All of our supervisors are highly qualified experts in their respective field of research, with many years of experience in supervision and training, assisted by younger scientists to allow for a transition to future generations.
For each PhD student, an International Supervisory Team (IST) is set up, comprising of the main supervisor (PI of the host organisation), a co-supervisor from the host organisation and an external expert from the Scientific Advisory Board (SAB).
The high quality of the joint supervision of ESRs is being ensured by the following measures:
An International Supervisory Team (IST) will be set up for each ESR, comprising of the main supervisor (PI of the host organisation), a co-supervisor from the host organisation (according to the local rules of the Partner Universities) and an external expert from one of the partner organisations represented on the Scientific Advisory Board.
Each supervisor has a specific role as part of this international supervision arrangement: while the main supervisor is responsible for the overall guidance and local monitoring, the co-supervisor will get involved in individual ESR project-specific discussions during the network meetings and the external expert will review the ESR`s annual progress reports.
The Supervisory Board (SB) is the supervisory committee of EXCILIGHT, which is deputed to refine and implement the overall training programme and tailor it to the ESRs` needs.
The Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) ensures the quality standards of the individual Personal Career Development Plans and checks their implementation by yearly revision and approval. The SAB will also
i) evaluate the progress of the PhD plan and when appropriate recommend adjustments;
ii) analyse any potential or existing problems or bottlenecks in the project; and
iii) will advise the SB on strategic issues regarding research, training and collaborations.
A Personal Career Development Plan (PCDP) for each ESR that will be defined jointly by the ESR and his/her IST, and revised and signed once a year by all members of the IST. The PCDP will be structured according to a standard format to be defined at the beginning of the project and its content will be used to assist the ESRs in arranging his/her own personal educational and career progression. The different requirements of individual ESRs are recognised and will be met by a mixture of individual scientific training and network-wide complementary technical and transferable skills training
The following procedure has been adopted for the monitoring and the assessment of the ESR projects:
- Each ESR and her/his main-supervisor will meet on a monthly basis, and, where appropriate, more often.
- Each IST will hold a 6-monthly web conference, including all its members, to discuss the progress of work.
- Each ESR will submit an annual written report (~ 5-10 pages) to his/her ESR Board for review. A 1-page evaluation report will be issued by the ESR Board within 1 month after submission.
- A summary of each report and the respective evaluation report will be sent to a suitable Scientific Advisory Board Member in the respective field of research for comments.
- Each ESR will present her/his work progress during the annual Researcher Days to obtain direct feedback by the entire group. Additional online feedback questionnaires on the format and contents of the presentation will be distributed to and collected from all participants within one week after the annual EXCILIGHT Days and their results analysed by the two ESR representatives (members of the Supervisory Board).
- A strict evaluation by all ISTs will unable us to identify any scientific misconduct as early as possible.
The results of these monitoring and evaluation activities will be used by the IST for the annual update of the PCDP
with the aim of adjusting the training plan to the actual needs identified for the individual reserachers.