Academic mentoring is a top priority at the IPN
Getting a doctorate at the IPN
The IPN strives to help its Ph.D. students obtain their doctoral degree in an expeditious manner. Rules for processing and supervising theses at the Institute have been in place since 2005. Doctoral students and supervisors voluntarily commit to work within the time frame and structure given by the IPN to ensure a brisk completion of planned projects. Since the fall of 2012 the IPN has had an internal graduate school which clearly structures the training of doctoral students and thereby enables them to do research quickly and autonomously, thus shortening the completion of the Ph.D. program.
The curriculum of the IPN graduate school offers a mix of lectures, tutorials, seminars and workshops. The focus is on quantitative and qualitative data collection methods as well as statistical analysis methods. Skills for literature searches, developing own research questions, scientific writing and Time Management are also taught. The program is rounded off with the annual ten-day Winter School and events during the semester where invited experts from other research institutions work with doctoral students and prepare them for their own research career.
Another component of the Doctoral degree program at the IPN is the internal mentoring system in which each PhD student or graduate student has two mentors in addition to the official thesis supervisors who accompany their work.
Support for PhD students also includes the option of studying abroad for several months. This is financially supported by the IPN and gives doctoral students the opportunity to create international collaborations and present their work internationally early on in their career.
Postdoc phase at the IPN
The promotion of young researchers at the IPN does not end with the successful completion of their dissertation. Students with very high academic achievements in the doctoral phase who would like to remain in academia can develop an independent research profile at the IPN. The Institute has clear guidelines regarding academic qualifications following completion of the doctorate which lead to vocational opportunities at universities. The IPN supports young academics in many ways – the 2 plus 5 contract model allows an added 5 year contract after a positive evaluation of the initial 2 year contract – this affords doctoral students the opportunity to make a name for themselves in science. For doctoral students and postdocs the IPN also offers opportunities to gain teaching experience and encourages study and research visits abroad. The IPN considers the number of appointed positions IPN postdocs receive characteristic of a successful system.
Research groups designed for particularly qualified women are another way the IPN promotes young post-docs. Currently, there are two junior research groups for women at the IPN.