Statutes

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Courtesy translation. Only the German is legally binding.

Statutes and Regulations of the
Bielefeld Graduate School in History and Sociology of Bielefeld University

In accordance with Article 2 section 4 and Article 29 of the Universities Act of the State of North-Rhine Westphalia (Hochschulgesetz - HG) of 31 October 2006 (GV.NRW. p. 474), as amended on 13 March 2008 (GV. NRW. p. 474), the Faculty of Sociology and the Faculty of History, Philosophy and Theology have passed the following Statutes and Regulations:

Article 1
Standing within Bielefeld University

The Graduate School is an academic institution under the responsibility of the Faculty of Sociology and the Department of History in the Faculty of History, Philosophy and Theology of Bielefeld University and shall be known as the "Bielefeld Graduate School in History and Sociology" (BGHS).

Article 2
Aims and Functions

  1. The BGHS trains doctoral researchers within a structured doctoral programme. It offers an interdisciplinary research training programme of high professional quality with supervision by professors and other academic staff from the participating institutions.
  2. To this end the BGHS creates an interdisciplinary environment which not only facilitates research work beyond disciplinary boundaries but also encourages doctoral researchers to reflect critically on the categorial decisions, theoretical premises and methods of their own individual disciplines through scholarly debate with a different discipline.
  3. The BGHS encourages the international orientation of its doctoral researchers by admitting increasing numbers of international doctoral researchers. It supports stays abroad, participation in international meetings and publications in international journals for German doctoral researchers. At the same time, the BGHS helps acquaint international doctoral researchers with the German academic system. The BGHS offers courses in English and supports international doctoral researchers where necessary in their efforts to learn German.
  4. The BGHS prepares its graduates for a whole range of occupations after graduation, expanding the orientation of its research training programme to include professions outside academia.
  5. The BGHS offers its doctoral researchers a supportive working environment. For this reason, the establishment of smaller working groups with individual supervision is encouraged, as well as a multifaceted culture of social interaction within the circle of the doctoral researchers. The BGHS supports doctoral researchers in their efforts to find a satisfactory balance between scholarly work and family life.

Article 3
Bodies

The bodies of the BGHS are:

  • a) the Members' Meeting,
  • b) the Executive Board,
  • c) the Director, and
  • d) the Doctoral Researchers' Representatives.

Article 4
Members

  1. The members of the BGHS are:
    • a) by virtue of their office, all professors who teach or supervise doctoral researchers at the BGHS,
    • b) all other academic staff at the Department of History in the Faculty of History, Philosophy and Theology, and at the Faculty of Sociology, employed by or attached to the BGHS, including the postdoctoral researchers employed by the BGHS,
    • c) all additional staff employed by or attached to the BGHS,
    • d) all doctoral researchers who have been admitted since 1 April 2006 to the International Doctoral Programme in Sociology or the International Doctoral Programme in History and who have signed a supervision agreement, as well as all postdoctoral fellows.
  2. Other scholars of Bielefeld University intending to work at the BGHS for a longer period of time can be given the status of advisory member by the BGHS Executive Board (upon application). The member shall acknowledge and accept at the start of her or his membership all rights and duties associated with her or his membership. Membership ceases with the end of the member's activities at the BGHS.
  3. Scholars from other universities and non-university or industrial research institutions, visiting professors funded by and working at the BGHS, and other visiting scholars working with the BGHS in the framework of a cooperative project may be coopted as advisory members. Their cooptation shall be effected upon resolution by the Executive Board.
  4. Membership of the BGHS shall cease
    • a) in the case of doctoral researchers, usually after a successful performance in the oral disputation, or after a maximum period of 5 years;
    • b) in the case of doctoral researchers, when supervision by his or her supervisor is terminated - preferably by mutual agreement - before time;
    • c) through written letter of termination to the management of the Graduate School;
    • d) through termination of the employment or work relationship at the BGHS;
    • e) upon exclusion of the doctoral researcher for violation of her or his rights and duties according to Article 5 sections 1, 4 and 5 of these Statutes and Regulations. The decision on exclusion is taken by the Executive Board of the BGHS.
  5. The Executive Board shall determine whether the conditions detailed in sections 1 to 4 are met and on that basis shall take decisions regarding the admission of members or the loss or revocation of membership.

