PhD students in Paleoclimate Dynamics
GUIDELINES FOR THE PHD COMMITTEE MEETING
The PhD project will be supervised by a thesis committee. Members of the PhD committee are the prime supervisor (doctor father or mother) and the student’s immediate research advisor (often senior scientists or postdocs). A third scientist could be a senior scientist from another research field. The scientists may suggest addition members of the thesis committee. The PhD student should be encouraged to add further persons to her/his committee if necessary or desirable (e.g., another PhD student/young PostDoc to take notes and help). In order to have a proper discussion, we suggest to have not more than 6 persons in the committee.
If possible, the thesis committee members should be elected with regard to gender equality. The thesis committee meetings, aiming at a continuous mutual evaluation, take place at least twice yearly to discuss efforts and monitor the development of the thesis. The thesis committee does not replace the (typically weekly) interactions with the research advisors of the thesis. Duration of such a meeting 45-90 min.
The first meeting and research outline
The first meeting and initiation of the committee should take place no later than six months after the start of the PhD project. PhD-student write an outline (10-20 pages) including title, aim and work plan, to arrange a guideline for the 3-years PhD work. It should contain some first results. As a guideline, you can look here (the text was written for master students, but most of it applies to PhD students as well).
The following topics should help to structure the committee meeting:
1) Progress of the PhD project during the last six months
An informal presentation and discussion of the actual status of the PhD project:
What has been achieved (especially in relation to the goals for the past six months set as have been defined during the last thesis committee meeting) ?
What questions have arisen?
Discussion of milestones and time schedule
Which aspects can be improved? Do we need more often meetings?
Do we need a plan B ?
2) Definition of goals for the following six months
What should be achieved within the next six months?
What are the needs with regard to computer-time? (DKRZ, HLRN)
What are the plans for a manuscript?
Contacts to external experts?
3) Research training program
Which courses were taken in POLMAR ?
Are there any needs for further training, besides the POLMAR courses?
4) International meetings, workshops summer/winter schools
Participation in conferences during the past six months (short report, benefits)?
Which upcoming meetings would be of interest (contribution: poster/oral presentation)?
Are there any needs to apply for external funding (travel, student support)?
6) Research residence abroad (2nd year)
Which institute can serve as a host institution?
What research should be done?
Who to establish contact (time schedule)?
Where to apply for travel funding (e.g., DAAD or via POLMAR, other stipends)?
Short report about research results if already done.
Note that external funding provides you a chance to prolong the contract.
7) Career-planning (3rd year)
What are the final steps of the PhD? A typical PhD has about 3 publications, one shall be accepted, a second submitted, a third in preparation to a journal or another contribution.
What comes after the PhD?
What are the soft-skill and language training needs?
Some Ideas about How to make a Scientific Career
Prior to the meetings
Please send the agenda with eventually some material to the committee members a couple of days in advance.
After the meetings
Please send the minutes of the thesis committee meetings signed by the supervisor within a week after the committee meeting to POLMAR. Furthermore, provide the minutes and the pdf of the talk to the committee members.
The AWI offers “Aufräumverträge” (“tidy-up-contracts”) for all PhD students who are working at AWI (including stipend holders) and hand in their PhD thesis successfully until the end of their PhD contract/stipend deadline (including possible prolongations due to expeditions).