Membership in HGS MathComp
The graduate school knows several classes of membership. Depending on the role of each member in the process of doctoral projects, members are assigned to one of these classes.
Probably the most important membership class is that of doctoral fellows. Doctoral students of Heidelberg University can acquire this membership status by applying to the program of the graduate school. The admission committee of HGS MathComp meets four times per year to admit new doctoral students to the school. Additionally, all doctoral students of research training groups of IWR gain the status of doctoral fellow in HGS MathComp upon acceptance in such a training group.
Junior Research Group Leaders
The graduate school hosts several junior research groups financed either from own sources or third party funding. To promote the visibility and research activities of these groups, the group leaders gain the status of Junior Research Group Leader inside the graduate school. JRG leaders can be members of thesis advisory committees of doctoral students inside the graduate school, irrespective of their status at the relevant faculty. This promotes early independence of these young scientists and help them to form their own research area to build their future scientific career.
Principal Investigators (Full Scientific Members)
When the graduate school was founded, the 25 founding principal investigators became the first full scientific members of HGS MathComp. Gradually, more scientists applied for membership until in 2011 the executive board decided in the bylaws of the school to admit all members of IWR (and only those) to be full scientific members of the graduate school as well. This effectively made HGS MathComp a full branch of the governing body IWR. Each thesis advisory committee of a doctoral fellow of HGS MathComp must contain at least one principal investigator as one of the supervisors.
Associate Scientific Members
Most doctoral projects in HGS MathComp are of interdisciplinary content. In fact, more than 80% of these projects involve research topics from two different subjects, usually from different faculties. The school takes this into account by admitting two supervisors to the thesis advisory committee. More and more often, one of these two supervisors is not a principal investigator of the graduate school. These external university professors complement the scientific expertise of the IWR researchers and are of valuable importance for the doctoral project. For the duration of the respective doctoral fellows' membership these supervisors gain the status of associate scientific member. The same status is given to all lecturers and active participants of the graduate school for the duration of their affiliation with HGS MathComp.
The thesis advisory committee of a doctoral fellow consists of two supervisors and two mentors. The role of the latter is to guide the fellow through the everyday issues of a PhD project and help in many aspects of scientific and administrative matters. The role of a mentor is usually taken by postdocs in the group of the supervisors or by senior (3rd year) fellows with similar research topics. All mentors gain temporary membership status in HGS MathComp for the duration of the membership of their mentee.
Doctoral fellows who complete their PhD can opt to stay members of the graduate school for the time of their postdoctoral career at Heidelberg University. This gives the opportunity to directly cooperate with doctoral students in the same research area and to actively participate in the course and event program of the school. Many postdocs base their future scientific career on topics from their PhD thesis.