The PhD Buddy Program

... brings together international doctoral students who are beginning their doctoral studies with experienced doctoral students or postdocs at the University of Rostock.

The aim of the PhD Buddy Program is to facilitate the integration of PhD students during the initial phase of their research stay in Rostock, to foster their work and at the same time, to strengthen and expand their local research network.

Through the informal exchange, the "elders" help the “young” scientists to quickly find their way around the University and the German research landscape by sharing their experience and knowledge.

As well as the joy of sharing their knowledge, contact with the “younger” academics gives “older” students an excellent opportunity to be inspired, to gain new insights, reflect on their own career path and to expand their network.

Sign up now until 1st December 2019 for the program start in January 2020!

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Elements of the Program

The program runs for a period of ten months. During the entire period the Welcome Center will remain available as a contact for the participants. It provides the framework for the exchange between junior and senior buddies, offers suggestions for content, organizes networking events and offers opportunities for the development and advancement of skills.

Program Framework

There will be a kick-off event where organisational aspects will be discussed. Participants will be given practical suggestions for the further process and on forming their buddy relationship. Buddies can get to know each other and express their initial expectations and desired topics.

After the first half as well as at the end of the program the participants will come together to sum up their experiences, to reflect and to give feedback on the program. The participants will be awarded a certificate of participation at the final event of the program.

Networking Events

In addition to one-on-one meetings with their own buddy, participants will have the opportunity to interact with other buddies and to expand their network.

Opportunities for the Development of Skills

The Buddy Program aims to help participants develop their personal skills. In collaboration with cooperation partners, seminars and workshops will be held on topics such as: Intercultural training, time and self-management and career planning.

The Participants

The PhD Buddy Program is aimed at two target groups:

  • Junior Buddies: international PhD students at the beginning of their doctorate
  • Senior Buddies: experienced international or German PhD students or postdocs

Junior Buddies

  • PhD phase: approx. 6 months to 1 year into their studies
  • Openness and curiosity
  • Active and self-motivated suggestions of topics and wishes
  • Willingness to listen to and incorporate constructive criticism

Senior Buddies

  • PhD phase: approx. 2 years into their studies or in their postdoc phase
  • Enjoy sharing knowledge
  • Familiarity with "unwritten laws" and "rules of the game" at the University of Rostock

The Buddy Relationship

... is the core of the program. It's marked by the following characteristics:

  • The exchange takes place on an “equal footing”.
  • Participation is entirely voluntary. It is based on respect and mutual goodwill.
  • Actual expectations and agreements are set out at the beginning of the buddy relationship.
  • All topics are handled confidentially.
  • Buddies meet on a regular basis. Reliability is expected when it comes to appointments and arrangements.
  • Problems that may arise in the buddy relationship will be addressed openly.