DFG-Graduiertenkolleg 1703 "Ressourceneffizienz in Unternehmensnetzwerken"


The research program is supported by a customized training program to prepare doctoral students for the international job market for scientists. The study program is coordinated under the auspices of the management board of the Research Training Group and aligned with the quality standards of the Göttingen Graduate School of Social Sciences (GGG). The Research Training Group offers an attractive degree program presented by their own scientists, as well as by established international experts. The main focus is on the development of a competence in methodology, the gaining of interdisciplinary knowledge, and the acquisition of core competencies. A basis is created through various forms of cooperation to ensure that the doctoral candidates acquire an in-depth knowledge in their own research field, as well as a broad understanding of research methods of other disciplines also involved in researching resource efficiency issues. The doctoral candidates are furthermore supervised by teams of professors. Given the growing demand for expert knowledge in the field of business-related control of renewable resources, the interdisciplinary context of the Research Training Group prepares the doctoral candidates for the complexity of the scientific and industrial job market. Potential areas of activity can be found at local and foreign universities, but also in public administration and non-governmental organizations, in politics, in associations, and in the upstream and downstream sectors of agriculture and forestry. The acquired knowledge is equally valuable for future decision-makers in the fields of industry, trade, and services.

The aim of the degree program is the systematic research-orientated qualification of doctoral candidates in the subject area of the efficient utilization of renewable resources in all sectors and aspects of corporate networks. In particular, high-quality academic qualifications should be facilitated that can be completed within three years, are internationally networked, and achieve outstanding scientific results. The degree program duration is three years. Higher qualified candidates could obtain their academic qualification within two years. The degree program is therefore designed and constructed to teach the essential content within four semesters, while the last two semesters are intended to round off the results, as well as for further development, which could include an internship abroad. In addition, flexibility can be built in to compensate for periods of childcare that may require individual postponements in the study program.

The study program comprises a broad selection of lectures, seminars, and colloquia. It comprises 28 credit points (CP) (12 credit points are for compulsory courses and 16 credit points for optional modules), corresponding to the European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS). All doctoral candidates register for courses from the six modules presented in the module catalogue (see also the overview table), which are described in detail below.

In compliance with the networking between the topics, two and three-person teams are formed in the first semester who will exchange information about their research progress with those with a similar dissertation topic. This should complement their professional preparatory training. This scientific exchange with their fellow students will strengthen their identification with their topic.

Module 1: Scientific Competences
During the introductory seminar, when the topics and structure of the Research Training Group are presented, all the participants will have the opportunity to meet one another personally and professionally. The students will make contacts with the lecturers and become acquainted with the team of supervisors. In the first semster there will be a lecture series during which the principal investigators of the Research Training Group present their main research topics within the Research Training Group. The activities and events in module 1 ensure that the doctoral candidates will have a good start and intensive supervision in the first qualification phase.

Module 2: Contemplation and optimization of the research
Once per year an external, multi-day doctoral workshop is presented, accompanied by social activities to foster mutual understanding. The research results are discussed by the interdisciplinary workgroups beforehand. Each doctoral candidate presents his/her current state of progress at this seminar and through the constructive recommendations and discussions will obtain stimulation for further research.To enhance the collaboration and the ability for scientific communication of complex facts, the introduction in the scientific topics of each student shall be given by the respective fellow-student. The subject-specific will then be presented by the responsible student itself. A weekly colloquium for doctoral candidates, during which visiting scholars present and discuss relevant topics from their research, will also take place.

Module 3: Networking research internationally
The following possible participation in national and international conferences and summer schools is planned for the first semester: Essex Summer School in Social Science Data Analysis, the Doctoral Colloquium of the EMAC (European Marketing Academy), the Gordon Conference of the ISIE (International Society of Industrial Ecology), the Advanced Course on the Foundations of Computer Science (ADFOCS), and the Euro Summer Institute (ESI). The doctoral candidates are thus given valuable insights into the functioning of their “Scientific Communities.” Modules 2 and 3 also serve as an assessment, as they scrutinize the scientific progress made in a broader scientific sense and make a direct contribution to quality assurance. Every third year an international conference with the theme “Resource efficiency in corporate networks” is held at Göttingen, with the doctoral candidates assisting with the organization, thus assuming responsibility within the Research Training Group and simultaneously improving their project management skills. International exposure of the obtained results is promoted through participation in international scientific workshops, conferences, and by publishing in English academic journals.

Module 4: In-depth Specialisation
Each doctoral candidate, with the aid of the support group, selects two or three courses that will close the gaps between his/her own educational background and the topic’s basic methodical requirement. The table behind this link lists selected lectures from the basic courses which present methodology in those scientific disciplines with which the doctoral candidates - due to their studies - are not really familiar with. The workload for doctoral candidates is lower than for master’s students, as doctoral candidates only attend series of lectures and, for example, have no tutorials. The scope of the assessment is also adapted. Normally, there are oral examinations without grading. The selection and applicability of the courses with regard to credit points are agreed upon with the support group and confirmed in the doctoral candidate agreement. The support group and the management board of the Research Training Group ensure that the doctoral candidates’ workload is equalized.

Module 5: Acquiring interdisciplinary expert knowledge
In addition, the applicants will propose four newly designed courses, also described in table 1. Each doctoral candidate selects three courses, which will be recorded in the doctoral candidate agreement.

Module 6: Improving competence in methodologies
Module 6 expands the doctoral candidates’ key competences for their further career development. The Göttingen Graduate School of Social Sciences, the Centre for Languages and Key Competencies (ZESS), and the department of Didactics in Higher Education at the University offer a number of courses. The special project management course at the Research Training Group assists the doctoral candidates with their selection of suitable tools with which to organize the promotion process and to plan case studies. A special seminar "Dynamics in Groups" is held for the doctoral students to sensitise them for dimensions of diversity within the group. The doctoral candidates will have the opportunity to acquire key skills through teaching duties, such as the supervision of theses and master seminars. In this way, research results are immediately applied in the learning process. In consultation with the support group, the required number of credit points for module 6 courses can be reduced by assuming some teaching duties.