Graduate Centre - What we do
The WWU Graduate Centre's five fields
© Dr. Jan Schmidt

The WWU Graduate Centre - An Institution for Personnel and Institutional Development

Supporting young researchers in their qualification and in career planning as a central institution - this is the Graduate Centre's aim. But how can such a comprehensive task be realised in practice? Following the personnel development strategy of organisations in terms of content and methodology, the Graduate Centre is closely aligned with the university's general personnel development policy. The Graduate Centre influences the whole University by providing stimuli for the development of the supporting structures for young academics. In this respect the Graduate Centre's work can be seen as a contribution to the organisational development.

Taking the two terms Personnel and Organisational Development  into account, our areas of responsibility can be represented as a four-field matrix.

  • Personnel Development

    The measures for personnel development for young researchers are bundled in our advisory services and in our academy. We advise PhD applicants, PhD students and postdocs in various concerns: General advisory services and consultation in conflict situations are offered by Dr. Jan Schmidt. International PhD applicants and PhD students can direct their questions to Sabine Schneider, whereas Dr. Elmar Elling is the right contact person for questions regarding academic writing (in German).

    The basis our work is the academy. WWU's young researchers can participate in our courses and workshops free of charge. These are divided into five modules: (1) Soft skills, (2) Academic work, (3) Academic writing, (4) Career planning, and (5) Networking-Exchange-Culture. Our offer consists of either course portfolios, which are offered each semester or once per year, or single events. We design the offer by taking into account our own capacities and by contracting external trainers. We strive to work professionally, which means that all courses are evaluated and constantly improved. 30 % of the courses are offered in English. 

  • Organisational Development

    The measures for organisational development can be divided into two fields: An important aspect of our work are the measures that contribute to the internationalisation of doctoral studies. These are currently  incorporated in two third-party funded projects. The project STIBET, which has been well established for a couple of years, provides services for international PhD students in Münster in English. The new project IP@WWU enables us to provide WWU's PhD students with stipends for research stays abroad. Moreover, we offer get-to-know stipends and support endeavours for a sustainable internationalisation of doctoral studies.  

    Finally, we are dedicated to networking. We do not work in isolation, but rather build networks with institutions and partners within and outside of the WWU. Our goal is to establish ideal structures to support young researchers without offering services or building structures that are already available - which is why we collaborate closely with our partners, and constantly seek new ideas by exchanging with our external collaborators on a regular basis.