Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Mathematisch-Naturwissen­schaft­liche Fakultät - Graduiertenkolleg "Masse, Spektrum, Symmetrie"

Memorandum of studies

Memorandum of Studies




This Memorandum defines the rights and duties of the students of the Research Training Group (Graduiertenkolleg) GRK 1504 "Mass, Spectrum, Symmetry" at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Technische Universität Dresden and DESY in Zeuthen and is to be signed by the student, the administration of the school and the two supervisors. The text of this memorandum is based on the guidelines and formalities of our funding agency, the German Research Foundation (DFG) for Research Training Groups. One copy of the signed Memorandum will be handed out to the student and to the assigned supervisors.

As a student within this graduate school, you are member of a high-profile and structured PhD program. Furthermore, this program provides additional funding for infrastructure, personnel and travel, raising the visibility internationally of your work and of the institutes.


Status, Funding and Traveling:



  • There are two types of membership of the GRK:

1) full member (salary level TV-L E13 with half time employment). Three years of the duration time of the PhD project will be funded by the GRK. Exceptionally there might be the possibility to extend your contract for another 3 month on demand.


2) associated member (salary covered through other sources).

Both have the same rights and duties. Every student of the GRK will stay member once accepted until the completion of the PhD thesis (i.e. up to the thesis defense) unless the PhD project is discontinued altogether.


  • After handing in your PhD thesis you have the possibility to apply for financial support (salary level TV-L E13 with 2/3 employment) for the transition period of maximum 9 month before starting a PostDoc position. This time can also be used to write and hand in your own grant application (e.g. DFG, DAAD, Helmholtz-Foundation etc.). You need to address your application to the selection committee of the GRK.


  • The GRK has family equality funds to support the working flexibility of young parents with e.g. child care or laptops for working at home. For more information please contact the coordinator.


  • We have funds for software and books. Please contact the coordinator.


  • The GRK members are granted 1000 EUR travel budget per year for travel to conferences, workshops or schools of their choice or for scientific visits (for experimentalists: travels for shift work or other experimental duties are NOT possible with this funding).

All costs associated with traveling to and staying at “Block Courses” or GRK internal lectures are not deducted from this allowance. Additional travel funding can be granted after applying to the coordinator of the GRK.




Soft-Skill Courses


  • You are encouraged to participate in any of the "soft skill" courses offered at the Humboldt-Graduate School. Further possibilities for soft-skill courses are offered in Dresden ("Fit für die Lehre") or at the "Netzwerk Teilchenwelt".


  • A collection of links for possible courses are listed on GRK web page. Attendance of any other appropriate soft skill courses at other institutions must be negotiated individually with the administration of the GRK.


  • If you have booked a course and decide not to attend, please cancel in time and inform the coordinator as we will be also charged for "no-shows".



Supervision and Students Representation


  • Your PhD project is advised by two supervisors. Your primary supervisor is the main responsible person for the mutual scientific exchange and typically also defines the project together with you. The choice of the secondary supervisor shall be discussed with you.


  • The task of the secondary supervisor is to take an external and independent view on the progress of your scientific work and to give advice if appropriate. The Mid-Term Report should be discussed with both supervisors before handing in.


  • Therefore you should contact your secondary supervisor regularly at appropriate times to discuss your progress with him/her.


  • You are encouraged to contact your secondary supervisor or the coordinator of the GRK in the case of any problems, questions or need of advice.


  • On the "Committee of Studies", there are two student members representing your opinions, interests and wishes. This is documented at the web page of the School. You can always contact them if you have anything to communicate on GRK matters.



Lectures and Courses of the GRK


  • You may participate at lectures of interest to you at the other university, i.e. TU Dresden or HU Berlin. The costs for this travel are not deducted from your travel budget. Some lectures will also be offered as Video-lectures in order to avoid traveling.


  • It is mandatory for every member of the GRK to attend the lecture course "Physics at the LHC" once during his/her PhD.


  • You are strongly encouraged to follow more lectures of interest to you.


  • You are required to attend the "Block Courses" in Spring and Autumn


Reports and Documentation


  • You are required to make a presentation of your project within your first year at one of the “Block Courses”. This should introduce you to your colleagues and document the plan of your PhD project. Please address this to non-experts in your specific field.
    This presentation will be considered as your “Project Sketch”.


  • You are required to hand in a written "Midterm Report" (about 10 pages) after 1.5 years describing the progress of your project and the plan for the second half of your funding period. This Mid-Term Report should be read by both of your supervisors and submitted to the document server of the school. Please also notify the school's coordinator.


  • You are required to upload all your documents created in the context of the GRK (project sketch, midterm report, theses, conference proceedings if travel paid by GRK, papers)

  • You must contribute to the reports requested by the funding agency (DFG) if required. This also applies if you have already left the GRK, regardless of whether you were a full or associated member and whether you are working in science or in another field. Students who completed the PhD have to upload a filled Final Report-Form (tex template) containing all information about the whole membership in the GRK. The Final Report-Form can be found at the webpage of the GRK provided below (for a PDF version of the Memorandum of Studies, please contact Martin zur Nedden via mail). Please fill out the Final Report-Form keeping strictly to the given format. All instructions are given in the files. To get started follow these steps:

    • download the tar file form here: download link

    • to unpack via command line do: tar xfv GK1504_CV-Wrapper.tar

    • to compile, do:  pdflatex GK1504-Bericht_wrapper.tex

    • edit ONLY the file cv-template.tex and test that it compiles.

    • once you are done, rename the file to cv-LastnameFirstname.tex and send it to Martin zur Nedden.