Training Programme

Training Programme

PIER Helmholtz Graduate School

A Graduate Education Program of Universität Hamburg in Cooperation with DESY

Logo der Universität Hamburg und DESY

Training Programme

The PIER Helmholtz Graduate School’s training programme encompasses three pillars:
Qualification – Interdisciplinarity – Support:

  • Pillar 1 provides the framework for structured professional qualification
  • Pillar 2 describes the interdisciplinary approach to this qualification
  • Pillar 3 explains how doctoral candidates are optimally supported
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1. Study programme

In the study programme, doctoral students acquire:

  • Professional skills in their main research field
  • Interdisciplinary knowledge in the context of the PIER research fields
  • Key skills

The studies programme of the PIER Helmholtz Graduate School meets the qualification requirements of the PhD programme of the MIN Faculty of Universität Hamburg.

Doctoral students who successfully complete the study programme of the PIER Helmholtz Graduate School receive a certificate and a transcript of records. The effort of the study programme is calculated on the basis of semester hours according to the requirements of Universität Hamburg. The previous, credit point-based calculation was replaced by a semester hour-based calculation in 2015. The workload is the same.

A successful completion of the study programme requires 17 semester hours: A minimum of 14 semester hours in the area of professional skills (categories A and B) and 3 semester hours in the area of key skills (category C):

A) Project-related group seminars and workshops in the main research field: 6 semester hours

  • Research training groups, graduate schools, work groups or institute seminars
  • Participation in workshops and conferences in or outside Hamburg

B) Professional qualification in the PIER research fields: 8 semester hours

  • PIER PhD seminar: active participation for at least one semester, including a presentation
  • Subject-specific courses from the curricula of Universität Hamburg’s master’s programmes (or other universities)
  • Participation in workshops, winter or summer schools and lecture weeks
  • Participation in at least two courses: One course in the research field of the doctoral dissertation, and one course from another PIER research field

C) Obtaining key skills: 3 semester hours

  • Workshops, courses, vocational training on career orientation
  • Language courses and courses on academic writing or good academic practice

Details:

  • 1 semester hour = 15 x 45 minute sessions.
  • The calculation of semester hours includes the workload for lectures, posters, etc.
  • Block seminars: 1 day = 0.5 semester hour, 2 days = 1 semester hour, etc. Half-day block seminars can also be credited. Block courses are credited with a maximum of 10 days / 5 semester hours.
  • Language courses: the provider fixes the amount of semester hours. Courses at PIER Helmholtz Graduate School: 2 semester hours.
  • Participation in master modules of Universität Hamburg: Semester hours as accredited by the university.
  • The nature of the course work performance (Studienleistungen) is defined at the beginning of the course by the lecturer. Lecturers can credit additional individual effort of doctoral students with additional work or semester hours.
  • Own teaching at the university can be credited with a maximum of 2 semester hours in the area key competences (C).
  • Semester hours are usually fixed by the organiser. If this is not the case, the PIER Helmholtz Graduate School’s management committee defines a semester hour equivalent.
  • A written confirmation of attendance by the organiser, lecturer or supervisor is required for each course/workshop/conference. Doctoral students are asked to upload each attendance confirmation in the PIER database.
2. Interdisciplinarity

Various interdisciplinary events in the PIER research fields provide participants with the basis for lively scientific discourse. The spectrum of events ranges from cross-curricular doctoral seminars that the participants organise themselves to interdisciplinary lecture weeks.

  • PIER PhD seminar by and for doctoral candidates: The event provides participants with a forum for interdisciplinary scientific discourse and for networking within the PIER research fields. Every participant holds a presentation about his or her main research field. The interdisciplinary nature of the event means that participants are faced with the challenge of communicating their research activities to a non-specialist audience.

  • Regular interdisciplinary events at the PIER Helmholtz Graduate School: Interdisciplinary workshops in the PIER research fields are offered to the doctoral candidates during the PIER Annual Retreat, PIER Lecture Week and PIER Symposium.

  • Innovative events in which doctoral candidates learn to communicate their research fields to a non-specialist audience: e.g. Science Slam, Scientific Speed Dating.

  • Doctoral candidates receive financial support for participation in interdisciplinary events that are subject to a fee or are held outside Hamburg.

