Doctoral students of the GTC are guided by an Advisory Board. The Advisory Board (AB) is not only monitoring the project’s progress but also mentoring the student during her/his doctoral period and will be part of the examination committee in the thesis defense. Importantly, doctoral students are required to report their progress in an annually AB meeting.
Composition of the Advisory Board
The AB consists of (at least) three persons. Next to the thesis supervisor, two other persons willing to become members of your AB have to be proposed to the doctoral committee and the GTC by submitting the proposal of an Advisory Board. The AB are recruited from the circle of professors, junior professors, ‘Privatdozenten’ or junior research group leaders (MPI, CIN, DZNE, BCCN) that hold an examination atuhority. Furthermore, one of the AB members should have the same scientific background as the applicant and at least one
AB member must be a natural scientist (i.e., hold a Dr. rer. nat.-degree). After the doctoral committee and the GTC has approved the members of your AB, you will have to take your admission interview in the first AB Meeting. A successful interview is a precondition for becoming admitted to the doctoral program.
Functions & duties of an Advisory Board
In the beginning, the AB has the most crucial task to check the competency and qualification of the candidate for their doctoral project. The AB decides on the scope and content of the doctoral studies and possibly additional work (‘Eignungsfeststellungsverfahren’), discuss the doctoral concept and comment on the progress reports. Ideally, AB members should come from different departments, be independent of each other, have diverse scientific and methodological backgrounds and, thus, in a way complement each other. Finally, two of the AB members will be asked to review and grade the doctoral thesis and the three AB members, together with a fourth scientist, will form the examination board for the thesis defense.