The working groups constitute part of the foundation of the Doctoral Convention (DC). They offer interested doctoral researchers the possibility to discuss current issues and to develop possible solutions. The executive committee of the DC 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 DC 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.
Speaker: Lukas Riedel
Description: All the tasks and projects of the DC face one ubiquitous problem: mobilising enough doctoral candidates who would like to contribute to this work. Thus, the goal of this working group is to improve the communication between the DC and doctoral candidates. In particular, the group tries to find means to inform all doctoral candidates about what the DC is, what it is specifically working on and how they can actively participate in this work. These means include regular PR via our website and social media channels, flyers and posters, and the occasional social event.
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: Alexandra Zakieva
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 enrollment 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.
Doctoral Regulations Medicine "Dr. sc. hum."
Speaker: Edmund Yeboah
Description: At the Heidelberg medical faculty, there are new doctoral regulations (German: Promotionsordnung) underway. As a body, we firmly believe in the involvement of doctoral candidates in the creation of the new doctoral regulations. It is to this effect that we have established this group to review and discuss the new doctoral regulations with doctoral candidates to get their inputs and contributions. This working group offers doctoral candidates a platform to participate in shaping the new doctoral regulations by collecting, structuring, and presenting their suggestions to the faculty. We are looking forward to working together to bring a doctoral regulations that reflects the interests of all concerned parties.