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Contacts for early career researchers

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Who to contact if you have any questions

Doktorandenvertretung und-kommission
The picture shows l. to .r. Marlen Krause, Meike Weltin, Elena Wenz (doctoral representatives 2018), Katharina Brüser (coordinator of the doctoral programme), Christoph Merz (spokesperson, doctoral commission), Gabriela Onandia, Ingo Zasada (post-doc representative 2018).​


If you have any questions concerning organisational matters

If you have any questions of an organisational nature concerning your PhD thesis, feel free to contact the PhD representatives or the contact person for matters concerning early career researchers in the Directorate. The PhD representatives promote the interests of PhD students at ZALF, and are integrated in processes that concern early career researchers.

Contact:  PhD representatives, Katharina Brüser and Dr. Christoph Merz.

If you have any formal questions concerning your PhD project

The PhD Students’ Committee is responsible if you have any formal questions concerning your PhD project within the framework of the funding guidelines for financing PhD students and post-docs. The role of the PhD Students’ Committee is to check that the formal requirements under the funding guidelines have been met and to pass on their recommendations to ZALF’s Executive Committee for implementation. The PhD Students’ Committee also checks the formal criteria of PhD outlines, which are a prerequisite for the signing of a doctoral candidate agreement with ZALF. The doctoral candidate agreement is part of an internal agreement which offers the advantage of support in the event of personal difficulties. These tools aim to ensure a high level of quality in the realisation and supervision of PhD studies.

In order to support early career researchers, ZALF has adopted an internal agreement on the “Support and supervision of PhD students” and “Guidelines for financing PhD students and post-docs” as a frame.

Contact: PD Dr. Christoph Merz

If you have any questions about research data and research information

The WG Geodata of the Research Plattform "Data"  supports you by (geo) data acquisition. The department Research Information Systems (FIS) centrally provides research data for all employees and gives advice about central storage and publication of your research data. Furthermore, FIS manages your research output which you document and use on your employee website

Contact: Dr. Jörg Pilz (FIS) or Dr. Uwe Heinrich (DZA)

If you have any questions concerning publishing

Publication management in the “Central Library plus” offers advice on issues concerning publishing. This advice includes the selection of suitable journals of publication, the determination and assessment of impact factors, issues concerning copyright and exploitation rights, the topic of “open access” and registering your publications with ZALF.

Contact: Dr. Claus Dalchow

If you have any questions concerning the research, management and procurement of literature

ZALF’s Central Library for librarian services offers comprehensive support when it comes to literature research and setting up your own reference management software. The Library organises information events on these topics, and is also available for one-on-one consultation.

Library staff provide information about all topics concerning the provision of literature and information; they also procure media and electronic resources as and when required, and inform users about the latest developments in the library and information landscape.

Contact: Jana Rumler

If you have any questions concerning good scientific practice

Die Ombudspersons are persons of trust who mediate e.g. in the event of misunderstandings in the collaboration between PhD students and their supervisors.

Contact: Dr. Claudia Sattler, Dr. Annette Piorr

If you have any questions concerning employment contract

The Works Council advises PhD students and post-docs on issues concerning their employment contract and, if required, represents their interests vis-à-vis the management at ZALF.

Contact: Dr. Verena Toussaint

If you have any questions concerning equal opportunities

The Equal Opportunities Officer lobbies the Executive Committee at ZALF in matters concerning equal opportunities and career support, and also fosters measures to promote families.

Contact: Dr. Dagmar Balla


Doctoral representatives

E-Mail doctoral representatives



Postdoctoral representative

E-Mail postdoctoral representative



Doctoral Commission

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