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Rules & Guidelines

After the registration in the office of the coordinator, the route card will help you to follow up with the program of the graduate school. The completed route card has to be signed by the CGSC coordinator and be handed in together with the thesis at the Dean’s office.

1. Principle Supervisor

It is obligatory to sign a supervision agreement between the principal supervisor and the doctoral candidate.

2. Thesis Advisory Committee (TAC)

Latest at the end of the first year each doctoral candidate chooses the thesis advisory committee (TAC), which comprises at least one mentor besides the supervisor. The mentor must not necessarily be the second examiner in the PhD defense exam. She/he can be another professor from another (even foreign) university, a research institute or industry. He or she should be at least an independent group leader. The mentor should be independent of the first supervisor, i.e. shouldn’t have performed his academic career in the work group of the first supervisor. Ideally, she/he is not from the same institute. For doctoral candidates, who work on their PhD project externally the mentor must be a professor of the Department of Chemistry. The coordinator of the CGSC has to be informed about the members ot the TAC within the first year.The members of the TAC can be changed in mutual agreement with all involved parties.

The TAC with the doctoral candidate at least once per year to discuss the progress of the research project, the next steps towards reaching the goal(s) of the thesis, and any other matters of importance. The TAC reads and comments upon the first year report and all further annual presentations. The TAC feedback form needs to be filled in in all meetings and a scan of the signed document needs to be sent to the coordinator of the CGSC.

3. Annual Progress Reports 

All doctoral candidates have to provide an annual report. The first year report has to be in written format (progress report, 2-3 pages plus literature). It must be handed in to the thesis committee and orally presented. The following counseling interview should give advice on the next steps and comment on the achieved status. The feedback form needs to be filled in in all meetings and a scan of the signed document needs to be sent to the coordinator of the CGSC..
All further annual reports are open in format. It could be an oral presentation in the group seminar, a publication or a conference contribution. The thesis committee must be invited well in advance. For all annual reports the feedback form needs to be filled and a scan of the signed document needs to be sent to the coordinator of the CGSC.

In general a doctorate takes 3-4 years. If the doctorate extends four years, the steering committee will meet separately with the doctoral candidate and his/her thesis committee to find out the reasons.

4. Broad scientific background

Doctoral candidates necessarily focus on the subject of their research project to become experts in the respective research area. After successful completion of the doctorate, the candidates will receive a Dr. rer. nat. in Chemistry or Biochemistry, which can be seen as a mandate for a broad scientific background in the whole area of chemistry.  Therefore, the doctoral candidates will attend three scientific lectures on Master level. These might be the P-Module lectures in Chemistry, but also lectures of the adjacent departments might be of interest, i.e. in physics,  biology or crystallography, or summer schools. We strongly recommend the lectures of our partner chemistry department at the University Bonn. In addition, they are expected to attend the GDCh colloquium as well as the institute and group seminars regularly.

5.  Scientific integrity

The CGSC considers scientific integrity as as an integral part of top-quality research.  Since research is self-regulated there is a high responsibility of every researcher to carefully conduct his or her research program.  Since research often involves a great deal of cooperation, scientific integrity promotes values like trust, accountability, and fairness. All doctoral candidates have to attend a one-day workshop on Scientific Integrity. The offered workshops can be found here.

6.  Transferable skill courses

In addition to their scientific expertise young scientist are asked for a number of other abilities and skills. To support their future career the doctoral candidates are asked to take advantage of the broad transferable skill program offered by several institutions within and outside of the university. For more information have a look here. The CGSC candidates are not obliged to follow a pre-defined curriculum, since it is believed that the needed transferable skills differ from candidate to candidate.

7. PhD symposium

Once per year a PhD symposium will be organized. All doctoral candidates in their first year must give a poster presentation, all others are invited to join. The symposium will foster the discussion between doctoral candidates from different research groups as well as with the supervisors, i.e. many different professionals inside and outside of academic research.  For the actual schedule please have a look here.

8. Teaching

Most doctoral candidates will be involved in some kind of teaching duties, which is seen as one of the qualification goals. Graduates will receive a certificate about their participation in teaching.