The Advisory Panel

The Advisory Panel (AP) system is the central tool for structured, continuous supervision and support of doctoral candidates in the IMPRS UFAST.

Each IMPRS UFAST PhD candidate is accompanied throughout their doctoral research by an AP of 2-3 scientists. AP members are experts in the PhD candidate’s field of research. They can be contacted for discussions, advice, and in case of problems. They can also be consulted on matters of academic training within the IMPRS.

Advisory Panel members and PhD student meet at regular intervals throughout the doctoral studies to discuss the progress made, the remaining work, and the time frame. The AP may adjust plans where necessary.

The meetings are not intended as examinations but rather as an opportunity to review past work and discuss further proceedings. They enable the AP members and the doctoral candidates to discuss milestones of the research project, problems encountered, choice of methods and to assess whether the suggested time schedule is appropriate.

AP meetings are not the forum to discuss recent scientific problems in detail, since these should be solved with the Principal Advisor and/or Co-Advisor. However, if a problem has a major impact on the progress and aim of a PhD project, the AP members have to discuss and possibly help modify the research plan. If the discussion reveals a topic that would improve the research quality but are not addressed by the student yet, the AP should suggest including them.

Such focusing will make the AP meetings effective and constrain the duration to 30-60 min.

  • At least one AP meeting per year is mandatory.
  • The scheduling of the meetings is the responsibility of the PhD candidate.
  • The IMPRS office must be informed of the date of the next AP meeting, once agreed upon.
  • All information discussed at a panel meeting, the panel report and all materials submitted by the PhD fellow for the meeting are to be treated confidential.

The AP members produce a brief report of each AP meeting which will be filed in the IMPRS office’s archive. The report will include a brief summary of the status quo of the doctoral research, as well as record any agreed changes or modifications to the original project plan.

Individual meeting reports included in a cumulative AP report for each student will be made available to the Panel for the next AP meeting. The cumulative report will also be used in the decision making process on the academic extension of a PhD candidate.

AP members complete the form at the end of the meeting, a template will be provided. The report must be signed by all members and returned to the IMPRS Office.

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