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The PhD students of π3 (at least most of them) are expected to reach leading positions in science or industry. After they have left the RTG, the (former) PhD students will continue to deliver cross-disciplinary thinking and problem solving, and by this they will be valuable assets to academia as well as to companies. Their competences will be based on applied mathematics, and utilising these they will be capable for working as well in engineering or natural sciences. The young researchers of this RTG will be ideal candidates for R&D positions in the industry and for research institutions such as universities, Max Planck, and Fraunhofer Institutes.

Accordingly, in π3 special emphasis is given to develop leadership abilities; to this end, several measures are established:

  • Special workshops regarding leadership abilities, and other soft skills workshops, partly organised by the PhD students.
  • PhD students are involved in organising guest lectures, scientific workshops, and summer schools. By this they collect and share organisational experience.
  • An assessment centre by a professional consulting company at the end of the second year will profile the abilities, in particular the leadership quality, of the PhD candidates. Individual training programmes will be designed depending on the results of the assessment evaluation.
  • PhD students apply for RTG funded long-term visits (about three months) to other leading institutions as a preparation for a subsequent academic career. On this way they learn to develop project proposals.
  • If suitable, PhD candidates will be involved in industrial projects of the participating PIs. Part of the soft skills programme is a workshop on how to collaborate with industry, highlighting the different expectations for industry-university collaborations, communication, and networking.
  • PhD students can work with and supervise (during the second and third year of their PhDs) graduate students, which support the PhD student's research, e.g., by programming and performing simulations. Thus they find out how to build up and lead a (small) research team.

The RTG π3 in general offers an environment of flat hierarchies and modern leadership serving as a role model for the future careers of our PhD students.


Assessment Center

The first assessment center was held in October 2018 by Kienbaum. All students of the 1st cohort participated and the response was very positive. The assessment center aimed at profiling the students, giving them an impression of what is expected of them in their further career as well as giving them advice on which features of their profile they should improve. We aim to continue the assessment centres for the next cohorts.