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Doctoral programme structure

Doctoral programme structure for the Humanities

The primary aim of the doctoral programmes is to plan and hold courses for PhD students and to create a link between the departments and the Graduate School when doing so:

In relation to the Graduate School, the heads of the doctoral programmes (henceforth 'the HDPs') handle subject-specific courses and activities carrying ECTS credits that are on offer for the attached PhD students. This work is carried out with the involvement of PhD students and in collaboration with supervisors, the head of the Graduate School and the PhD Board. All courses and major activities (but not, for instance, ad hoc study groups, conference participation, etc.) are administered, registered and advertised on the Graduate School website and advertised on the national course website.

In relation to the departments, the HDPs help ensure the optimum attachment of PhD students to the department's research environments (programmes, major projects, special focus areas) and to coordinate programme activities with the other research activities at the departments. This work is carried out together with supervisors, heads of departments, research groups and project leaders. HDPs will in future take on a clear coordinating function over and above the broad academic profile of the programme.

 In addition, HDPs take part in the concrete national course collaboration within the humanities. This can be done using ad hoc delegation to and/or the inclusion of research groups and project leaders in more narrowly-defined areas (e.g. philosophy, education research, tourism, media).

 A doctoral programme belongs under the Graduate School as regards responsibility for operating subject-specific courses within a department's subject areas. It must have a clear attachment to a department if it is to manage the part of the task connected with the integration of the courses and other activities in departmental environments. As a baseline, there is only one programme at each department, but special circumstances (at the Department for the Study of Culture (IKV), for instance) could prompt the establishment of more. Within the department's research profile a doctoral programme must ensure the best possible course and activity coverage for students' projects on these projects’ own premises and cannot operate on the basis of a narrow niche profile.

 HDPs can collaborate on courses and activities across departments in cases where academic disciplines overlap (e.g. communication and media), and should do so when this is appropriate in connection with particular PhD projects.

Programmes can be set up at the initiative of departments and/or of the Graduate School, but must be accepted by both parties. The final approval of a programme is left to the PhD Board, which is responsible for the provision of courses in accordance with the ministerial order.

Departments are entitled to submit suggestions for the appointment of HDPs for the approval by the head of the Graduate School (so giving parity in the appointment of supervisors).

HDPs and the head of the Graduate School jointly constitute the Programme Council, which meets twice a year prior to each semester for the purpose of recommending the provision of courses for the semester for the approval by the PhD Board in accordance with the requirements in the ministerial order.

PhD students are attached to a programme at the department they are employed in. Some of the activities in each programme should be kept open for PhD students from other programmes in order to ensure broad research-related socialisation and interdisciplinarity.

In addition to courses, academic seminars, master classes, pre-defences, project meetings, etc., which will not necessarily always be equally relevant for all of the attached PhD students, a programme should include a gathering of all PhD students at least once each semester to enable project-related academic and social exchanges and updating. Students should help to plan these meetings.

Programme managers will be compensated in relation to the time spent and/or through supplementary function payment.

HDP responsibilities - keywords:

The HDP administers an annual budget from the Graduate School, the amount of which depends on the number of PhD students attached to the programme. With regard to administration and planning, the HDP collaborates with the Graduate School (the PhD Board, the head of the Graduate School, the Programme Council, administrative staff and supervisors) and, with regard to academic coordination and profiling, with the departments (heads of departments, research groups, project leaders, supervisors and other HDPs). In addition, the HDP:

  • must plan and ensure that there are subject-specific courses for PhD students within the programme;
  • must inspire and initiate activities that carry ECTS credits (e.g. study groups, master classes, pre-defences, etc.);
  • must arrange at least one meeting each semester for all attached PhD students with the aim of providing opportunities for project-related academic exchanges and mutual inspiration;
  • must coordinate programme activities with other activities in the research environments at the department with the aim of optimising the integration of PhD students in these environments;
  • must take part in concrete national course cooperation in the humanities (possibly with the help of ad hoc delegation to and the inclusion of research groups and/or project leaders);
  • must take part in the work of the Programme Council as an ex officio member (typically at two annual meetings).


Last Updated 26.02.2018