The Baden-Württemberg Minister of Science, Theresia Bauer, has launched the competition “Qualitätssicherung Promotion” (Ph.D. Quality Assurance) to support innovative and far-reaching concepts to maintain a high level of doctorates. Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) now is one of three universities winning the first prize in the amount of EUR 100,000: Its concept “QualityDoc@KIT” is aimed at guaranteeing optimum Ph.D. and supervision conditions to young scientists.
“All universities in Baden-Württemberg participated in this competition. This shows that universities entitled to confer doctorates in Baden-Württemberg take this matter very seriously and push it successfully on the management level,” Minister Theresia Bauer says.
“Our young researchers make decisive contributions to society by developing solutions for urgent current and future challenges. They are a success factor for KIT and the complete science system,” the President of KIT, Professor Holger Hanselka, emphasizes. “For this reason, we have to support our young scientists in the best possible way during their doctorates and on their way towards careers in science and industry. We are very happy that we are supported by the state of Baden-Württemberg.”
KIT Vice President for Higher Education and Academic Affairs, Professor Alexander Wanner, points out: “Highest quality in the doctoral system is a paramount objective in supporting young scientists at KIT. We want to enhance transparency and quality of Ph.D. conditions as well as the supervision and Ph.D. culture.” In Wanner’s opinion, winning of the competition launched by the state confirms that KIT is on the right way. The funds will be used for the further development of the respective instruments.
KIT has established the Karlsruhe House of Young Scientists (KHYS) as a central contact point for advising and supervising doctoral students. The new concept “QualityDoc@KIT” now envisages the extension of the KHYS registration portal to a comprehensive Ph.D. portal with a number of services for all user groups. This portal is then supposed to organizationally support both doctoral students and supervisors in all phases of the doctorate.
Another objective is strengthening the supervision culture: KIT plans to formulate quality standards in supervision guidelines to provide doctoral students and supervisors with a binding framework and orientation and to enhance success of the doctorate. A new prize for the excellent supervision of a doctorate is planned to improve visibility and to illustrate the importance of good supervision. A regular survey of supervisors will complement the already established survey of doctoral students. According to this survey, doctoral students of KIT are highly satisfied with the Ph.D. conditions. Based on the results of these surveys, however, KIT has already developed additional support and information offers, e.g. for career planning and good scientific practice.
The third pillar of the further development concept is a quality management system for doctoral studies at KIT. Experience gained from the successful accreditation of study programs will be incorporated in the conception of this system. All existing quality assurance instruments will be more closely interlinked and further developed for this purpose. Implementation of self-defined quality objectives is planned to be supported and controlled continuously.
Being “The Research University in the Helmholtz Association”, KIT creates and imparts knowledge for the society and the environment. It is the objective to make significant contributions to the global challenges in the fields of energy, mobility, and information. For this, about 9,300 employees cooperate in a broad range of disciplines in natural sciences, engineering sciences, economics, and the humanities and social sciences. KIT prepares its 24,400 students for responsible tasks in society, industry, and science by offering research-based study programs. Innovation efforts at KIT build a bridge between important scientific findings and their application for the benefit of society, economic prosperity, and the preservation of our natural basis of life. KIT is one of the German universities of excellence.