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Guidelines for recruitment of PhD students

This manual is directed to supervisors who have advertised a PhD student

position and among the proposals have to select the most appropriate candidate.
A: Go through the applications. Select the most qualifed applicants (2! persons
is appropriate" #ased on their $ocus% merits and activit& a$ter their undergraduate
e'am (e.g. (asters or Diploma studies% participation in research pro)ects". The
wa& the proposal is written (wording and ideas a#out how the pro)ect should #e
accomplished" can also provide guidance.
*: +ollect in$ormation $rom re$erence persons ,via interviews (telephone or
S-&pe" or questions via email.. Do not as- leading questions% #ut tr& to get
impartial advice. /uestion such as:
- What is your relationship to him/her?
- Can you describe him/her as a person?
- What is his/hers ability to work independently or in teams, social qualities, and
personality? Please mention both positive and negative sides.
- s there a particular question you think we should ask him/her in an interview?
- Would you hire him/her yoursel!?
+: Anal&0e the responses. 1$ re$erence persons e'press s-epticism a#out an&
person &ou should ta-e it seriousl&. 2ollow up with more questions $or clarit&. 1$ a
candidate has negative sides that ma& ma-e it di3cult $or him4her to underta-e a
postgraduate training &ou should not go ahead with that person. 1$ there are
pro#lems around all the topran-ed candidates &ou should stop the recruitment
process% either at this stage or a$ter the interviews o$ the applicants% and
advertise again.
D: The candidates who remain on the list should #e interviewed. 1$ possi#le% invite
them to a personal interview. 1nterviewing #& phone or S-&pe is also an option
#ut does not give as much as a personal meeting. 1n addition to the $ormal
interview &ou should ta-e the opportunit& to sociali0e a #it more with the
nominees. 56er them co6ee% let them meet other people in the research group%
show the premises and so on all to evaluate how the& $unction sociall&. 2or this
reason it is wise to spread out the interviews over time and not ta-e them all at
the same da&.
During the $ormal interview% at least two people pre$era#l& more 7 have to ta-e
part. *esides &oursel$% at least one person $rom another research group has to
)oin. 8'amples o$ questions are as $ollows:
T98 1:T8;<18=8;S P;8S8:T T98(S8><8S
- "ow would you describe yoursel! as a person and as a young researcher?
- Why did you apply !or this position? s it the pro#ect, the research team or the
university/town that attracts you?
- What do you like most in scienti$c work?
98;8 ?5@ P;8S8:T T98 P;5A8+T. %oes the description correspond to your
e&pectations? What do you like about this pro#ect?
98;8 ?5@ +A: ASB (5;8 SP8+121+ /@8ST15:S A*5@T T98 P;5A8+T. T;? T5
G8T A: 1D8A 52 95= T98 +A:D1DAT8 <18=S T98 P;5P5S8D TASB A:D 12
984S98 9AS A ;8>8<A:T A+AD8(1+ *A+BG;5@:D.
- ! you work in a team, what do you e&pect !rom the others and what can the
others e&pect !rom you?
(1$ applica#le"- know that you have also applied !or other Ph% student positions.
"ow would you rank the various Ph% student pro#ects you have applied !or?
- 'our re!erence persons have much good to say about you. %o you have any bad
qualities? 1: +AS8S =98;8 T98 ;828;8:+8 P8;S5:S 9A<8 8CP;8SS8D
D5@*TS% ?5@ S95@>D ASB T98 APP>1+A:T (5;8 SP8+121+A>>? A*5@T T98S8
T91:GS% *@T =1T95@T D1S+>5S1:G T98 :A(8 52 T98 ;828;8:+8 P8;S5:.
- Could you become stressed? What happens then? "ow do you react?
%o you have any hobbies? S@+9 T91:GS A;8 P5S1T1<8. *8=A;8 52
+A:D1DAT8S =95 SA? T9AT T98? P>A: T5 SP8:D A>> T981; T1(8 5: T98 P9D
- ! we were to o(er you the position, when could you start?
- What do you know about )me*? %o you think you would like it here? (288>
2;88 T5 ASB A*5@T T98 2A(1>? S1T@AT15:% *@T D5 :5T ASB =98T98; T98
+A:D1DAT8S P>A: T5 STA;T A 2A(1>? D@;1:G T98 P9D ST@D18S"
- %o you have any questions you would like to ask us?
- We have + good candidates !or this position. We must choose one. Why should
we choose you?
8: Discuss among interviewers and ma-e a ran-ing o$ the candidates. 1$ it is hard
to decide% contact the re$erence persons again or the candidates themselves $or
additional questions. 1t is never wrong to collect additional in$ormation i$ &ou are
uncertain. 1$ no candidate $eels su3cientl& qualifed terminate the recruitment
process and advertise the position again. Although such a step means that &ou
lose time% it is a small loss compared to having a student who $ails his4her tas-.
/: 56er the position to the applicant &ou ran-ed highest.
G. =hen an applicant has accepted% proceed with an application $or admission.
+ompile this application as $ollows:
D. The application $orm signed #& the doctoral candidate.
2. The contract #etween supervisors and the doctoral candidate. :ote that this
contract must #e edited to ft the individual case. :ormall&% a doctoral student is
engaged in EFG research and DFG teaching. 1$ &ou pre$er another solution%
consult with the 9ead o$ Department. All supervisors and the student are
assumed to have read and agreed to the points in the contract and to the pro)ect
conditions (documents H and ! #elow" #e$ore signing. The EF4DF division also
applies to students starting in the autumn semester o$ the &ear.
H. 2inancing plan. Statement o$ the resources provided to the studentIs disposal.
9ere% #oth the salar& and other resources are descri#ed. 8nter amounts and
fnanciers. (a-e a suggestion on when the studentIs wor- should #egin (normall&
at the #eginning or middle o$ a month". This $orm should #e signed #& the
!. Pro)ect description. Provide a #rie$ description o$ the PhD pro)ect
(appro'imatel& 2 pages".
J. Appointment procedure. Descri#e how the position was advertised and how
the selection o$ a suita#le candidate was made. Do not $orget to report contacts
with the re$erence persons. Present the names o$ the main supervisor and
assistant supervisor(s". :ote that at least two supervisors are required as a
minimum and the main supervisor must have completed the mandator& course
$or supervisors (Khandledar-ursL". 1$ the main supervisor is not a KdocentL% an
assistant supervisor has to #e docent and have a position in the department. This
document is signed #& the main supervisor.
M. /ualifcations. The entire application $or emplo&ment is attached. This should
also include transcripts showing that the candidate is eligi#le $or admission as a
graduate student.
The complete application is su#mitted to the director o$ graduate studies
(+hrister :ilsson" $or approval. 1$ the application is approved% the director
completes it with a cover letter in which supervisors are specifed and the
e'aminer suggested. Approved applications are sent to the department head $or
the fnal decision.
+hrister :ilsson