Information for Supervisors

Good supervision and mentorship are key to a successful PhD and postdoc phase. To support iDiv supervisors in their tasks and responsibilities, yDiv has compiled information on supervision guidelines, training opportunities, and communication tools. Supervisors will also find contacts to find support in challenging supervision situations.

If you have any questions concerning supervision at iDiv, please contact yDiv.

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Guidelines on Supervision

Find here important guidelines on supervision at iDiv, the universities and the UFZ.

iDiv guidelines:

Guidelines at the universities and the UFZ:


Training for Supervisors

Good leadership has positive effects on efficiency, work performance and team satisfaction. At the same time, leadership in science is particularly complex and challenging. Therefore, iDiv strongly encourages all iDiv supervisors to participate in courses and other forms of supervision training.

Find here information on training for supervisors organized by yDiv and course offers at the universities and the UFZ.

Training at iDiv

For supervisors at Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg

Current events of the department for personnel development (in German only)

Individual coaching for supervisors (website in Germany only)

For supervisors at Leipzig University

Current course offers in the course database (in German only)

Support for executive staff in science and administration (website in German only but you can contact the consultant in English)

For supervisors at Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research – UFZ

UFZ supervisors can join the Helmholtz Leadership Academy


Communication in Supervision

There are different tools to optimize communication with your doctoral and postdoctoral researchers. In this section you find templates for clarifying expectations and for appraisal interviews.

Clarifying expectations

Having different expectations can lead to misunderstandings and conflicts in a supervisory relationship. yDiv therefore strongly recommends to talk about mutual expectations from the start. You can use the yDiv expectations sheet to discuss different aspects of PhD supervision and to find compromises where needed.

yDiv Expectations Sheet

Templates for appraisal interviews at the universities and the UFZ

Employee appraisals are an important tool for developing employees and continuously improving communication and cooperation between supervisors and supervisees. Appraisal interviews should take place at least annually.

Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg: Strukturiertes Mitarbeitendengespräch (accessible internally; only in German)

Friedrich Schiller University Jena: Performance reviews
Friedrich Schiller University Jena: Leitfaden zum Postdoc-Karrieregespräch
Friedrich Schiller Univerity Jena: Guideline for the conversation about the status of a doctorate

Leipzig University: Informationen zum Mitarbeiter-Vorgesetzten-Gespräch (accessible internally)
See section “Personalbeschaffung und Personalentwicklung“, templates are in German, template for supervisors is also available in English

Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research – UFZ: Annual appraisal interview (accessible internally)


Where to find support in case of conflicts or challenging supervision situations

In case of conflicts or problems in supervision situations you can get support (e.g. mediation) by the iDiv counsellors, the ombudspersons at the universities and UFZ or other support services.

Counselling at iDiv

iDiv counsellors Dr Nicole Sachmerda-Schulz and Dr Marten Winter

Ombudspersons and conflict mediation at the universities and the UFZ

Support for mental health related issues

Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg: The social and conflict counseling can advise on mental stress

Friedrich Schiller University Jena: The Mental Health First Aid Team offers confidential first help related to emotional distress and in psychological crises

Leipzig University: Psychosocial counseling for employees (website in German, accessible internally)

Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research – UFZ: The HIGRADE graduate school summarized services at the UFZ as well as external contacts


Dr Nicole Sachmerda-Schulz
Graduate School Coordinator

Room: A.00.19
Phone: +49 341 9733125

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