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Rules of supervision

Monitoring of the PhD project

Supervisor: The supervisor oversees the candidate’s research and advises them on which scientific, personal, academic and professional skills. In this way the supervisor provides the candidate with a skills base that is appropriate to successfully complete a PhD but also for a future career either in or outside academia. The supervisor also advises the PhD candidate in all matters of university regulations and affairs and introduces them to relevant research and administration offices and resources including the Office for Doctoral Studies. To ensure adequate interaction with the supervisor, the MOLMED program management recommends that the number of PhD candidates supervised by a faculty member should be limited.

Dissertation Committee: The main supervisor and at least two co-supervisors form the Dissertation Committee. One member must be affiliated with an institute or clinical department other than that where the thesis project is performed. The Dissertation Committee convenes at least once a year in a formal meeting to discuss the progress of the thesis project and provide critical advice and feedback.

Dissertation agreement: This agreement is signed by the PhD candidate, all members of the Dissertation Committee and the Dean of Doctoral Studies. The students accept that their involvement in the current research of a group requires continuous and coordinated work and that the project can be assigned to others if the student fails to observe project milestones without any third-party fault. The supervisor guides the students, organizes required resources, and supports the students in the preparation and presentation of results and in all matters related to the research project. The supervisors and the student agree to comply with the Standards of Good Scientific Practice as set out by MedUni.

Progress report: The PhD student has to compose an annual progress report according to respective guidelines set out by MedUni. Over the years this report is being developed and extended towards the thesis and follows appropriate international standards. In addition, the student gives account of all difficulties encountered, adequate approaches to solve them and future directions of the research. The written progress report needs to be forwarded to the Dissertation Committee in advance to the committee meeting. The progress report and the comments and recommendations of the Dissertation Committee are formally approved and filed by the Office for Doctoral Studies.

Mentor: In addition to the supervisor and the Dissertation Committee, each student is invited to nominate an official mentor who is not a member of the MOLMED faculty. The mentor provides independent advice on the student’s research and training advances and career plans and supports the student to cope with professional and personal conflicts related to work.

Development of supervisors (staff development): Recognizing that supervision is a responsible but complex task, the Office for Doctoral Studies has initiated workshops to prepare supervisors and train them for their role as mentors of PhD students. In these workshops, the criteria for a successful supervisor-student relationship are discussed and best-practice examples are presented. In the future all RESPImmun faculty members will be required to attend a workshop on “Successful Supervision of Doctoral Candidates” at MedUni.