Rules of Procedure
Summary of the rules of procedure of the convention
The Doctoral Students Convention (DSC) is meant to serve as a new form of representation of all doctoral students at the University of Heidelberg. Prior to the foundation of the DSC, the PhD students had no former legal status as a group and were represented only by the University administration and the regular students. Beginning with 2015, the State University Law of Baden-Württemberg was changed to include the requirement for an official, mandatory body that represents PhD students of a university. The DSC is therefore a required institution within the Heidelberg University.
The PhD students are free to determine the structure and organization of the DSC themselves. The current Rules of Procedure of the DSC in Heidelberg were created by the agDOCs, a working group that was established for this purpose in March 2015, and which consisted of doctoral students from almost all faculties of the University. On November 26th, 2015, the rules of procedure were accepted by the constituent assembly of the DSC. In the following paragraphs, the structure and organization of the DSC is briefly explained.
The main aims of the rules of procedure for the DSC are to establish a system of a representative democracy which simultaneously is flexible, thus offering many opportunities to get involved, accounts for the diversity of doctoral students, and is robust enough to make important decisions in a reasonable amount of time. The work of DSC rests on three main columns:
- The general assembly
- The executive committee
- The working groups
At the general assembly, important topics of the year will be discussed, changes to the rules of procedure can be discussed and and the new executive committee is be elected for one year. It is the main legal platform of the DSC.
The executive committee oversees the daily work of the DSC. Its eleven members represent the DSC at the University and organize the working groups as well as the elections. Their members are divided in eight representatives to be responsible for the different fields of study, and three members who represent the different PhD types at the University. Thus, it is ensured that the variety of doctoral students is taken into account already on the organizational level.
Representatives of the fields of study (8 in total):
- 2 members from the Humanities and Arts, i.e. from the faculties:
- Faculty of Philosophy
- Faculty of Theology
- Faculty of Modern Languages (Neuphilologie)
- 2 members from the Natural Sciences:
- Facultiy of Mathematics and Computer Science
- Faculty of Chemistry and Geosciences
- Faculty of Physics
- 2 members from the Life Sciences:
- Faculty of Biosciences
- Faculty of Medicine (Mannheim)
- Faculty of Medicine (Heidelberg)
- 2 members from the Social Sciences:
- Faculty of Empirical Cultural and Behavioral Sciences
- Faculty of Social Sciences and Economics
- Faculty of Law
Representatives of PhD types (3 in total):
- 1 member: Scientific Assistant (Akademische/r Mitarbeiter/in)
- 1 member: Individual Doctoral Studies
- 1 member: Member of a Graduate School
During the general assembly, PhD students each vote for the subject representatives and for the PhD type representatives. The executive committee is required to establish open discussion sessions (Reguläre Sitzung) twice a semester to talk about current proceedings and problems at the University.
In addition to the plenary assembly and the committee, there is the third column, namely the working groups, which are a platform for interested PhD students with ideas to solve problems or improve the PhD education at the University. There are two types of working groups:
- Flexible and open working groups which can be initiated at any time and are not fixed to certain topics. Examples include working groups for improving the conditions for foreign PhD students or PhD students with children. Anyone can participate in these groups.
- Working groups for faculties, which are established by the executive committee when changes to faculty specific rules take place. Executive committee members and interested doctoral students should naturally be from the faculty concerned.