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Push for university career: female doctoral students get gift of time for research

Research assistants take on tasks in science and teaching in their specialist disciplines. Jessica Wittmann, Stephanie Kitzing and Sina Ferfers-Heinold, which are academic staff members and prospective candidates for doctoral studies at Hof University of Applied Sciences, were awarded now. President Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Jürgen Lehmann announced that, as a part of the university’s own advancement of women, these three will receive 50% time off for their planned doctorates for a whole year and that they can devote themselves exclusively to their doctoral thesis during this time.

from left: Prof. Dr. Richard Göbel, Stephanie Kitzing, Prof. Dr. Jörg Krumeich, Jessica Wittmann and university president Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Jürgen Lehmann – missing are Sina Ferfers-Heinold and her supervisor Prof. Dr.-Ing. Dietmar Wolff ; Image: Hof University of Applied Sciences

“I am very happy, this is an important milestone for me and the upcoming PhD,” says Jessica Wittmann about the new timing of her PhD.

Doctoral thesis and family

Such support is not a matter of course, because this also requires funding in the background. Hof University of Applied Sciences uses financial resources for this purpose that have been allocated specifically for the purpose of promoting women as part of the target agreement with the Ministry. This is because structured doctoral programs are considered a successful means of increasing the proportion of women in science. They are particularly important for women, since the time spent working on a doctorate often coincides with starting or caring for a family, and many women then do not pursue the doctorate due to the double burden

A half-time position, exclusively for the doctorate, is great! It provides a better balance between the PhD and research projects, and also more stable funding.”

Stephanie Kitzing

Pathways to science

Jessica Wittmann works at the Institute of Materials Science at Hof University of Applied Sciences (ifm), where she is involved in the research area of surface functionalization. She is working on antimicrobial coatings for hospital beds. She is supervised by Prof. Dr. Jörg Krumeich from the Faculty of Engineering Sciences and, in the university area, by the TU Chemnitz.

Her colleague Stephanie Kitzing is conducting research in the Aktmel project to improve the database for traffic planning in municipalities. Her supervisor at Hof University of Applied Sciences is Prof. Dr. Richard Göbel from the Institute for Information Systems (iisys); the university partner is TU Chemnitz.

Also working at iisys is Sina Ferfers-Heinold. She is part of the Innovative Health Care research group and is researching the effects of digital teaching: how does it affect the motivation of students and teachers and what will teaching of the future look like. Her supervisor is Prof. Dr.-Ing. Dietmar Wolff, who, as Vice President of Teaching and head of the research group, is very optimistic that not only the students and teachers at Hof University of Applied Sciences will benefit from the doctorate, but also the cooperation partners.

Anne-Christine Habbel

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