thesis committee

IMPRS-HD thesis committee

Idea and goal: 

Each IMPRS student's research work and curriculum is supervised by his/her personal standing thesis committee, consisting of three independent colleagues with scientific expertise in the field of the thesis. 

The thesis committee provides supervision of the scientific development of the doctoral student in general by surveying the progress of the research work as well as the education of the student. 

The independent members of the thesis committee should also become active in case of supervison problems.

The existence of a thesis committee for each student has been defined as indispensable condition by the Max Planck Society for all their IMPRS research schools. 

IMPRS students should have their first thesis committee meeting within 2 month after arrival.

Method of operation: 

The thesis committee is expected to convene at least once a year (thus 3-4 times depending on the duration of the doctoral studies) to meet the student for discussion and review. An IMPRS-HD representative may take part in the meeting. 

It is the responsibility of the main supervisor to organize the committee meetings and introduce the student to the committee. We require new students to fill out and sign the following forms - defining the committee members and the preliminary curriculum during their first TC meeeting (see links below).

The thesis committee meeting should be informal - it is up to the committee how to evaluate the progress of the thesis work. Traditionally, most of the thesis committees expect a brief presentation by the student at the meeting. 

A short informal report about the outcome of the committee meetings must be written for reference for the committee members and the student and a copy should be sent to IMPRS-HD (to the coordination office It is the responsibility of the thesis supervisor that such a report is written. All committee members and the student are encouraged to express their personal opinions in the report. 

The thesis committee meeting is not intended as yet another examination of the student. Also, the close interrelation between student and supervisor should not be interfered unnecessarily. 

The thesis committee defines the curriculum of the Ph.D. student by examining the educational background and status of the student and by considering the needs for the Ph.D. project. This is particularly important if the student has arrived already with some astronomy background or in case of a time conflict between the lectures and research work. This is why the first meeting shold take place within 2 months after arrival.

In order to underline the importance of the thesis committee for success the PhD project, the IMPRS board has decided that a financial support for a student by the IMPRS critically depends on whether the thesis committee meetings  have taken place regularly and a copy of the TC reports has been forwarded to the IMPRS office.

Assignment of the committee: 

The principal thesis supervisor suggests another two independent scientists with expertise in the research topic as committee members - one of them must come from a different institute. The committee may consist also of more then three members.

Note that for registration of the student at the Department of Physics and Astronomy (now transferred to HGSFP, the Heidelberg Graduate School of Fundamental Physics) the three committee members have to sign the form.

Info & forms:

The IMPRS  membership form to be handed in within 2 weeks after arrival.

The TC form for the  first committee meeting - to be held within 2 months after arrival.

The above information as pdf file.

Have a look to the IMPRS-HD rules and conditions.