The working groups constitute part of the foundation of the Doctoral Students Convention (DSC). They offer interested doctoral researchers the possibility to discuss current issues and to develop possible solutions. The executive committee of the DSC is obliged to take the results found by working groups into consideration when making decisions. The working groups can be divided into two types: topic-specific and faculty-specific working groups. Each working group elects a speaker as the contact person for doctoral researchers and the executive committee.
Topic-specific working groups
These working groups deal mostly with the overall framework of doctoral studies at Heidelberg University or with the DSC itself. Possible examples include working groups for improving the conditions for international doctoral researchers or doctoral researchers with children. Any doctoral researcher at the university may participate in these working groups or initiate new working groups.
Speaker: Phil-Alan Gärtig
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 Researchers
Speaker: Meah Mostafiz
Description: The group is specifically focused on matters related to international doctoral researchers. Many of the international doctoral researchers are unaware of the working contract rules and procedures, mainly due to language barrier. Additionally, in some cases international doctoral researchers 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 doctoral researchers, 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 doctoral researchers about proper contact persons for specific requirements would be the ultimate goal of the group. More participation from the international doctoral researchers is highly desired.
Description: All the tasks and projects of the DSC face one ubiquitous problem: mobilising enough doctoral researchers who would like to contribute to this work. Thus, the goal of this working group is to tackle this problem by improving the communication between the DSC and the doctoral researchers. In particular, the group tries to find means to inform all doctoral researchers about what the DSC is, what it is specifically working on and how they can actively participate in this work.
Speaker: Maximilian Kellner
Description: The working group Hochschulpolitische Repräsentation der Promovierenden (Doctoral Representation in University Politics; former: Senate and committees) seeks to foster the representation of doctoral candidates at University, especially in its bodies and councils.
Initially, the working group attended to legislative and practical measures implementing a new and own university member-status for doctoral students in Baden-Württemberg’s law of academia by the Gesetz zur Weiterentwicklung des Hochschulrechts from March 18th 2018 (State law on the development of the law of academia; GBl. 2018, S. 85 ff.). This reform led to a separate representation of enrolled doctoral students per se in bodies and councils. The working group also supported the first elections for the one-year-term starting on October 1st, 2019.
These structures being created, the working group purposes to strengthen them and improve their practical activity. Therefore, it ameliorates doctoral candidates’ knowledge, empowering them to make active use of their representative opportunities, by any form of commitment, especially by voting and running for seats. The group constitutes a networking-forum for doctoral candidates involved in university politics and provides them with information and assistance. For these purposes, it also stays in touch with relevant university agents.
Exercising the Convention’s representative competences, the working group assists its Executive Committee.
Workshops and Seminars
Speaker: Roman Sakson
Description: The group focuses on the organization of seminars and workshops for doctoral researchers. Universal topics that are of interest to all doctoral researchers at Heidelberg University are preferred. However, topics that cover a particular field of research can also be considered. For organizing such events, there is a budget available, which is composed of enrolment fees paid by doctoral researchers to Heidelberg University. We would like to especially encourage proposals for workshop topics that are not yet covered by the Graduate Academy Seminar Program (https://www.graduateacademy.uni-heidelberg.de/karriere/workshops_en.html) or by field-specific graduate school programs.
Faculty-specific working groups
These working groups deal with issues only concerning a specific faculty. An example for such a working group is discussing planned changes to doctoral regulations. Participation in these working groups is limited to doctoral researchers of the respective faculty.
Speaker: Raban Heller
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.