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.

A supervision agreement at the beginning of the doctorate defines the rights and obligations of all persons involved. Photo: Katrin Bemmann
A supervision agreement at the beginning of the doctorate defines the rights and obligations of all persons involved. Photo: Katrin Bemmann

Standards for Doctoral Supervision

An open, fair and transparent approach by all those involved in the doctoral process will ensure a good basis right from the start. Social and cultural backgrounds should also be taken into account, for example, so that the doctoral researcher can successfully juggle family life, doctoral research and professional commitments.

A supervision agreement between the doctoral researcher, supervisor and mentor is mandatory for anyone wishing to begin a doctoral programme at the Research Academy Leipzig. This agreement sets forth the general conditions of the doctoral process and is intended to serve as a benchmark for all doctorates at Leipzig University.

Supervisors, together with mentors, are responsible for advising doctoral researchers on their doctoral project as well as their work and time schedule.

Rights and Obligations

All those involved have different rights and obligations that are defined in the supervision agreement:

The supervisor commits to supervising the doctoral project until its completion, regardless of the duration of funding. The supervisor will oversee the doctoral candidate’s teaching activities and discuss career perspectives with the doctoral researcher. They will support the doctoral researcher in creating a balance between family life and academic career advancement.

Each year, the supervisor will draft a statement to be included with the doctoral researcher’s report on the progress they have made with their doctorate. The report and statement serve as the basis for a joint conversation with the doctoral researcher and mentors. Brief minutes of the conversation will be taken, which will be signed by all parties. The joint evaluation may lead to an alteration of the work and time schedule.

The supervisor will establish a work and time schedule with the doctoral researcher and will request regular updates on the progress of the doctoral project.

The doctoral researcher, together with their supervisor, will establish a work and time schedule for the doctoral project. The central focus of the doctorate should be on independent academic work.

The doctoral researcher agrees to provide both their supervisor and mentor with regular updates on the specifics of their progress. As per the supervision agreement, the parties will agree on a specific reporting cycle.

In accordance with the doctoral programme regulations, each doctoral researcher will participate in a career development programme (e.g. Competence School at the Research Academy Leipzig).

The mentors will meet with the doctoral researcher at least once a year and will be available to meet additional times to discuss the doctoral project. They will keep an eye on the quality of supervision as well as the doctoral candidate’s research environment and will provide assistance in solving any problems that arise with the supervisor.

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