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Organizational Structure

Size of the school

Our program is planned to comprise approximately sixty doctoral candidates. Their direct advisors are responsible to provide office space, computer and office equipment. Both partnering institutions allow access to their research facilities including library, laboratories (e.g. radiocarbon dating and high resolution mass spectrometry) and high performance computing clusters. The working environment of every doctoral candidate is reviewed in regular meetings (cf. IV.1). In the beginning of their PhD project all doctoral candidates are informed about the contact persons who can assist in case of conflict. These are the (co-)advisors, ombudspersons, equal opportunity officers, psychological counsellor, external and anonymous consulting service (Fürstenberg institute) and all governance bodies (cf. III.1). The latter includes representatives of all institutions and hierarchical levels to ensure co-determination.

Steering Committee

The steering committee is the decision-taking board and meets at least twice per year. It consists of six elected faculty members who represent the respective Faculties and Departments of the partnering institutions:

  • Faculty of Biological Sciences, FSU,
  • Faculty for Chemistry and Geosciences, FSU,
  • Faculty of Mathematics and Computer Science, FSU,
  • Biogeochemical Integration, MPI-BGC,
  • Biogeochemical Signals, MPI-BGC, and
  • Biogeochemical Processes, MPI-BGC.

Two additional steering committee members ensure co-determination of:

  • the additional advisors and
  • the doctoral candidates.

Both are directly elected by their peers on an annual basis. The ninth member of the steering committee is the spokesperson, apl. Prof. Gerd Gleixner.
Major tasks of the steering committee include guidance for continuous improvement of the IMPRS-gBGC curriculum as well as decisions regarding the recruitment process including admission of new doctoral candidates and assessing the requirements to obtain an IMPRS-gBGC certificate and extensions of IMPRS funding.

Coordination and administration

The MPI for Biogeochemistry hosts the coordination office. The coordinator takes the organisational, administrative and financial responsibilities of the organisation of the program according to the guidelines given by the steering committee. It is the first point of contact for doctoral candidates, faculty members, additional advisors who are affiliated or associated to the IMPRS-gBGC regarding all PhD-related matters. It is responsible for

  • organisation of the recruitment and on-boarding of new, excellent doctoral candidates
  • coordination and continuous improvement of the course program and other events
  • support of doctoral candidates throughout their PhD project (e.g. admission to university, legal issues, qualification)
  • record keeping (achievements of doctoral candidates, PhD advisory committee meetings)
  • budget monitoring and proposal writing
  • conceptualise and implement public relations and alumni work
  • conflict management

A half-time assistance provides secretarial/administrative support by facilitating the selection process, events, travel reimbursements for doctoral candidates (e.g. to conferences) and their research stay.

Mentoring program and thesis committee

A thesis committee will be established for each doctoral researcher to provide guidance and advice in the process of gaining the doctorate. The committee should consist of the doctoral researcher, the thesis supervisor, a second supervisor and an external scientist working in a related field. The aim is to aid the interdisciplinary education of the doctoral researcher, to monitor their progress and to develop and supervise their career plans.

Annual Retreat

The IMPRS will organize an annual two-day retreat with all IMPRS-gBGC members - the doctoral researchers and the faculty. All researchers at a doctoral level will give a presentation on the status of their work. The retreat will also provide an opportunity to foster communication, improve presentation skills, and ensure interdisciplinarity.



This page was last modified on April 19, 2022, at 09:46 AM

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