Article 5
Rights and Duties of Members

  1. It shall be the members' duty to collaborate in achieving the objectives of the BGHS under Article 2 as well as in the administration of the BGHS in accordance with these Statutes and Regulations and to give the BGHS their active support. The rights and duties of the doctoral researchers, the supervisors and the BGHS will be detailed in a separate supervision agreement.
  2. Members of the BGHS can at any time submit proposals to the BGHS for activities to be carried out in, and supported by, the BGHS.
  3. Members shall be entitled, within the BGHS financial framework, to utilize its infrastructure and resources. They may follow an established procedure to take a share in the funds available to the BGHS.
  4. Members shall have a duty to submit regular reports to the Executive Board of the BGHS, Bielefeld University and the German Research Foundation (DFG). In the case of doctoral researchers, the submission of the report can take the form of a quality control as specified in the supervision agreement. In addition, members are to assist in the necessary applications. On leaving or terminating their membership, members sponsored by the BGHS must submit a final report on their scholarly work at the BGHS within six months.
  5. Members shall be obliged to observe the DFG rules for Excellence Institutions, especially the rules on publication, economic exploitation, duty to report and good scientific practice.
  6. When leaving the BGHS due to relocation, members can usually apply for a maximum of three months' financial support by the BGHS as a transitional funding measure. Office equipment cannot be transferred to the new place of work.

Article 6
Members' Meeting

  1. The Members' Meeting is held once a year and chaired by the Director. It is convened by the Director with seven days notice. The agenda will be sent to all the members at least three days before the meeting.
  2. The Members' Meeting must be convened when at least half the members of the Executive Board or a third of the members demand such a meeting.
  3. The Members' Meeting
    • a) is presented with the Director's report,
    • b) advises and supports the Executive Board in all matters of importance to the BGHS,
    • c) and deliberates on the further development of the BGHS.

Article 7
The Executive Board

  1. The Executive Board of the BGHS comprises:
    • a) eight professors elected by the faculty meeting of the respective faculty. The Faculty of Sociology and the Department of History in the Faculty of History, Philosophy and Theology shall provide four members each, including one member from each research training group at each department,
    • b) the Dean of the Faculty of Sociology and the Dean of the Faculty of History, Philosophy and Theology,
    • c) three members of the academic staff. The faculty meetings of the Faculty of Sociology and the Department of History in the Faculty of History, Philosophy and Theology shall each elect one member. The third member shall be elected by the postdoctoral researchers at the BGHS from within their ranks,
    • d) two representatives elected by the BGHS doctoral researchers from within their ranks,
    • e) one member elected by the BGHS staff from within their ranks.
    • Only members of the BGHS can be elected as members of the BGHS Executive Board.
  2. The term of office of the members of the Executive Board shall be two years. Re-election is possible.
  3. The Executive Board shall be responsible for all functions of the BGHS (Article 2). In particular, it shall have the responsibility for the following functions:
    • a) development of the academic programme and the qualification concept,
    • b) the election of the Director and the Deputy Director,
    • c) approval of the BGHS report and overall budget application to the DFG,
    • d) the acceptance and exclusion of members,
    • e) counselling the director in budget matters,
    • f) advertising of scholarships and selection of scholarship holders,
    • g) resolving personnel matters regarding staff members funded by the BGHS,
    • h) coordinating the integration of external partners,
    • i) drawing up and forwarding the annual report on the work of the BGHS to the participating departments,
    • j) planning and quality control of measures to ensure equal opportunity and diversity,
    • k) the encouragement of a working environment enabling a balance between family and scholarly work,
    • l) cooperation with other scholarly institutions, and
    • m) public relations.
  4. The Executive Board shall be responsible, in the framework of these tasks, for all decisions that are not the prerogative of other bodies.
  5. The Executive Board may adopt rules of procedure.
  6. The Executive Board can appoint persons responsible for the above list of tasks from among its members. It can appoint a representative for equal opportunity and diversity issues.
  7. The Executive Board shall meet at least twice a year. The meeting shall be chaired by the Director. Meetings shall be convened by the Director with seven days notice. The agenda will be sent to all the members at least three days before the meeting.
  8. A standing invitation shall be extended to the BGHS Office. Further guests can be invited if so wished by the Executive Board.

