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Support for supervisors

For those assuming responsibilities as a supervisor for the first time, and even for those who have worked at Jülich for many years, support services are in place to help them get to grips with the various aspects of supervision.

JuDocs introductory event

Starting in 2019, all doctoral researchers and their supervisors will be part of JuDocs. This event informs all new doctoral researchers and employees assuming responsibilities as supervisors on behalf of their institutes about their respective rights, obligations, and roles. Doctoral researchers and supervisors should attend the event within three months of beginning doctoral research work or assuming responsibilities as a day-to-day supervisor, respectively. A certificate of participation will be issued.

The programme focuses on the following topics:

All you need to know about JuDocs

  • Presentation of JuDocs management and office team
  • Framework conditions: Research on a doctoral project at Jülich and conferment of the doctoral degree at a university
  • Completion of transferable skills courses (compulsory and optional modules)
  • Procedure for individual and project-based monitoring of doctoral projects

Doctoral researchers’ management system (DokMS)

  • Introduction to using the software
  • Cooperation between doctoral researchers, supervisors, and institute administration teams within the system
  • DokMS as an instrument for planning doctoral projects and for monitoring the progress of doctoral projects by the JuDocs council
  • Booking of transferable skills courses

Support for doctoral researchers at Forschungszentrum Jülich

  • Advisory and information services
  • Networking opportunities

Registration for events

Peer group supervision

Supervisors’ Forum initiative: Peer group supervision (Backstage Groups)

Peer group supervision is an effective form of leaderless peer group counselling. Participants discuss challenging situations in their professional lives and attempt to find solutions. They also learn about ways of better managing professional problems and reducing stress.

Peer group supervision offers the following benefits:

  • improves the quality of supervision through peer-based feedback on a particular topic or a specific issue
  • provides support in resolving conflicts and difficult problems
  • taps into the potential of the network of supervisors at Forschungszentrum Jülich

Peer group supervision is an initiative of the Supervisors’ Forum and serves to support the supervisors of Forschungszentrum Jülich. Meetings abide by the following set of rules:

  • Peer group supervision works on a voluntary basis. There are no participation restrictions except that the participant must be a supervisor, or hold a supervisor’s role.
  • Each meeting should have enough participants to constitute at least one peer group (6–8 people).
  • The composition of the groups should be as diverse as possible. Ideally, no two people from the same institute should be part of the same peer group. This encourages participants to be as open as possible and helps reduce bias.
  • Members of a peer group abide to a confidentiality agreement, safeguarding the privacy of people whose information is shared in the peer group.

Please note that there is no deadline to register for peer group supervision meetings. However, those interested in taking part are encouraged to register as soon as possible to ensure that a suitable room can be reserved to accommodate the number of participants.

Interested? Join the mailing list at or contact

Workshops for supervisors

Daily supervisors face several challenges when tasked with the job of guiding master students and doctoral researchers along the path to obtaining their degree. The number of diverse experiences and skills that make up the modern curriculum of a graduate student have evolved and grown beyond the basic set of learning and research activities. In most cases this expanded set of skills has to be acquired by a student over the course of a rigidly regulated timeline. Guiding the student to reaching such an objective is a task which is becoming increasingly more demanding for the conscientious supervisor. At the same time, a daily supervisor has to deal with a larger scientific and administrative workload than in the past. The increased workload necessarily shrinks the time a supervisor can dedicate to the supervision of the students and doctoral researchers, and imposes on him/her the need to become more efficient and effective.

This Supervision 101 workshop organized by the Supervisor’s Forum constitutes the basic blueprint for what will become a regular training for all daily supervisors at Forschungszentrum Jülich. The workshops will address several aspects of the challenges mentioned. For example, the next one is touching on four main themes and related subtopics to roles and responsibilities, PhD profile and recruiting, goal setting and evaluation as well as conflicts and communication.

The workshop’s main objective is to provide supervisors with the tools and background knowledge to become more effective and successful in shaping the newer generation of graduate students and doctoral researchers.
If you are interested in participating at the next workshop for daily supervisors, please register here.