Supervision and Milestones on the Way to your PhD in the BIGSSS-departs Program

Supervision and PhD Milestones

In their first semester, fellows participate in a field-specific proposal workshop, a class of about 5-10 students. By the end of the first semester they turn in and defend the finalized dissertation proposal publicly. Members of the dissertation committee are present and evaluate the proposal. The Supervisory Agreement will be signed upon the approved proposal.

In consultation with their respective Faculty Mentor, Field Coordinator and the Director of Studies, fellows finalize their dissertation committee by the end of their first year. The majority of the members are members of BIGSSS faculty. One member of their dissertation committee is neither a member of the University of Bremen nor Jacobs University.

From the second year onward, the committee closely supervises the fellow's dissertation progress, which is also monitored through the annual Progress Assessment Colloquia (PAC), a meeting with (at least two) supervisors to discuss progress over the last year, current issues in the project and other issues related to the PhD project and BIGSSS. A written report by the fellow must be handed in two weeks prior the meeting.

Six months prior to graduation, by the end of their 3rd year, fellows meet with their dissertation committee in a Dissertation Completion Meeting (DCM). Here, they agree on a detailed work and time plan for completion of the remaining chapters during the final six months, develop a plan for publishing the dissertation, discuss career and employment plans upon completion of the dissertation, and identify potential funding sources for any additional months the fellow may need to complete the dissertation.

Fellows also present their dissertation progress and receive feedback each semester in a field-specific doctoral colloquium.


BIGSSS' Director of Studies and Field Coordinators

At BIGSSS, the academic progress of PhD fellows is continually supervised not by the respective dissertation committee, but also by the Director of Studies who supports you in your choice of committee members and the composition of your demand-tailored curriculum.

Furthermore, the respective Coordinator of your Thematic Field advises you when planning fieldwork stays, conference participations and accessing research facililities such as software or databases.