General Information

General Information

The Thesis Advisory Committee (TAC) supports the main supervisor in mentoring doctoral students. The primary objective of TAC meetings is to monitor the progress and pace of the doctoral candidates, offer valuable advice for the development of their thesis projects, help build networks, and discuss any concerns should they arise. Involving additional scholars in supervision, alongside the primary supervisor, aims to foster fresh perspectives on the project, help develop a clear vision, and monitor progress and ensure the project is completed within the allocated time-frame.

  • Having a TAC is mandatory for all doctoral students at the IMPRS “Global Multiplicity”.
  • The TAC will meet at least once a year.
  • The TAC approves the doctoral project, monitors progress, and advises on further project development.
  • The doctoral student is responsible for submitting necessary documents to the TAC before the meeting in advance and sending the TAC meeting report to the IMPRS coordinator. A TAC meeting is officially valid only after the signed TAC meeting protocol is sent to the IMPRS coordinator.

What are the benefits of having a TAC?

  • You will receive input from various scholars with diverse perspectives and expertise.
  • You strengthen your academic network.
  • You have someone to contact in case of problems in your student-supervisor relationship.
  • If you are an IMPRS student, you need an active TAC to access your travel budget and obtain a graduation certificate from IMPRS or apply for an extension of your doctoral funding.

Who is member of the TAC?

The TAC should consist of at least three members:

  • The supervisor with whom the student enters into a supervision agreement ('Betreuungsvereinbarung'). This supervisor is a university professor qualified to serve as the primary advisor for doctoral students in the respective faculty/department from which the doctoral student intends to graduate. The supervisor will be ex officio member of the TAC.
  • A minimum of two other members are selected by the doctoral candidate in cooperation with the supervisor. At least one should be from a different institution than the one at which you are employed.
  • It is strongly recommended to include one external or international scholar as third or fourth member in the TAC.

The selection needs to comply with the regulations of the respective faculty at which the student is enrolled.

To make the TAC official, all committee members must sign the TAC agreement within the first six months of supervising the doctoral studies. If you haven't received the agreement from the IMPRS coordinator at the beginning of your doctoral employment, please follow up with the supervisor or the coordinator.

What are the responsibilities of your TAC members?

  • The TAC shares the responsibility of supervising and providing guidance and support to doctoral students throughout their doctoral studies.
  • TAC members evaluate the scientific approach, proposal scope, and research topic's suitability for a doctoral thesis project. They can recommend changes to the proposal if necessary.
  • In the first TAC meeting members assess the project's scope and feasibility within the proposed time frame, evaluate risks, and encourage thinking about potential new strategies.
  • Subsequent meetings will take place annually and the TAC monitors the student's progress in the past year, ensuring focus on the research project's main aspects. They suggest further project developments and help solve current issues.
  • The TAC recommends a timeline for accomplishing the necessary steps for the doctoral student to complete the project on time.
  • On the basis of positive evaluation, the TAC will decide on the extension of a final (fourth) year of funding. 
  • The TAC will be responsible for deciding on and providing advice regarding outreach activities, such as attending conferences or participating in study visits at an international partner university.
  • TAC members provide advice on career planning and professional development.
  • Importantly, TAC members together with the IMPRS coordinator mediate discussions between doctoral students and supervisors, offering advice in case of conflicts.

Go on reading about TAC Meetings.

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