Standards and Measures
In addition to training doctoral researchers and postdocs, we are committed to ensuring quality development in the doctoral phase at Leipzig University and support the faculties where the actual supervision of doctorates takes place.
Based on the Council of Science and Humanities’ guidelines (2011) and the Leopoldina statement "Doctorate in transition" (2017), we recommend standards and measures for (academic) quality development and assurance in doctoral research in the following areas - regardless of whether the doctorate is being prepared within a structured doctoral programme, as an individual doctorate or as an external doctorate:
- Selection procedure
- Supervision agreements
- Interdisciplinary skills development
- Conflict mediation
- Academic misconduct
Doctoral positions are awarded in a transparent selection procedure. To this end, the eligibility criteria and admission requirements are clearly formulated and the posts or scholarships advertised (at least nationally). The goal should be to offer funding for at least three years. A thesis advisory committee, which consists of multiple members, should decide whether doctoral researchers are accepted. The committee is then responsible for supervising these doctoral researchers.
Supervision is not limited to subject-specific support of a doctorate, but is a relationship of trust (for a limited period of time) that needs to be established. Ideally, supervision is provided by a Thesis Advisory Committee (TAC) or by at least two equal supervisors. We want to encourage you to actively shape the supervisory relationship, to find suitable supervisors, to complete a supervision agreement and to register early on the list of doctoral researchers. The latter two points are also the prerequisite for doctoral researchers to become a member of the Graduate Academy Leipzig.
A supervision agreement defines liabilities and quality standards as well as rights and obligations of all involved in the doctoral procedure. It is important that the agreement is adapted to the individual needs of the doctoral researchers and supervisors.
Interdisciplinary Skills Development
Doctoral researchers should be encouraged and supported in their efforts to develop their interdisciplinary skills. They should also be provided with information on possible career paths after their doctorate, both in and outside of academia. The early consideration of subsequent career paths after the doctorate, both within and outside academia, is also recommended.
Our programme of workshops and events offers doctoral researchers and postdocs at Leipzig University the opportunity to gain interdisciplinary skills and learn methods.
In doctoral and postdoctoral research, conflicts can arise between doctoral researchers, postdocs, supervisors and other parties for a variety of reasons. If you are unable to resolve a conflict yourself, there is the option of contacting the University’s conciliators in confidence. Both of them are available for impartial consultations. The conciliators are available for consultative talks. They work independently and are committed to the principles of confidentiality, fairness and neutrality.
If you do not wish to contact the conciliators at Leizpig University, but seek external advice, you also have the option of contacting the German Research Ombudsman. This is a body set up by the German Research Foundation (DFG) to assist all researchers in Germany with questions and conflicts in the area of scientific integrity and good scientific practice, which also includes the supervision of doctoral researchers.
After being admitted to the doctoral procedure, it must be ensured that doctoral researchers are familiar with the principles of good academic practice. Doctoral researchers, supervisors and mentors should know who they can turn to in the event of a conflict. The Graduate Academy offers its members regular workshops in the area of good scientific practice. It also offers the opportunity to independently complete an eLearning course on "Good Scientific Practice in Doctoral Studies".
We support the pilot project to introduce the Turnitin iThenticate software for plagiarism checking at Leipzig University. In the pilot phase, the use is limited to individual case checks, preferably in doctoral procedures, to get to know the software and to assess the need. The accompanying e-learning platform offers online tutorials, e.g. on the topics of efficient research, citation or literature management.
Quality Supervision for Doctorates
A trusting relationship between doctoral researchers and their supervisors is essential for a successful doctorate. The Graduate Academy Leipzig establishes meaningful standards for this through supervision agreements.
Good Academic Practice
One of our main priorities is to ensure that early career researchers adhere to good academic practice. To this end, we work closely together with the Office of Ombudspersons and the Ethics Advisory Board.