5th Networking Event for Doctoral Supervisors
The networking event for doctoral supervisors at TH Köln took place on November 30, 2021, for the fifth time since its establishment. Despite taking place virtually for the second time in a row, 23 professors attended the meeting.
Prof. Dr. Klaus Becker, Vice President for Research and Knowledge Transfer, welcomed all participants and briefed them on recent developments in postgraduate affairs, including a status report on the progress of the NRW Doctoral College (Promotionskolleg NRW). This introduction was followed by a short overview of the activities and support structures offered for doctoral researchers and their supervisors at TH Köln by the Graduate Center.
One of the event's highlights was the talk given by guest speaker Dr. Antje Wegner of the German Center for Higher Education and Science Research (DZHW). Dr. Wegner is the deputy director of the National Academics Panel Study (NACAPS). Her lecture, providing more than one incentive for the following discussion, addressed the question, "For what does a doctorate qualify? Research, practice and professional orientation of doctoral researchers in Germany." The talk stimulated a lively discussion among the supervisors. In small groups, they discussed career paths after the doctorate, the role of doctoral supervisors in the career-building process of young academics, and the importance of the supervision agreement. The results from the group discussions were subsequently presented and supplemented in the plenary session.
TH Köln currently has approximately 187 doctoral researchers, supervised by almost 100 professors. In addition to networking activities for doctoral researchers and supervisors, the Graduate Center offers advice for those interested in becoming one. Other services for postgraduate researchers of the Graduate Center include a soft skill training program, coaching in German and English, and several opportunities for small travel, translation, and publication grants.