  • Doctoral candidates receive financial support to organise/hold interdisciplinary events/workshops.

  • Doctoral candidates receive financial support from the PIER Idea Fund. The fund helps doctoral candidates find, try out, enhance and implement new research and development ideas in the four PIER research fields.
3. Support

The third PHGS pillar is support. Optimal scientific support is crucial for enabling doctoral candidates to complete their dissertations quickly and successfully. Extracurricular services concerning career planning and social networking also help participants successfully complete their dissertations and embark smoothly on their careers.

Scientific support
At the PIER Helmholtz Graduate School, every doctoral candidate is supported by a team of supervisors. The team consists of a primary supervisor (from the research field in which the dissertation is being written) and at least one secondary supervisor (from another PIER research field, if possible). The formal conditions for supervision are defined in the respective Doctoral Degree Regulations of the University where the PhD student is admitted. For PhD students at University of Hamburg the Doctoral Degree Regulations of the Faculty for Mathematics, Informatics and Natural Sciences apply. The formal conditions that a supervisor has to fulfil are specified in §6 (3): At least one supervisor must be a full-time professor or `habilitated´ member with an employment in the MIN faculty. In accordance with §4, a panel of supervisors, consisting of three people including a chair, a supervisor and a co-supervisor, can be appointed upon recommendation of the applicant as well. 

At the beginning of their collaboration, the supervisors and the doctoral candidate sign the PIER Helmholtz Graduate School supervision agreement. This agreement contains binding regulations for the following points:

The supervisors cooperate with the doctoral candidate to draw up an individual work plan and time schedule for him or her The doctoral candidate must write a brief interim report at least once a year. He or she must also keep a brief log that provides feedback on the way the dissertation is progressing. This log serves as the basis for the next meeting with the supervisors. After the meeting, the doctoral candidate and the supervisors sign the log and forward it to the PIER Helmholtz Graduate School. The graduate school provides a template for the log. The doctoral candidate regularly meets with his or her supervisors in order to ensure that the dissertation is of high quality and will be completed on time

The supervisors can also make agreements with the doctoral candidate about other issues such as further training and education, career planning assistance, conflict resolution etc.

Extracurricular support
The following offers help to ensure that doctoral candidates enjoy good living and working conditions. They are especially useful for people who are new to Hamburg:

  • A wide variety of career development offers, ranging from career orientation at job seminars with alumni from the various research fields to workshops that are especially tailored to the needs of doctoral candidates and taught by highly qualified instructors.
  • Provision of an overview and contacts with all service providers and services for doctoral candidates. This is done in cooperation with established facilities at DESY, Universität Hamburg and the city of Hamburg.
  • Organisation of joint leisure activities in cooperation with the representatives of the doctoral candidates.
  • A separate buddy programme for new doctoral candidates.
  • The PIER Helmholtz Graduate School office serves as a mediator and point of contact for resolving conflicts.

Fellows
Parisa Bayat
Parisa Bayat
Nanoscience
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Giovanni Rabuffo
Giovanni Rabuffo
Theoretical Physics
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Alumni
Markus Ebert
Markus Ebert
Particle and Astroparticle Physics
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Nele Müller
Nele Müller
Photon Science
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Event Calendar
25 Sep. 2017 to 27 Sep. 2017
Location: FLASH seminar room
26 Sep. 2017 to 29 Sep. 2017
Chaired by: Julien Lesgourgues
Speaker: AMMON, Martin, ARVANITAKI, Asimina
Location: Main Auditorium
26 Sep. 2017 14:00
Location: Main Auditorium, build. 5
27 Sep. 2017 09:00
Location: Main Auditorium, build. 5
27 Sep. 2017 to 29 Sep. 2017
Speaker: AGAPOV, Ilya, BAEV, Ivan
Location: SemRoom FLASH (28c)
27 Sep. 2017 14:00
Speaker: Michele Ceriotti (Laboratory of Computational Science and Modelling (COSMO),École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL))
Location: CFEL bldg. 99, seminar room IV(01.111) first floor
27 Sep. 2017 18:00
Speaker: Alan Guth (MIT Cambridge (USA))
Location: DESY Auditorium
28 Sep. 2017 09:00
Location: Main Auditorium, build. 5
29 Sep. 2017 09:00
Location: Main Auditorium, build. 5
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