Article 8
The Director

  1. The director shall run the BGHS and represent its interests inside and outside the university. She or he shall be the chairperson of the Executive Board and the Members' Meeting. She or he shall have a deputy.
  2. The director and her or his deputy shall be elected by the Executive Board from among its professorial members for a term of two years. Re-election is possible.
  3. The functions of the director shall include in particular
    • a) taking responsibility for the appropriate allocation of funds and compliance with the overall budget of the BGHS;
    • b) calling and chairing meetings of the Executive Board and Members' Meetings;
    • c) reporting on her or his decisions to the Executive Board of the BGHS;
    • d) informing the members of the BGHS.
  4. In the event that a non-deferrable decision must be made on an important matter and it proves impossible to convene the Executive Board in time, the director is authorized to make decisions on behalf of the Executive Board. She or he must immediately inform the Executive Board and explain the urgency of the action taken.
  5. The director shall be supported by the BGHS office.
  6. If the director leaves office early or is unable to carry out the duties of her or his office, the Executive Board shall elect a successor without delay. Until the election, the deputy director shall take over as acting director. If this should prove impracticable, the Executive Board shall appoint one of its members to take over as acting director. Analogous rules shall apply to the office of deputy director.
  7. The Executive Board may remove the director by electing a successor by a two-thirds majority in accordance with section 2.

Article 9
The Doctoral Researchers' Representatives

  1. Each year the doctoral researchers of the BGHS shall elect four of their members as their Representatives.
  2. The Representatives ensure that through their presence in the Executive Board the interests of the doctoral researchers are represented and that they are consulted in the drawing up of the BGHS programme.
  3. The Doctoral Researchers' Representatives organise the election of the two members of the Executive Board to be provided by the doctoral researchers in accordance with Article 7 section 1d.

Article 10
Academic Liaison

  1. The Executive Board shall elect a professorial member of the BGHS as academic liaison.
  2. The academic liaison shall act as an ombudsperson for the members of the BGHS in all matters relating to the BGHS. She or he shall advise members and assist them in solving problems that arise in the everyday routine of the BGHS.

Article 11
The Office

The Office shall be in charge of the organisation of the functions of the BGHS and supports the Director, her or his Deputy and the Executive Board. It ensures the implementation of measures to promote equal opportunity and diversity at the BGHS.

Article 12
Resolutions, Elections and Records

  1. The bodies of the BGHS shall form a quorum when, the meeting having been properly convened, at least half of the voting members are present. All members are eligible to vote under Article 4 section 1. If at a meeting a quorum cannot be formed, the quorum is deemed to have been formed at the next meeting to be called irrespective of the number of persons present, provided that special attention has been drawn to this circumstance in the convening notice.
  2. Unless otherwise stated in these Statutes and Regulations, decisions by the bodies of the BGHS are taken by simple majority of the votes cast. Abstentions shall be counted as votes not cast. In the event of a tied vote the motion is rejected. On the motion of one member, voting must be by secret ballot.
  3. The Executive Board may agree to take decisions by circular resolution.
  4. Minutes of the meetings of the bodies of the BGHS shall be kept and made available to the members of the respective body, at the latest when the invitation is sent out for the next meeting. Minutes are considered passed if no objections are raised within two weeks after receipt.

