The IRTG encourages doctoral students to pursue own ideas, take own initiatives, and to prepare and submit corresponding short proposals. This aims to foster student’s independence and scientific vision of their field of research, and also help them to gain first experiences with preparing proposals in order to obtain support for their research. Two specific sets of student initiatives described below are supported explicitly.
Applications for research assistants
The IRTG encourages the doctoral students to apply for undergraduate student research assistants. This will help them to develop their supervision skills. Applications to fund an undergraduate student research assistant in connection with a project are considered by the IRTG once per year. Groups of students and postdoctoral researchers need to prepare such projects on topics of shared interest. Each project will be presented to the assembly of students and discussed, e.g. after one of the students’ seminars. In addition to the scientific goals, the project needs to clearly state how the student research assistant will be supervised and how it strengthens a collaborative activity. The assembly will decide which project obtains its support. The IRTG Executive committee will later verify the quality of the proposals selected by the students. The CRC-TR will support successful proposals with one student research assistant position (up to 6 months, 19 h/week).
In addition, the IRTG will encourage doctoral students to submit applications to the RISE (Research Internships in Science and Engineering) program of the DAAD (Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst ). In this program, doctoral students in Germany have the opportunity to submit a one page research project once per year. Undergraduate students from the United Kingdom, North America and Canada can in return apply for working on this project. Provided that the doctoral student receives and chooses an application, the intern spends between two and three months in Germany to develop the project under the supervision of the doctoral student. The DAAD provides support to cover the intern living expenses.
The IRTG encourages its students and postdocs to submit proposals for short mini-workshops on specific topics, once per year. This activity will help to foster students’ organizational skills and it will contribute to widen their scientific network. The proposals should clearly state the aim or the workshop, the expected number of attendees from the CRC-TR and from outside, and the possible list of speakers. The proposals will be discussed by the proponents in front of the assembly of the students, who will eventually decide which proposal will be supported. The IRTG executive commit-tee will verify the quality of the proposed mini workshops, and in case of positive evaluation, the CRC-TR will fund one of them with a budget of 5.000 €.