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Competence School continues

The run-time of the Competence School as a contact point for PhD students is asset-backed by the end of the year - in April Competence School and Research Academy start in the summer semester

  • The current team of the Competence School - from left: Dr. Daniela Menzel, Jens Hengst, Stefan Donath, Yvonne Hempel and Annett Schädlich. Picture: Competence School

Good news for all PhD students of TU Chemnitz: The request for extension of funds for the Competence School financed by the European Social Fund was recently approved. Thus the budget for the original until February 2014 designed funded project is asset-backed by the end of the year. The TU Chemnitz now co-finances the project with an own share of 25 percent. The project Competence School is together with the Research Academy at Technische Universität Chemnitz the central point of contact concerning the training and consulting of PhD students in the field of key and leadership competences.

Another successful semester comes with a special advanced training offer on 24 and 25 March to an end: PhD students can experience in this two-day project workshop major challenges in the management of projects by recreating a real location extension of its practice partner ThyssenKrupp Presta Camshafts Chemnitz on the Chinese market with Lego bricks (Lego Serious Play). The simulation was developed in the framework of the teaching-learning project `ReLego3´, which is supported by `Teaching practice in transfer´ and coordinated by Saxony`s Centre for Teaching and Learning. It is a joint project of the Professorship for Organization at TU Dresden and the Professorship Factory Planning and Factory Management at TU Chemnitz and enables the participants to test instruments and methods of project management and to train at the same time teamwork, negotiation skills or conflict settlement. For some remaining places the Competence School still accepts registrations. For some remaining places the Competence School still accepts registrations.

In April the Competence School will start in the summer semester 2014. For the first time the offer is not only accessible to PhD students, but particularly also addressed to post PhD students. Especially for this target group events like `Managing projects convincingly´ or `Finding solutions as a team´ are designed. In addition all other planned seminars and workshops for example `Team leadership as a tightrope act´ or `Convincing with body language´ are open to post PhD students. The complete semester program is available at the end of March at

To further expand the consulting services of the Research Academy and the Competence School for the first time a `counseling week´ at the beginning of the semester will be included in the program. From 14th to 17th of April course events are consciously not planned. For all advice-seeking PhD students and post PhD students of TU Chemnitz there is the offer to inform themselves about individual counseling or individual and group coaching as well as the possibility to contact the staff of the Research Academy and the Competence School for personal questions. More information about the counseling services are centralized at

`Done!´ is a key project of the Research Academy and the Competence School within the next few months. This future PhD student network at TU Chemnitz has the objective to establish a network platform for the exchange of PhD students between themselves and with post PhD students. At the same time it should be a knowledge and information portal as a basis for a vibrant PhD student community at TU Chemnitz. This shall contribute to establish and support a contemporary academic culture.

On 25th and 26th of September 2014 another highlight of the summer semester, the second `Day of young scientists´ will take place. After the success of the premiere event in 2013 there will be a diversified program which focuses on the role of the mid-level faculty and its research achievements. At the same time the winners of the second round of the photo contest `Me and my dissertation´ are nominated. All PhD students are prompted again to hand in significant pictures that are related to the topic and / or the immediate work at the doctorate and provide an insight into the key experiences and results.

Research Academy and Competence School likewise claim in all seminars and workshops an inspiring learning culture, activating teaching concepts and attractive training methods. To meet this demand, to circulate it and to secure and continually improve the event quality, in late January the establishment of a quality management system for both training and counseling services was initiated.

At last perspective structural alterations in the period of the extension are planned in order to guarantee a permanent continuity of courses for all PhD students and post PhD students also beyond 2014 in accordance with funding guidelines according to and corresponding to the Higher Education Development Plan. Due to restructuring of the Research Academy and the continuation of the Competence School a center for young scientists as a central institution at TU Chemnitz should be installed. The university administration intends to improve conditions for young scientists with this step.

(Authors: Jens Hengst and Dr. Daniela Menzel, Translation: Jakob Landwehr)

Katharina Thehos

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