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PhD Program

Our goal is to encourage and facilatite a successul academic career of the involved PhD students.

The qualification concept rests on four pillars: (1) multi-disciplinary research, (2) supportive supervision, (3) an optimal social and local infrastructure, and (4) a feasible internationalization strategy.

Some of the qualification activities are:

Joint supervision: All PhD students have two local supervisors, a primary supervisor from their “home” discipline, and a secondary supervisor from another psychological discipline (i.e., another work group in the psychology department). Additionally, each PhD student is be advised by a researcher from a country other than Germany.

Lab rotations and lab visits: Lab rotations are organized between the participating work groups: For one semester, each PhD student becomes an official member of their secondary supervisor’s lab – which includes attending lab meetings, being introduced to the respective lab facilities, and even collecting data in the lab. Our PhD students are also encouraged to visit their international mentor’s lab for 2-4 weeks during a period of their choice. Travel costs will be covered by the RTG.

Department´s research colloquium: We invite external scholars to present their own research (which is broadly related to the topic of the RTG). This will take place every other week.

Regular general meetings: All members of the RTG are expected to attend these meetings, which will take place at least twice a year.

Two 5-day retreats at Philipps University’s study center in Hirschegg (Kleinwalsertal in Austria´s beautiful mountains) will be organized. During these retreats, PhD students will give brief talks on their current research; they will receive professional feedback on these talks, and they will have the opportunity to discuss new ideas or receive feedback on manuscripts from other members of the RTG. 

Five workshops will be organized – as taken from the PhD students’ demands and suggestions – in close collaboration with the Marburg University Research Academy. Workshop topics include: “Data Analysis”, “Getting started-for international PhD students”, “Writing grant applications”, and “Data Management and Open Science Initiatives in Psychology”.

Litfasssäule and buddies: We will implement a “virtual pinboard” (Litfasssäule) on which questions and requests can be posted (e.g., “Who knows how to use the SPSS data imputation module?”). Every PhD student is connected with a more experienced PhD student who serves as his/her local “buddy”.

The treasure box allows PhD students to apply for a specific amount of money for developing and conducting their own studies which are not part of the core program.

Gender equality and compatibility of work and family life: We make sure that the RTG is an attractive environment for women. Female professors and post-docs involved in the RTG serve as role models for female PhD students. Individual mentoring and group mentoring is offered. Generous funds for childcare within the RTG, as well as the childcare facilities run by the Philipps University in Marburg, help PhD students with children, or those who plan to have children, to sucessfully pursue their careers.

During a confirmation session, before the actual defense of the dissertation takes place, PhD students will present their project and the outline of their dissertation in front of a committee consisting of their two supervisors, the international advisor, and others as well.

International conference: We are planning an international conference on “expectation violations”, which is planned to place in 2020. At this conference, PhD students will present their projects and findings, and external guests will give keynote lectures. This international conference will be open to the entire scientific community.

We closley collaborate with Marburg Resaerch Academy (MARA). All services provided by MARA are open for our PhD students. Please check MARA´s website.