The LGSA Procedures

The Leibniz Institute on Aging - Fritz Lipmann Institute (FLI) integrates all PhD candidates in one Graduate School which follows the procedures of the Leibniz Graduate School on Aging and Age-Related Diseases.

1. All PhD candidates are interviewed and selected by the PhD recruitment committee, irrespective of the source of financial support (FLI budget or grant).
2. The recruitment committee consists of three group leaders. Prospective thesis supervisors are not present in the interview.
3. Interviews for the selection of PhD candidates are scheduled twice per year, in spring and in autumn. As an exception, additional interview dates may be scheduled.
4. In general, PhD candidates are assigned to a project/research based on their declared project preferences, provided acceptance by the group leader.

Unless PhD candidates obtain their own fellowship, we offer a working contract with a salary according to German TV-L E 13 (salary agreement for public service employees) including health insurance and social insurance. PhD students receive initially a one-year contract. The thesis committee meets within the first year. The contract can be extended up to three years with the possibility of an additional one-year extension, provided that a written positive statement from the thesis committee supports these extensions. At present, students receive a contract with 65 % working time.

The PhD candidate and the supervisor select a PhD committee within the first 8 weeks after start of the contract. The Thesis Advisory Committee (TAC) consists of the supervisor plus two group leaders or senior postdocs outside the group of the supervisor. Preferably, at least one committee member comes from another institute.
The committee monitors the quality and progress of the PhD project; the committee's task is to advise and help the PhD candidate, to determine success and sort out potential disagreements between the PhD student and the supervisor. The committee can be contacted whenever appropriate. The first meeting should take place within the first three months of the PhD, followed by - at least - annual meetings. For these subsequent meetings, the PhD candidate fills in an evaluation form and prepares a brief report (approximately 2 pages in English) on the progress of his/her work and future plans. The meetings have to be announced to the LGSA coordinator. Evaluation forms are available at the coordination office. A signed copy of the evaluation form and the written report must be forwarded. It is the responsibility of the PhD candidate to call in TAC meetings on time.

The PhD candidates at the FLI elect three speakers as their representatives. The PhD candidates also elect a Dean of PhD candidates from the pool of FLI group leaders. The Dean serves as a contact person for organization, personal problems and any matter that the supervisory committee cannot solve.

The goal of a successful doctorate is to publish at least one first-author paper in an international peer-reviewed journal. At the end of the period a written thesis, an exam and a successful thesis defence qualify for a Ph.D. or Dr. rer. nat. degree at the Friedrich Schiller University in Jena. PhD candidates have the choice to receive their doctoral degree also from another university.

The PhD candidates need to participate actively in the program of the Leibniz Graduate School on Aging and Age-Related Diseases (LGSA). Attendance in a number of activities is obligatory. Courses, seminars and lectures are offered by the LGSA, the JSMM and the Jena Graduate Academy.

The PhD candidate and the supervisor commit themselves to open and cooperative collaboration for the successful realization of the doctoral studies. Both agree to abide by the regulations of good scientific practice that are specified in detail within the FLI Rules of Good Scientific Practice. The publication of results and the submission of the thesis have to be mutually agreed upon by the supervisor and the PhD candidate.