Supervision Agreement

Supervision is never standardised; each doctoral candidate has individual needs and requirements. The extent to which supervision is needed, the appropriate forms of supervision, and the rights and duties are defined and refined in the relationship between the doctoral candidates and their supervisors. It is best to specify this relationship at the beginning of the PhD in a written form and to come back to it over the course of the PhD, revising this definition if necessary. This supervision agreement can include specific traditions of a subject area as well as individual specifications for each doctoral candidate (e.g. family duties, professional life). In these agreements, regular and binding supervisory meetings can be scheduled on a long-term basis. In addition, concrete expectations for these meetings can be planned. These agreements can also be dissolved as part of a transparent process.

At the FSU, written supervision agreements are necessary in order for a faculty to accept a PhD student.

What does a supervision agreement have to at least contain?

  • the name and date of birth of the doctoral candidate
  • the title of the dissertation or the topic of the doctorate
  • a statement from the supervisor agreeing to supervise the doctorate and to receive regular progress reports from the doctoral candidate
  • a statement from the doctoral candidate agreeing to give regular progress reports to the supervisor

What may a supervision agreement contain additionally?

  • Rights and duties of the doctoral candidate
  • Rights and duties of the supervisor
  • A detailed plan and timetable for the completion of your doctoral project
  • Regulations on working conditions (place of work, Internet access, laboratory access and other resources)

Sample Supervision Agreements

Most faculties offer sample agreements as guidelines on their websites. The Graduate Academy also offers a sample based on the guidelines of DFG (in German):
GA Sample Supervision Agreement (Word)
GA Sample Supervision Agreement (PDF)

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