Prize for Doctoral Supervision Awarded for the First Time

For the first time ever, the University of Bremen has honored outstanding PhD supervision. Two first place awards were given to the mathematician Iris Pigeot and the jurist Andreas Fischer-Lescano. The Alumni Network of the University of Bremen donated the prize money of 2,000 euros per person.

“Successful PhD projects are of significant importance for the scientific performance of the University of Bremen. The 2019 prize for outstanding doctoral supervision recognizes the demanding task of doctoral supervision and the commitment to the support of scientists in the early stages of their careers”, explained Vice President for Research, Professor Andreas Breiter. The bar for excellent support at the University of Bremen was set with the prize. The success of a PhD is influenced by the quality of the supervision given by experienced scientists. Individual opportunities and communication, the integration into the field of research and practical research, and also support during the phase of sounding out career options are part of great supervision. “The aim is to have a supervisory relationship, which is characterized by trust and the support of scientific independence”.

“Collegial Support as Equals”

The awards for outstanding doctoral supervision were handed out in a ceremony. The Senator for Science, Professor Eva Quante-Brandt, emphasized what a makes good supervision: She stated “that supervisors apply their scientific experience in order to develop the independence and individual responsibility of the PhD students and in order to offer them the chance to become visible in the scientific communicate with their own work. Supervising a PhD is also collegial support as equals. The honored persons have set a good example and have shown what outstanding supervision can look like”.

During the laudation for the award winner from the social sciences and humanities, Professor Andreas Fischer-Lescano, his former PhD student Dr. Sebastian Eickenjäger underscored the special supervisory relationship: “Mr. Fischer-Lescano has got the talent of meeting students with the most varied backgrounds at the level that they are currently at.” He gives them the feeling that “they can achieve something and gain a foothold in science”. He is interested them and makes space for critical exchanges about law in and outside his seminars. Andreas Fischer-Lescano is a professor of public law, European law and international law in the Faculty of Law. He is also the director of the Centre of European Law and Politics (ZERP) at the University of Bremen.

“Considerable Experience, Specialist Knowledge and Loving Strictness”

The first prize in natural sciences and engineering was awarded to Iris Pigeot. She is a professor of statistics in the Faculty of Mathematics/Computer science and director of the Leibniz Institute for Prevention Research and Epidemiology (BIPS) at the University of Bremen. Her former PhD student Dr. Christoph Buck spoke his thanks for the PhD supervision in his laudation. He stated that Iris Pigeot was especially committed to teaching, research and PhD students. The PhD students profited from her “considerable experience, specialist knowledge and loving strictness”. Furthermore, she always took the time to speak to them about their careers.

The Alumni Network of the University of Bremen donated the prize money of 2,000 euros per person. The money is for a specific purpose and is only available for facilitating the success of PhD students. Committee member Dr.-Ing. Reinhard Ahlers stressed the importance of the prize. “Many prizes honor outstanding dissertations by PhD students. The PhD supervision is an important factor for that.” The network wishes to honor excellent doctoral supervision. The nominees “accompanied and inspired” the students. The response of the PhD students to the call to nominate supervisors was high at the University of Bremen. 80 nominations of supervisors from all faculties were entered.

Six Second-Place Winners Honored

Alongside the two first-place winners, six further supervisors shared the second spot as special recognition: Professor Wolfgang Bach, Professor Jörg Freiling, Dr. Dagmar Kieke, Professor Heiko Pleines, Professor Jorg Thöming, and Professor Jochen Zimmermann.
About the Prize

The prize for outstanding doctoral supervision from the University of Bremen is awarded to scientists, one from the humanities and social sciences and one from natural sciences and engineering, every two years. The jury is comprised of the advisory board of the Bremen Early career Researcher Development center (BYRD) and one member of the prize sponsors, the Alumni Network of the University of Bremen. The nominees must receive at least two nominations in order to be featured as a winner. Young scientists who completed their PhD at the University of Bremen and no longer than four years ago can enter nominations.

Further information:


Dr. Marie Sander
Bremen Early Career Researcher Development
University of Bremen
Phone: +49 421 218-60327

Preisträgerin Iris Pigeot, Wissenschaftssenatorin Eva Quante-Brandt, Preisträger Andreas Fischer-Lescano und Konrektor Andreas Breiter (v.l.n.r.)
Winner Iris Pigeot, Senator for Science Eva Quante-Brandt, winner Andreas Fischer-Lescano and Vice President Andreas Breiter (left to right)