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Quality management

In addition to the illustrated programme proposals for the qualification of our graduate students, a number of central, standardised measures are implemented which guarantee the quality of the individual projects as well as the global goals of the involved universities during the ongoing projects.

In the preparation phase, three independent, external consultants and three spokespersons of the overall project will evaluate the applications according to central quality criteria and fine-tune the proposals in regard to the theme of the application. Moreover, an independent consultation and facilitation project with emphasis on research methodology will be established which not only organises the current doctoral programme but also implements systematic measures. In this way, the individual doctoral projects among the various universities are coordinated and the quality is guaranteed.

The methodology centre ensures continuous and individual support as well as the establishment of adequate modern methods of formative and summative evaluations. The intermediate results of the current and planned processes in the individual projects are recorded several times throughout the year using standardised evaluation questionnaires. This approach not only guarantees close personal contact between the methodology centre and the individual projects, but also offers the flexibility to react within a narrow time frame and implement individual specific and project comprehensive facilitation proposals and measures. The methodology centre also has the additional functions of:

(a) harmonising project comprehensive methodology standards (e.g. pertaining to assessment and evaluation) and

(b) facilitating the processing of comprehensive project questions for the purpose of integration/meta-analysis of the research results.

The facilitation and consultation concept of the methodology centre goes beyond the establishment of a contact point for methodological statistic problems since it also implements systematic measures to guarantee and develop the quality of research on various levels (structural, process and outcome quality). Essential aspects of structural quality pertain to such areas as research methodology competencies and know-how of the involved participants, a centralised data administration, the supply of information on standards in the fields of methodology and assessment, the provision of analysis software, the documentation and communication of available competences, the ascertainment and provision of opportunities for facilitation and cooperation.

The methodology centre informs and promotes the identification of possibilities for distributing results at scientific congresses as well as the presentation of findings in doctoral theses and scientific publications. Furthermore, the results of the comprehensive programme will be published in a collected volume and be presented at a concluding symposium. These measures serve to ensure and optimal distribution of the comprehensive work to the relevant professional audiences and thus make them useful. This facilitates the competences of our students in the active design and participation at scientific discourses.