Working groups of the Doctoral Student Convention
The working groups constitute part of the foundation of the DSC and offer interested PhD students to possibility to participate in everyday issues of of everyday life for PhD students, political issues concerning their education, as well as the Doctoral Student Convention itself. The working groups can broadly be divided into two types: topicl working groups and faculty-specific working groups. Each working group elects a speaker that keeps in touch with the executive committee.
Topical working groups
These working groups deal either with the Doctoral Student Convention itself or with the overall framework of doctoral studies at Heidelberg University. Any PhD student may participate in these working grous or even create new open working groups for a specific topic.
Faculty-specific working groups
Whenever issues arise within a given faculty of the university that directly affect PhD students at this faculty, (such as changes to the PhD regulations), it is the task of the executive committee to establish a working group for this faculty and issue. This working group then discusses possible approaches and advice that can be given to the respective university councils. Participation in these working groups is limited to doctoral students of the respective faculties.
Current working groups
The following working groups are currently active. All doctoral students may chose to participate at any time.
heiDOCS (topical working group)
Speaker: Elias Eckert
Members: Angela Calderón Villarino, Elias Eckert, Michael Kraft, Stefanie Kuen, Robert Lilow, Franziska Militzer, Robin Njenga, Christoph Poetsch, jubin Shah, Christian Uhlmann, La Toya Waha, Jan Wysocki
Description: Heidelberg University is implementing the heiDOCS platform to improve the structural framework within which doctoral research is done. The working group supports this process constructively and especially takes responsibility for those questions that concern the interests of doctoral researchers (for example, data safety and data economy, preservation of plurality in doctoral research, participation of doctoral researchers in processes of quality management) and thus represents the voice of doctoral researchers in the process of development and implementation of heiDOCS.
International Doctoral Students (topical working group)
Speaker: Jubin Shah
Members: Kerim Kara, Jubin Shah, Thalia Sparling
Description: The group is specifically focused on matters related to international doctoral students. Many of the international doctoral students are unaware of the working contract rules and procedures, mainly due to language barrier. Additionally, in some cases international doctoral students are also unaware of contact persons in case of trouble/conflicts with labs/supervisors. Hence, the group is trying to focus on making simple roadmap for international students, e.g by provision of working contracts also in English language along with documents in German, so as to make flow of information smoother. Additionally, more awareness among students about proper contact persons for specific requirements would be the ultimate goal of the group. More participation from the international doctoral students is highly desired.
MedSurvey (faculty-specific working group)
Speaker: Raban Heller
Members: Raban Heller, Tobias Krause, Manuel Kuhner, Nicolai Ritschel
Description: The working group aims to develop and implement a survey intending to determine the current status of the doctorate at the Medical Faculty Heidelberg. By addressing both doctoral candidates and supervisors, a broad data basis will be created. Thus, future implications regarding the development of graduation can be formulated on empirical basis.
Doctoral Grant (topical working group)
Speaker: Jubin Shah
Members: Elias Eckert, Jubin Shah, Swetlana Torno
Description: The group addresses issues related to students with scholarships. Generally, scholarship holders are not entitled to receive any payment for the social security system or insurances. Additionally, students are sometimes also not allowed to work in addition to their doctoral work and receive any extra money. The group wishes to tackle this matter by getting into contact with administrative authorities and gather their support along with involvement of more doctoral students to give idea about persistence of the problem among many doctoral students. An increase in grants to social security contributions is desired.
Doctoral Regulations (topical working group)
Members: La Toya Waha, Angela Calderón Villarino, Steffi Höger, Kerim Kara, Julia Lohmann, Tahlia Sparling
Description: The aim of this working group is to obtain an overview of the existing doctoral regulations at Heidelberg University which shall serve as a basis for future work of the convention.
Survey (topical working group)
Speaker: Julia Lohmann
Members: Elias Eckert, Raban Heller, Tahlia Sparling, Swetlana Torno, Margarida Mendes Jorge, Simone Kaucher
Description: The working group aims to determine, by means of an online survey, doctoral students’ needs and wishes in regards to the conditions in which they pursue their doctorate. The idea is to enable targeted, relevant work of the DSC by providing a sound empirical basis. A similar survey was previously successfully implemented at the University of Constance.
Academic employees (topical working group)
Speaker: Robert Lilow
Members: Stefanie Höger, Michael Kraft, Robert Lilow, Thalia Sparling, Christian Uhlmann
Activities: The mission of the working group academic employees is to improve the conditions for doctoral students who are employees of Heidelberg University for the duration of their dissertation. Needs and wants will be identified in order to improve the current conditions.