Educating current and future top scientists is an important task for which the DIGS-BB is strongly committed. Nowadays, PhD students are not only expected to acquire deep scientific knowledge to pursuit a successful PhD degree, but also a set of complementary skills that will endorse them with the necessary tools to work hand-in-hand with scientists from their same and different disciplines. The DIGS-BB curriculum is specially designed to bridge and make that interaction between disciplines smooth and possible. Emphasis is therefore placed on research-base training as well as on excellence in the communication of science.
A large part of the DIGS-BB curriculum is linked to the curriculum of the Dresden International PhD Program (DIPP) and is therefore organized jointly with the other graduate school under its umbrella, the IMPRS-CellDevoSys.
Within the DIGS-BB program, advanced training courses are seen as a backbone of a strong PhD thesis, helping to improve the capabilities, productivity and performance of our PhD students. Our training is divided into two parts: a mandatory part for all first-year PhD students as a requirement for completion of their PhD degree and an elective part, which can be used to acquire additional skills that will enhance their PhD degree.
Another hallmark of the DIGS-BB is the provision of expert mentoring and thesis supervision by each student’s Thesis Advisory Committees (TAC). Each TAC is composed of three experienced DIPP faculty members usually representing different PhD program disciplines and research institutions. The TAC will accompany each PhD student throughout the thesis work.
PhD students at the DIGS-BB will meet their TAC on 3 or 4 official occasions: 3 months after the start of the PhD, 1 year, 2 years and 3 years after. On occasion, they also meet half a year before the end of the PhD (4 years as a maximum). For each TAC meeting, PhD students prepare a report and a presentation on the current status of their thesis work. At the end of each TAC, the scientific performance of the PhD student is evaluated and recommendations are made for future work. But the role, usefulness of the TAC does not stop here. Each member of the TAC can be approached individually at any time during the PhD period for guidance and recommendations.
Scientific Writing Course: Excellence in the Communication of Science
Even the most brilliant scientific discovery is of little value if it is not communicated appropriately. To ensure that students develop the skills they need in effective scientific communication, the Dresden International PhD Program provides an extensive and innovative training program in scientific writing and communication.
The course comprises a mandatory on-site workshop “Laying the foundations for Effective Writing” and several optional e-learning courses for gaining advanced skills. All parts of the course are conducted and supervised by experienced scientific writing consultant Dr. Iain Patten
© flickr.com, Roco Julie
DIGS-BB Mentoring Program for Predocs in their 3rd Year
In order to support our predocs, we have set up an Alumni Mentoring Program to foster preparation for the next step after graduation, enabling a successful smooth transition into the post-graduation job market.
The job opportunities after graduating at DIGS-BB cover a wide array of fields, including academia, managerial positions, industry jobs, and consulting/advice for NGOs or politics. The importance of proper preparation and long-term investigation for the first position became apparent in the course of several Alumni experience talks at the DIGS-BB Alumni Reunion and in individual conversations with on-campus predoctoral researchers over the years.
We aim to facilitate meaningful connections between experienced alumni and current PhD students of the PhD program, across a variety of academic and non-academic careers and research fields.
Program Framework and Goals
The structure of the Mentoring Program consists of three pillars, summing up the different formats throughout the program duration for a cohort of up to 12 students who will be matched with a personal mentor for at least three one-on-one sessions.
The DIGS-BB Mentoring Program is supported by the Joachim Herz Foundation.
© Pexels, Ekaterina Bolovtsova
Annual Predoc Symposium
Every year around springtime, PhD students put on their backpacks to join the 3-day long off-campus scientific retreat. The aim is to exchange research ideas and to discuss science and related topics with their peers and invited internationally renowned scientists. It is also a great opportunity to network.
The Annual Predoc Symposium is part of the DIPP common curriculum and is therefore open to all PhD students at the DIGS-BB and the IMPRS.
Graduate Academy of the TU Dresden
Due to the fact that DIGS-BB PhD students are members of the Technische Universität Dresden, they can not only profit from the offers of our PhD program but also from the trainings, workshops, and funding schemes the TUD Graduate Academy (GA) provide through its various support programs.
Awards & Career Development
At the DIGS-BB, we recognize outstanding performance, creativity, knowledge and hard work through the DIGS-BB Fellow Awards. We help students to communicate their results to larger audiences and extend their scientific network through the DIGS-BB Travel Awards, and to acquire expert training in techniques that are not available on campus through the DIGS-BB Training Awards.
Organized by our PhD students, there is the Annual Career Symposium or Career Day: speakers giving insights into their career after their PhD or postdoc in short talks and open discussions.