Working groups of the Doctoral Students Convention
The working groups constitute part of the foundation of the DSC and offer interested PhD students to possibility to participate in everyday issues of of everyday life for PhD students, political issues concerning their education, as well as the Doctoral Students Convention itself. The working groups can broadly be divided into two types: topicl working groups and faculty-specific working groups. Each working group elects a speaker that keeps in touch with the executive committee.
Topical working groups
These working groups deal either with the Doctoral Students Convention itself or with the overall framework of doctoral studies at Heidelberg University. Any PhD student may participate in these working grous or even create new open working groups for a specific topic.
Faculty-specific working groups
Whenever issues arise within a given faculty of the university that directly affect PhD students at this faculty, (such as changes to the PhD regulations), it is the task of the executive committee to establish a working group for this faculty and issue. This working group then discusses possible approaches and advice that can be given to the respective university councils. Participation in these working groups is limited to doctoral students of the respective faculties.
Current working groups
The following working groups are currently active. All doctoral students may chose to participate at any time.
heiDOCS (topical working group)
Speaker: Jan Wysocki
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 Students (topical working group)
Speaker: Meah Mostafiz
Description: The group is specifically focused on matters related to international doctoral students. Many of the international doctoral students are unaware of the working contract rules and procedures, mainly due to language barrier. Additionally, in some cases international doctoral students 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 students, 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 students about proper contact persons for specific requirements would be the ultimate goal of the group. More participation from the international doctoral students is highly desired.
Communication (topical working group)
Speaker: Robert Lilow
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.
Campus Card / App (offene Arbeitsgruppe)
Speaker: Robin Njenga
Description: The Heidelberg University plans to introduce a unified Campus Card for all doctoral researchers regardless of their legal status within the university (student, employee, external). This card shall combine different functionalities like paying in the mensa, borrowing books in the library or using URZ services, and is supposed to be accompanied by a smartphone app. To ensure that the introduction of such a card/app will be beneficial for the doctoral researchers, this working group discusses potential data security concerns as well as the pros and cons of different possible functionalities, and advises the rectorate accordingly.
Survey (topical working group)
Speaker: Julia Lohmann
Description: The working group aims to determine, by means of an online survey, doctoral students’ needs and wishes in regards to the conditions in which they pursue their doctorate. The idea is to enable targeted, relevant work of the DSC by providing a sound empirical basis. A similar survey was previously successfully implemented at the University of Constance.
MedSurvey (faculty-specific working group)
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.
Interdisciplinary Network of German and Russian Doctoral Students
Speaker: Diana von Pentz
Description: It is planned to exchange ideas between German and Russian docotral students as well as professors, teachers and students, be it with personal encounters in the context of international seminars and conferences, the mutual translations and publications of their works, articles and lectures, as well as an extension of the project to other cultural areas not only in Germany and Russia, but also in other countries. The working group is preparing to set up a registered association called “PONTIBUS Deutsch-Russisches Interdisziplinäres Netzwerk e.V.” and will mainly be busy making contacts and to explore the extent to which there is an interest in such a cross-border project.