervisor, head of institute, and scientific supervisor.
  • Confirmation of scientific supervision
    Confirmation of scientific supervision is provided by the first examiner and verifies that the candidate meets all requirements for a doctoral degree and that the doctoral thesis can be completed within the given period of time.

Approval of the Doctoral Committee

Human Resources requests the approval of the Doctoral Committee before employing the doctoral researcher. The Doctoral Committee verifies that all formal criteria have been fulfilled for the planned doctoral degree and that the necessary documents have been submitted. Particular attention is paid to the project plan and the time schedule as well as confirmation of scientific supervision.

Process monitoring by the Doctoral Committee

During the three-year funding period, the updated project plan and time schedule are submitted on a regular basis to the Doctoral Committee together with information on the status of the various work packages. This occurs at the latest six, eighteen, and twenty-seven months after the beginning of the doctoral project. The committee assesses progress and contacts the doctoral researcher or their supervisor in the case of deviations or delays.


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