Do you supervise young academics?
Good supervision is the key to successful doctoral studies and trusting cooperation between supervisors and doctoral students. While the formal requirements are governed by the relevant doctoral degree regulations, it is the ongoing, open exchange on the student's topic – its scope, the academic issues it raises, how best to structure the dissertation, and even creating a schedule – that ensure lively exchange. The Hamburg Research Academy will run its own workshops and provide advising services on good supervision.
What does good supervision involve?
Doctoral students and supervisors bear equal responsibility for the success of doctoral studies. All of those involved in the endeavor agree to comply with the rules of good scientific practice. Usually, students pursuing individual, independent doctoral studies have just one supervisor. In structured doctoral programs, however, there is generally a supervising panel comprising two or more supervisors of equal status. In both cases, the doctoral student and supervisor(s) sign an agreement outlining the rights and obligations of both parties.
Good supervision should include the following:
- Support in devising a research proposal that contains a realistic schedule and concrete goals.
- Regular meetings between the supervisor(s), doctoral student and, if necessary, other academics in order to review progress and adjust the research proposal accordingly.
- Opportunities for contact via email or telephone.
- Support with the presentation of their findings at colloquia and academic workshops.
- If applicable, support to present their research internationally, also by making them aware of funding opportunities – for research abroad, or stays abroad for work related to their doctoral goals etc.
- Doctoral students not completing a structured doctoral program should have the opportunity to gain key academic qualifications along with teaching and supervising skills.
- Doctoral students can contact an ombudsperson in the event of conflict.
Who may act as a supervisor?
The respective doctoral degree regulations stipulate who may act as a supervisor. Generally, these are professors at your university. However, individual supervising panel members may come from other universities or higher education institutions if their subject expertise is deemed necessary or if the doctorate involves cooperation between a higher education institution without the right to award doctorates and a university. Supervisors are appointed by the doctoral committee of the respective faculty or university.