Idea and goal:
Each IMPRS student's research work and curriculum is supervised by his/her
personal standing thesis committee consisting of three independent
colleagues with scientific expertise in the field of the thesis.
The thesis committee provides supervision of the scientific development of the
Ph.D. student in general by surveying the progress of the research work as well
as the education of the student.
With the help of the thesis committee IMPRS hopes that potential problems
will be detected early and, thus, could be averted before evolving into
The existence of a thesis committee for each student has been defined as
indispensable condition by the Max Planck Society for all their IMPRS
Method of operation:
The thesis committee is expected to convene at least once a year to
meet the student for discussion and review. An IMPRS-HD representative
may take part in the meeting.
It is the responsibility of the main supervisor to organize at least the
first thesis committee meeting and introduce the student to the committee
possibly within the first two months after arrival.
We require new students to fill out and sign the following
stating the names of their thesis committee members and their preliminary
curriculum during their first TC meeeting.
The thesis committee meeting should be informal - it is up to the committee
how to evaluate the progress of the thesis work.
Traditionally, most of the thesis committees expect a brief presentation by
the student at the meeting.
An informal report about the outcome of the committee meetings must
be written for reference for the committee members and the student and a copy
should be sent to IMPRS-HD
(to the IMPRS office at MPIA or email firstname.lastname@example.org).
It is the responsibility of the thesis committee to write this report.
All committee members and the student are encouraged to express their personal
opinions in the report.
The thesis committee meeting is not intended as yet another examination of
Also, the close interrelation between student and supervisor should not be
The thesis committee defines the curriculum of the Ph.D. student by
examining the educational background and status of the student and by
considering the needs for the Ph.D. project.
This is particularly important if the student has arrived already with some
astronomy background or in case of a time conflict between the lectures
and research work.
Assignment of the committee:
The principal thesis supervisor suggests another two independent scientists with
expertise in the research topic as committee members - one of them must come from a
Note that for registration of the student at the Faculty (now transferred to HGSFP, the
Heidelberg Graduate School of Fundamental Physics) the three committee members have to
sign the form.
Download this information as
(Christian Fendt, scientific coordinator; July 2009, update 2016, 2018)