Article 13
Qualification Concept and Doctoral Degrees

  1. The BGHS offers a research training programme tailored to its objectives (see Article 2). The implementation and quality control of this programme is in the hands of the faculties involved. The details are specified in the respective effective doctoral degree regulations.
  2. The academic supervision of the doctoral researchers shall be undertaken by the first and second supervisor. The supervisors may be changed in the course of the doctoral project for academic or non-academic reasons by mutual agreement of the parties involved. The rights and duties of the supervisors and the supervised are specified in Article 5, the specifics are detailed in a separate supervision agreement. Over and above the academic supervision, the BGHS offers additional measures to further the careers of its doctoral researchers. Here a special focus is placed on measures to achieve equality of treatment.
  3. The doctoral degree procedure is dealt with in the doctoral degree regulations of the appropriate faculty.

Article 14
Scholarships and Academic Positions

  1. The BGHS awards scholarships to doctoral and postdoctoral researchers. The decision about the award shall be taken in a transparent selection process by the Executive Board. The Executive Board may delegate the decision to a committee. Scholarships shall, as a matter of principle, be advertised internationally.
  2. The BGHS shall assign academic positions in accordance with the German civil service pay scale to doctoral and post-doctoral researchers who are attached to clearly-defined dissertation or research projects within the field of research of the BGHS and who can be entrusted with official duties of the BGHS. When full-time positions are assigned, these official duties must not stand in the way of the doctoral researcher's further qualification. Thus, employment contracts must stipulate that up to 20 % of the regular working hours are to be used for official tasks specific to the doctoral researcher's qualification. The decision about the research projects shall be taken in a transparent selection process by the Executive Board. Positions shall, as a matter of principle, be advertised internationally.

Article 15
Postdoctoral researchers, Junior Research Groups

  1. The BGHS employs post-doctoral researchers in academic positions in accordance with the collective labour agreements (TV-L).
  2. Each postdoctoral researcher employed by the BGHS shall run a Junior Research Group in cooperation with a professor from the Faculty for Sociology or the Department of History in the Faculty of History, Philosophy and Theology.
  3. As a matter of principle, the post-doctorate position associated with each Junior Research Group shall be advertised internationally. Applications must include a professor's declaration of willingness to cooperate in accordance with Article 2 and a funding concept in accordance with Article 5 section 3.
  4. A cooperation agreement shall be drawn up between the postdoctoral researcher, the professor and the BGHS.
  5. For each Junior Research Group, up to two positions or scholarships for doctoral researchers will be funded by the BGHS. The selection process shall take place in a transparent manner with the participation of the Executive Board and the director of the BGHS. In addition, the Junior Research Groups will acquire funding for doctoral researchers on their own.

Article 16
Internal Allocation of Resources

In accordance with the BGHS guidelines "Financial Support Options for (Post-)Doctoral Candidates" members of the BGHS can use its resources within the framework of the available budget. Decisions on applications will be taken by the director. Objections to these decisions can be made to the Executive Board within one month after they are announced.

Article 17
Final Provisions and Entry into Force

  1. Supplementary provisions and amendments to these Statutes and Regulations shall be decided upon by the faculty meetings of the Faculty of History, Philosophy and Theology and the Faculty of Sociology.
  2. These Statutes and Regulations shall enter into force on the day after they have been published in the official bulletin (Amtliche Bekanntmachungen) of Bielefeld University. At that time the Statutes and Regulations for the Bielefeld Graduate School in History and Sociology in the Department of Sociology and the Department of History, Philosophy and Theology at the University of Bielefeld in the version of 2 March 2009 (Verkündungsblatt der Universität Bielefeld - Amtliche Bekanntmachungen - vol. 38 no. 4, p. 106) shall cease to be in force.

Executed on the basis of the decisions by the faculty meetings of the Faculty of Sociology on 29 June 2011 and the Faculty of History, Philosophy and Theology of Bielefeld University on 13 July 2011.

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