TUM Supervisory Award

TUM Graduate Councils honours outstanding doctoral supervision

On behalf of all doctoral candidates, the TUM Graduate Council awards since 2018 on a yearly basis the TUM Supervisory Award under the patronage of the Senior Vice President for Research and Innovation and funded by the TUM Graduate School. The TUM Supervisory Award which also encompasses a prize of 5,000€ is presented as part of the festivities of the Dies Academicus to a distinguished TUM doctoral supervisor – either a professor or a post-doc – who has comitted herself or himself in the past to an outstanding supervision and education of her or his doctoral candidates.

The TUM Supervisory Award not only aims at rewarding extraordinary supervision of doctoral candidates but also at raising the awareness for the necessity of a reliable, sincere, and respectful relationship between the supervisor and the doctoral candidates. Thus, the TUM Supervisory Award lies at the heart of the purpose of the TUM Graduate Council and the selection, respectively the election of the laureate is conducted accordingly (see details below).

TUM Supervisory Award 2019

In 2019, the TUM Supervisory Award is awarded for the second consecutive year. All doctoral candidates who are currently members of the TUM Graduate School and all alumni who left the TUM Graduate School during the previous year (relevant is the date of defense) are called to nominate their outstanding supervisor (either a professor or a post-doc) until the end of February, i.e. midnight of February 28th, 2019.
To nominate your supervisor, you and up to 2 of your fellow doctoral candidates only need to send the nomination sheet below via email to your Graduate Center (the email addresses can be found in the Description).

Download Nomination Sheet:
[English]

Download Description:
[English]

Criteria

The Graduate Council has released a position on good doctoral supervision where the expectations of doctoral candidates towards their supervisor are summarized. In addition to the points mentioned in this document, the evaluation will also consider additional criteria and a written reasoning by the nominating doctoral candidates.

Download List of Criteria:
[English]

Nomination

Every professor or post-doc who is employed by the Technical University of Munich can be nominated for the TUM Supervisory Award. Besides an outstanding supervision, the only formal criterion is that at least one of the supervised doctoral candidates is/was an active member of the TUM Graduate School. A supervisor can be nominated by an individual doctoral candidate or by a group of up to 3 doctoral candidates.
Notice, however, that each professor or post-doc can only be nominated once per year, i.e. multiple nominations from different doctoral candidates are “combined” and count as one nomination.

Selection Procedure

The selection procedure of the TUM Supervisory Award comprises three phases: The nomination period at the level of the individual chairs and working groups (Phase I), the selection period at the level of the differnet Graduate Centers (Phase II), and the evaluation and election phase at the level of the TUM Graduate Council (Phase III). A detailed description of the the different phases is provided below.

At all three phases and beyond, a maximum of care is taken to ensure absolute anonymity of the nominating doctoral candidates as well as of the non-nominating doctoral candidates. Results at the level of the individual Graduate Centers are only published upon request and after careful consideration.

  • Phase I: Nomination period at the chairs/working groups (January – February)
    Until the end of February, doctoral candidates can individually or in groups (up to 3 persons) nominate their supervisor by sending the nomination sheet to their respective Graduate Center.
    After the nomination period, all submitted nominations are reviewed by the doctoral representatives and the respective Graduate Center’s manager. They decide objectively based on the given criteria, the nomination sheet and prior knowledge which of the nominations advance to Phase II in which typically 5-10 nominations are considered.

  • Phase II: Graduate Centers select best supervisor (March – April)
    One nominator of each nominee selected for Phase II will be invited to a discussion meeting at which the nominators, the doctoral representatives and the managers of the Graduate Centers are present. Attendance at the discussion meetings is mandatory. Prior to the meeting, all participants sign a non-disclosure agreement and have the option for an anonymous self-exclusion. The meeting will be chaired by the doctoral representatives. After a short individual presentation and an open discussion, a voting will determine the Top3 nominees for each Graduate Center. These Top3 will be brought into order by their nominees and the doctoral representatives according to the criteria used in Phase I. After the meeting, the doctoral representatives report the results to the TUM Graduate Council.

  • Phase III: TUM Graduate Council evaluates the Graduate Centers’ nominations (May – June)
    A committee of experts will review the nominations of all Graduate Centers and suggest the TUM Graduate Council a short list of five supervisors. This decision will be based on the nomination sheets, the report of each Graduate Center and additional information which the committee might want to acquire. The short list, along with the reasoning for the selection, will be presented to the TUM Graduate Council, which then votes on the winner of the award in one of its regular meetings during the summer semester.

Prize

As part of the TUM Supervisory Award a prize money of 5,000€, funded by the TUM Graduate School, will be awarded to the winning supervisor. The supervisor must spend this prize money for the benefit of his or her doctoral candidates according to the public budget law e.g. by organizing workshops, supporting research stays abroad, buying relevant software or updating the chair’s library. The TUM Supervisory Award trophy as well as a corresponding certificate will be awarded to the winning supervisor by the Senior Vice President for Research and Innovation during the festivities as part of the Dies Academicus.

Questions

For further questions or additional information regarding the TUM Supervisory Award, contact the Working Group Supervisory Award of the TUM Graduate Council via email or use our online contact form.

Responses to frequently asked questions can also be found in the TUM Supervisory Award FAQ section.

Previous Winners

Winner of the Supervisory Award 2018

Professor Dr. Bernhard Wolfrum
Neuroelectronics group
TUM Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

 

Prof. Dr. Bernhard Wolfrum was awarded the TUM Supervisory Award 2018 for his exemplary supervision and for his commitment in the training of his doctoral candidates. His doctoral candidates emphasize that “he wouldn’t hesitate to spend a few hours in the lab or in the office solving problems and discussing our publication strategy.” (Citation from the nomination form)
Besides his commendable support during the doctoral studies (international research stays, conference visits, additional qualification possibilities), Professor Wolfrum also ensures that his doctoral candidates are very well prepared for the time after their theses – be it either for a scientific career or for a future outside academia.

Download laudation:
[Deutsch]

Download interviews:
[Deutsch]