ENROL Management Structure and Plan

ENROL is set out for a total duration of 5 years (60 months) with a 3-year (36 months) employment contract for the Early Stage Researchers (ESRs). The first 6 months of the programme are reserved for the configuration of the ENROL website, the International Advisory Board (IAB) deployment, the training of the Assement Committees (ACs), Recruitment Commitee (RC) and Appeal Board (AB), the dissemination and launch of the call, the collection and evaluation of the applications and the selection of the ESRs ). If all available positions are not filled with academically exceptional candidates, additional calls will be launched in the second part of the first year.  The composition and selection process for the committees and boards are shown here.

Supervisory Board (SB)

The SB will be the main decision-making body in ENROL. The  IAB will advise the SB in matters of quality assurance, conflict management, progression and best practices. The SB and the IAB will also function as an ombudsman and mediator in case of conflicts between an ESR and the supervisor. The SB, headed by the PC, will meet at the beginning of ENROL, then once per year (unless action and decision making is required earlier than the planned meeting) and at the end of the programme. If urgent matters arise, the SB will meet by means of teleconference. Each member has a single vote, simple majority decides, and 67% attendance is required to be quorate. The tasks of the PC and SB are to lead the ENROL, to ensure adherence to COFUND and ENROL rules, to check reporting by the MT, to control the financial situation, to deal with delicate cases or complaints by students or other issues that cannot be solved by the MT and within the individual research groups. The full and active participation of the ESRs in the management of the programme is essential for the development of their organizational and management skills; therefore, ESRs will participate in a rotating base in the SB and in the organization of the ENROL events. Their inclusion in the SB also ensures continuous and direct communication lines with all ENROL ESRs.   

Fellow Committee (FC)

The FC will be elected yearly by the recruited ESRs by majority vote and will comprise of five members. The duty of the FC is to raise issues from the students’ point of view.

Thesis Advisory Committee (TAC)

ESRs will be accompanied during their thesis by an individual “Thesis Advisory Committee” (TAC), which will guide the ESR through the graduate studies. The TAC will consist of three members: the thesis primary supervisor (i.e., the supervisor of the related project), 1 co-supervisor (collaborator; see individual Research Projects), and a representative of an external (inter-)national partner organization who will be directly involved in the related project (details below in “Role of TAC”). To guarantee high quality of the ESR supervision it will be ensured that the TAC will consist of at least one experienced supervisor who has a proven supervision record of at least five successfully completed PhD theses. The applicant should identify the primary supervisor during the application process, either by selecting a specific research project or by identifying the supervisor and suggesting an own project. All supervisors will take mandatory mentoring training, prior to the kick-off meeting, offered by the TUW HR Development Unit to ensure that they are properly equipped to support doctoral students throughout their PhD studies.

Role of TAC

  • Formal meetings with the ESR twice a year; short report will be provided to the MT. 1st meeting will take place once the ESR is hired to establish the Career Development Plan (CDP) (see below for details).
  • Provide support and advices on the ESR’s research, training and career progression; assess the progress of the ESR’s thesis and discuss the individual curriculum of the student, particularly in view of publications, conference participations, and outgoing research visits. Job perspectives will be included in the discussions with progression of the PhD project.
  • Closed session between ESR, collaborator and external partner organization (i.e., excluding the primary supervisor) in order to provide an external perspective on potential matters arising during the PhD thesis.
  • Ad hoc Web-meetings between ESRs, supervisors and external supervisors will complement the scheduled TAC/ESR meetings. It is established practice that the primary supervisor and the ESR meet and discuss regularly on an informal basis.

Once hired, each ESR will establish, together with the respective TAC, a personal CDP to cover all the different aspects of the training programme and have a full view of the tasks with an efficient schedule. The ultimate goal of the CDP is not only the submission of a PhD thesis, but also the holistic development of the ESR so as to elevate the ESR´s chances in the job market (academia or private sector). The CDP will particularly help the ESRs in the evolution of their career goals (e.g. academia or industry), including strategies to excel in the chosen field. It will contain short- and long-term deliverables to track both scientific and training progress. The CDP will be evaluated and updated twice a year during the ESR meeting with the TAC and presented at the Programme Meetings to the SB. If necessary, the SB will make recommendations for individual CDPs. The transfer of knowledge, the exchange of ideas, the communication and contact with professionals from different EU and non-EU countries and sectors will be promoted aiming at enabling the ESRs to excel in their professional activities. In line with the European Framework for Research Careers, opens an external URL in a new window, ESRs will also learn to develop their interpersonal relations based upon trust, respect, fairness, and integrity.

Assessment Committee (AC)

3 committees; 1 for each of the 3 research areas (RAs) in which the chosen research project(s) by the applicants are categorized: PC+ at least 2 independent supervisors (from ENROL Team) + 2 IAB with expertise relevant to the RAs. These committees comprise the review panel during the first and second selection round of the candidates and are responsible for the assessment of the applications.

Recruiting Committee (RC)/Hearing Panel

The RC, involved in the 3rd round of the selection process (hearing) consists of 7 members: the PC, opens an external URL in a new window, a TUW independent expert (Dean of Studies or Deputy of TUW´s Biomedical Engineering Master’s Programme), 3 IAB members elected by the ENROL Team by majority vote and including at least 1 female expert, one impartial member of TUW Equal Opportunities Committee (female) and one representative from the HR Department, both nominated by the TUW rectorate.


Engineering for Life Sciences - Doctoral Programme