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Supervision of PhD Students

The Faculty of Engineering has the following rules for supervision of PhD students, pursuant to the PhD Order.

The PhD programme is to be completed under supervision. In other words, the PhD student is entitled to receive supervision and is obliged to receive supervision.

A principal supervisor and up to three project supervisors or co-supervisors are to be appointed for every student.

On its own initiative or following an application from the PhD student, the PhD school may:

1) Appoint other supervisors, who must be qualified within the relevant field.
2) Replace the principal supervisor and other supervisors

 Applications for changing supervisors are processed by the PhD committee.

Role of the principal supervisor:
The principal supervisor has overall responsibility for ensuring compliance with all formalities relating to the PhD programme, as described in the PhD Order, as well as with Faculty rules.

The principal supervisor must ensure that a Research and Study Plan is completed within two months after the PhD studies begin. The principal supervisor must ensure that expert supervision is available for every aspect of the project, possibly by involving co-supervisors.

The principal supervisor may only assume supervision responsibility for a PhD student if it is possible to provide good supervision throughout the individual PhD student’s programme. In the view of the Faculty of Engineering, the desirable supervisory effort by the principal supervisor requires approximately 45 hours per semester per PhD student. A principal supervisor is under an obligation to be available to provide supervision by appointment.

The principal supervisor must ensure that PhD students have a realistic possibility of following the Research and Study Plan. If problems arise, and it is not possible to resolve them, the principal supervisor is responsible for making adjustments in the Research and Study Plan in collaboration with the PhD student and with any project supervisors and/or co-supervisors to enable the PhD student to re-establish a realistic possibility of obtaining the PhD degree without delay.

Prior to making the written evaluation of how the PhD studies are proceeding, the principal supervisor, together with any project supervisors and/or co-supervisors, must assess whether the PhD student is satisfactorily following the Research and Study Plan and whether continuation can be recommended without qualification or whether the PhD student requires a deadline of three months for bringing his/her studies back on track. The three-month deadline for re-establishing the study process may only be granted once during the course of study and will not extend the overall period of study prescribed for the programme. At the same time, the principal supervisor, together with any project supervisors and/or co-supervisors, must assess whether any changes in relation to the Research and Study Plan are needed. The principal supervisor ensures that the supervision provided by project supervisors and co-supervisors is satisfactory.

The principal supervisor is under an obligation to notify the head of the PhD School as soon as possible if any doubt emerges concerning the PhD student’s ability to complete the PhD programme. The principal supervisor is under an obligation to keep notes in this regard.

The principal supervisor has overall responsibility for the change of research environment and, as part of preparing the Research and Study Plan, must plan the change of research environment. The change of research environment, which should preferably be abroad, should be planned well in advance with the PhD student, and involve any project supervisors and/or co-supervisors.

The Faculty of Engineering offers a supervision training course to all supervisors of PhD students. The course is mandatory for principal supervisors at the Faculty of Engineering.

Project supervisors and co-supervisors
The overall responsibility for project supervision rests with the principal supervisor, pursuant to the PhD Order and the internal rules for PhD supervision at the Faculty of Engineering . Project supervisors and co-supervisors may not have overall responsibility. Project supervisors and co-supervisors may only supervise PhD students in academic issues and contribute specialist knowledge to the student's PhD project and PhD programme. Project supervisors and co-supervisors are to make their national and international academic networks available to the PhD student.

Other supervision options for PhD students at the Faculty of Engineering
In addition to academic supervision, the University is also under an obligation to offer PhD students teaching guidance and a presentation course. A teaching course and two or three courses in written and oral knowledge dissemination are offered by the Faculty of Engineering as part of the PhD School’s course programme.

PhD students have the option of making use of the offer of PhD coaching from the Faculty of Engineering’s PhD coach. The coach must observe a duty of confidentiality.

The PhD student has the right to a confidential coaching interview with the head of the PhD School at any time.

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