IMPRS Responsibilities


IMPRS Matters

PhD Proposal

Each IMPRS student is required to write and submit a PhD proposal within the first 6 months after they have started their PhD. The PhD proposal should contain the research question that has to be answered with the doctoral thesis as well as the milestones of the research.

Registration at the respective University Bonn or Cologne

We expect each PhD candidate to be enrolled as a PhD student at his or her repective university.


You might be expected to teach during your PhD. This is part of your general training as a PhD candidate.

Thesis Advisory Committee  

The Thesis Advisory Committee is meant to advise on academic and other matters and is expected to meet once every semester.  For the regulations related to the TAC meetings refer to the general regulations pages. 

Setting up the TAC: Adviser and student have the joined responsibility on both (a) setting up the TAC and (b) the regular meetings. The executive responsibility though is to be shared as follows: (a) executive responsibility of TAC formation goes to Adviser, (b) executive responsibility of TAC meeting scheduling to the Student. 

Valid TAC meeting: For a TAC meeting to be considered valid, the follwoing participation regulation should be satisfied: 

[obligatory] student
[obligatory] adviser
[obligatory] 1st or 2nd referee

[obligatory] external “adviser”
[optional ] 2nd or 1st referee


A weekly seminar from students to students gives an overview of all research projects carried out by the members of the school and provides opportunities for discussion between students and researchers. The seminar takes place on Mondays from 13:00 until 14:00. Furthermore, the IMPRS Monday Seminar is where conferences, schools observing trips etc. are discussed and reported.

Every student should give at least one seminar talk per year. The recipe is that a student is giving a seminar talk once he or she has completed 6, 18 and 30 months of work. In this talk the research project, its progress and aims should be presented. The length of the talk should be around 20 – 30 minutes.

For the speaker, the seminar provides the chance to practice free speech in English, presentation techniques, timing of a talk, preparation for conference talks etc. and get feedback for improvements. The seminar is meant as a forum for the exchange of scientific ideas and as a “training ground” for the student.

Black board Lectures

In January 2010 the school has initiated yet another training activity namely the black board lectures. Those are tailored to the needs of the students and they are meant to be flexible, informative about the modern astrophysical topics and methods as well as introduce the students to fields that an astrophysicist owes to know. The organization of the lectures is one course per quarter and each course is no shorter than 4 and no longer than 8 weeks. The courses alternate between technical (times series analysis etc.) and astrophysical (high energy astrophysics etc.)  The exact plan of each course is subject to agreement between the tutor and the students.

Max Planck Lectures                      

Occasionally a special guest may be  invited to give a lecture on her/his research field. A reception after the lecture provides the opportunity to talk to the speaker. The students are encouraged to suggest speakers and/or topics of interest. 

Annual Report         

IMPRS students are asked to deliver an Annual Report to the IMPRS Secretariat by 31 January of the following year. The report should list
  • Summer/winter schools attended (name, place, dates)

  • Conferences/workshops attended (name, place, dates). Please also give titles of talks/posters presented.
  • Publications (published, in press, submitted)
  • Dates of Thesis Committee meetings.

This information will facilitate the compilation of various reports, questionnaires and statistics (for IMPRS, MPG, AG, MPI’s Scientific Advisory Board).

Duration and Extension of IMPRS and MPIfR work contracts

The initial contract is for 3 years and can be extended for uo to another year in exceptional cases. All students applying for an extension of their contracts have to write a status report of the present state of their PhD project as well as an estimate for the time that is needed to finish.

The status report has to be submitted to the IMPRS Office.

Break from Scientific Work

IMPRS and MPIfR contract holders staying in Germany for at least one year may take a break from scientific work  while still receiving payments.

IMPRS Notebook    

A notebook cmputer will be provided (depending on the IMPRS budget) to students that are financed by the IMPRS budget for exclusive use during their IMPRS membership. On termination of the IMPRS membership the notebook has to be returned to the IMPRS Office.

Student Speakers                           

The Student Speakers are the representative of all IMPRS students. There is one representative from each affiliated institute, i.e. one from the MPI, one from the AIfa and one from the University of Cologne. They also participate in the annual MPG PhD Network meeting.
















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