Standards and Measures

In addition to training doctoral researchers and postdocs, we are committed to ensuring quality assurance in doctoral studies at Leipzig University and support the faculties where the actual supervision of doctorates takes place. We also promote the establishment of structured doctoral programmes.

Quality Assurance

Based on the Council of Science and Humanities’ guidelines (2011), we recommend standards and measures for (academic) quality assurance in doctoral studies in the following areas:

  • Selection procedure
  • Supervision
  • Supervision agreements
  • Interdisciplinary skills development
  • Academic misconduct

Selection Procedure

Doctoral positions are awarded in a transparent selection procedure. To this end, the eligibility criteria and admission requirements are clearly formulated and the posts or scholarships advertised (at least nationally). The goal should be to offer funding for at least three years. A thesis advisory committee, which consists of multiple members, should decide whether doctoral researchers are accepted. The committee is then responsible for supervising these doctoral researchers.


Supervision is not limited to subject-specific support of a doctorate, but is a relationship of trust (for a limited period of time) that needs to be established. We want to encourage you to actively shape the supervisory relationship, to find suitable supervisors, to complete a supervision agreement and to register on the list of doctoral researchers.

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Supervision Agreements

A supervision agreement defines liabilities and quality standards as well as rights and obligations of all involved in the doctoral procedure. It is important that the agreement is adapted to the individual needs of the doctoral researchers and supervisors.

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Interdisciplinary Skills Development

Doctoral researchers should be encouraged and supported in their efforts to develop their interdisciplinary skills. They should also be provided with information on possible career paths after their doctorate, both in and outside of academia.

Our programme of workshops and events offers doctoral researchers and postdocs at Leipzig University the opportunity to gain interdisciplinary skills.

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Conflict Mediation

In doctoral and postdoctoral research, conflicts can arise between doctoral researchers, postdocs, supervisors and other parties for a variety of reasons. If you are unable to resolve a conflict yourself, there is the option of contacting the University’s conciliators in confidence. Both of them are available for impartial consultations.

The Research Academy office provides the conciliators with organisational assistance; both work independently and are committed to the principles of confidentiality, fairness and neutrality.

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If you do not wish to contact the conciliators at Leizpig University, but seek external advice, you also have the option of contacting the German Research Ombudsman. This is a body set up by the German Research Foundation (DFG) to assist all researchers in Germany with questions and conflicts in the area of scientific integrity and good scientific practice, which also includes the supervision of doctoral researchers.

Academic Misconduct

After being admitted to the doctoral procedure, it must be ensured that doctoral researchers are familiar with the principles of good academic practice. Doctoral researchers, supervisors and mentors should know who they can turn to in the event of a conflict.

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Structured Doctorates at Leipzig University

Structured Doctoral Programmes

In a structured doctoral programme, you complete your doctorate within an established structure (e.g. in a research training group), write your dissertation within a jointly agreed time period for which doctoral funding is specified and are supervised by several professors. From the outset, you will be in close contact with other doctoral researchers and supervisors with whom you work on joint research projects.

Structured doctoral programmes are available in several academic disciplines at Leipzig University. These doctoral programmes are distributed among the University’s three Graduate Centres.

Doctoral researchers who are not part of research training groups, a graduate centre or a structured doctoral programme, and who are thus pursuing an individual doctorate, should receive targeted support. This support might take the form of being integrated into working groups, having the opportunity to participate in university programmes or participating in conferences.

Doctoral Programmes

More than 700 doctoral researchers at Leipzig University are pursuing their doctorates in 24 structured doctoral programmes. They are assigned to one of the three Graduate Centres of the Research Academy Leipzig:


We develop quality standards for the training of early career researchers at Leipzig University.

Quality Supervision for Doctorates

A trusting relationship between doctoral researchers and their supervisors is essential for a successful doctorate. The Research Academy Leipzig establishes meaningful standards for this through supervision agreements.

abstract illustration for the topic "good doctoral supervision"

Guide "Good doctoral supervision"

This guide bundles recommendations for good doctoral supervision. It consists of two parts: The doctoral researcher's perspective and the supervisor's perspective. It is available for download here.

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Eine Betreuungsvereinbarung definiert zu Beginn der Promotion die Rechte und Pflichten aller Personen, die daran beteiligt sind. Foto: Katrin Bemmann
Photo: Christian Hüller

Good Academic Practice

One of our main priorities is to ensure that early career researchers adhere to good academic practice. To this end, we work closely together with the Office of Ombudspersons and the Ethics Advisory Board.


Research Academy Leipzig

Straße des 17. Juni 2
04107 Leipzig

Phone: +49 341 97-30234