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Culture of Supervision at the University of Freiburg

 

Successful doctoral studies and good supervision go hand in hand. The satisfaction and motivation of doctoral candidates can be strongly influenced by the relationship with their supervisors. The foundation of this relationship is that all those involved share their expectations openly and discuss together how they would like to shape the working relationship.

Doctoral candidates are independent and self-reliant researchers who are supported in their research projects by their supervisors. The core element of supervision is the subject-specific scientific support of the doctoral project. However, the general academic development of the doctoral candidates as well as their self-defined career goals should also be taken into account and supported, whenever possible.

The university would like to offer the best possible conditions for a good supervisory relationship. To this end, it has developed the Guidelines for Good Supervision of Doctoral Candidates at the University of Freiburg. The aim of these guidelines is to establish lasting standards for a culture of supervision that gives equal consideration to doctoral candidates and their supervisors.

The guidelines are based on the following key points for successful supervision:

  • Mutual trust and respect in dealing with each other
  • An open and respectful communication between all parties
  • The recognition and addressing of ideas, expectations and needs
  • A mutually agreed upon and individual design of the supervision arrangement (e.g. one-to-one, co-supervision; Thesis Advisory Committees)

The guidelines are aimed at both doctoral candidates and supervisors. In particular, it is intended to support those who do not yet have a great deal of experience in doctoral supervision and who would like to receive suggestions for this challenging task. Alongside the recommendations for successful supervision in the first part of the guidelines, the second part provides information on the legal framework with regard to the doctorate.
The contents of the compass are constantly being developed. We would be pleased to receive comments and suggestions.

The Faculty of Medicine is currently developing its own guidelines for its doctoral candidates in order to take the special aspects of medical doctorates into consideration. As soon as they are published, they will be made available here.