What do I need to know if I’m planning to recruit research staff who will be completing a doctoral degree or post-doctoral qualification?

What do I need to know if I’m planning to recruit research staff who will be completing a doctoral degree or post-doctoral qualification?

At Saarland University we place great importance on ensuring that those working towards a doctoral or post-doctoral research qualification are properly supported and supervised. If you or your doctoral students have any questions relating to doctoral research degrees, you should contact the dean’s office or doctoral studies office in your own faculty, or get in touch with the university’s support centre for doctoral researchers GradUS.

At a formal level, two of the most important documents governing the admission of doctoral research students are (i) the doctoral degree regulations of the relevant faculty, which constitute the legally binding foundation for doctoral research activities, and (ii) the supervision agreement that has to be concluded with every doctoral research student at the start of their research studies. The supervision agreement sets out the objectives, rights and obligations for both parties and provides a useful organizational framework that covers the entire doctoral research period. A supervision agreement template (‘Doctoral Studies Agreement’) and other useful documents are available on the GradUS webpage.

If you plan to have post-docs in your research group, the university’s support initiative for post-doctoral researchers and scholars, PROWIS provides information about funding options and other important services.
Doctoral research students and post-doctoral positions may be financed through budgetary funds, externally funded projects or scholarships. Please note that the rights and obligations associated with a doctoral research position will depend on how the position is being financed. Scholarship holders should be allowed to focus completely on their research project, whereas doctoral students holding a budget-approved position (i.e. one funded from the university’s budget) will typically be required to undertake teaching duties as well.
Irrespective of how your academic and research staff are funded, you will need to comply fully with the provisions of the relevant doctoral degree regulations and Habilitaton regulations at your faculty. These regulations determine whether supervision is optional or mandatory and specify who is permitted to be a supervisor or thesis adviser. If you have any questions concerning the rules or criteria governing admission to study for a doctoral or other higher degree or regarding the supervision of individuals working towards such qualifications, please refer to the official regulations issued by your faculty or contact the faculty management team.
Should you have any questions regarding legal aspects of supervised research work, such as rights relating to intellectual property, research data and publications, or if you want to resolve an issue about funding for doctoral research positions, please get in touch with the Research Management and Technology Transfer Division (Dezernat FT).

To learn more about the range of continuous education and professional development courses available to your administrative and technical staff, please follow the links on the university’s continuing education and professional development courses web page.

I want to encourage and support members of my team to reach their long-term continuing education and development goals. What do I need to know and who can provide assistance?

Saarland University offers a broad portfolio of support services as well as training and skills development courses that yield long-term benefits for its workforce.
Many of the options available are designed to support young research students working towards their doctorate. These funding schemes are coordinated centrally by the GradUS. Please contact the GradUS staff if you have specific questions or comments. GradUS also provides advice to doctoral research students and offers a comprehensive range of continuing education and networking options. Together with the university’s International Office. GradUS also actively encourages the internationalization of doctoral studies and has established a dedicated Graduate Centre (Building C9 3) that provides doctoral research students with workspaces and rooms for conferences and meetings. The Saarland Graduate Funding Programme offers scholarships to doctoral research students at higher education institutions in Saarland, particularly to those doctoral students who are jointly supervised by research advisers from more than one university (kooperatives Promotionsverfahren).

Saarland University offers an extensive range of continuing education and professional development courses to you and to all members of your group. For details, please visit the continuing education web page.

As a professor I will be supervising doctoral research students. Who can I contact if I need assistance with this aspect of my work?

GradUS is a good place to start if you are looking for help with your supervisory activities. GradUS has a range of useful materials with important information on supervising a doctoral research project or other issues, such as conflict resolution options. Many of these documents are available online, including a template for a doctoral supervision agreement. The supervision of doctoral research students is a serious and responsible activity. Each year the Doctoral Studies Quality Circle QZP runs a workshop at one of the participating universities that offers attendees the opportunity to critically reflect on their work as doctoral supervisors and to become acquainted with the standards and tools associated with effective and successful supervision. QZP also publishes a manual, containing helpful tips for both supervisors and doctoral students and is available free of charge from GradUS.


What support and/or funding is available for members of my group who would like to spend some time training or studying abroad?

As part of its staff development initiatives, Saarland University encourages employees to improve and enhance their international skills and intercultural awareness. The International Office offers advice and assistance on planning and funding a work- or study-related stay abroad. The EU’s Erasmus+ programme offers funding opportunities for university employees who wish to undertake a training or study period at an education institution or relevant organization within the EU or at an Erasmus partner university outside the EU. The Erasmus+ programme also provides funding for university staff interested in spending time teaching at a higher education institution abroad. Additional funding opportunities can be found in the DAAD scholarship database.

Doctoral research students can apply for a support grant to assist with travelling to a partner university in the University of the Greater Region network (UniGR). Applications can be submitted to Saarland University’s own mobility fund.

A member of my team would like to improve their German language skills or their proficiency in a foreign language.

Every semester, the Saarland University language centre offers language learning courses covering a wide range of languages and proficiency levels. To register for a course, you will need a user number, which you can obtain either by using the online registration form or in person from the Language Centre’s media lab.

The HR Service Team:  Personnel development organizes regular English and French language courses, specifically for university staff. As part of the Trilingual campus project, English and French language courses taught at htw saar – the University of Applied Sciences in Saarbrücken – are also being offered to Saarland University staff, while English and French courses taught at Saarland University are open to staff from htw saar.

The ISZ Saar (International Study Centre Saar) runs regular German language courses for doctoral research students and these courses are also included in the GradUS-programme. The Welcome Center also provides information on German language courses.

If you have any questions, suggestions, comments or requests, don’t hesitate to get in touch.


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