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Karlsruhe House of Young Scientists (KHYS)

Straße am Forum 3
76131 Karlsruhe

Tel:  +49 (0)721 608-46185
Fax: +49 (0)721 608-46222

Geb. 30.96
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Ombudspersons for doctoral researchers and supervisors at KIT

The Ombudspersons act as contact persons in cases of conflicts or disputes between doctoral researchers and supervisors during the doctoral research phase.

Doctoral researchers and supervisors are free to initiate contact with any Ombudsperson at any point. They can decide for themselves whom they wish to address irrespective of their research background. As independent persons of trust, the Ombudspersons offer advice and recommendations and will seek to mediate between disputing parties. The Ombudspersons are bound to confidentiality.

The KIT Ombudspersons are (profiles below):


Please consult the German-language Statute on appointing Ombudspersons for Doctoral Researchers and Supervisors at KIT from March 4, 2015 (German only) for more information on the Ombudspersons and the process of their appointment.


An overview of further advisory offices and contact points for doctoral researchers and postdocs can be found here.




Prof. Rafaela Hillerbrand

Division II – Informatics, Economics, and Society

Phone: +49 721 608-26450
E-mail: rafaela hillerbrandVbw8∂kit edu

further information
Function: Professor
Area of Expertise: Technical philosophy and philosophy of science
At KIT since: 2015
Experience in supporting doctoral researchers or connection to  doctoral
Currently 5 doctoral researchers, completed (and co-supported) dissertations: 5
My motivation to be an Ombudsperson for doctoral researchers and supervisors: "I supported a group of the Studienstiftung for several years and gave courses on "Scientific Integrity" for doctoral researchers at my former employer, the TU Delft. In my research, I deal with the subject "misconduct in sciences" amongst other things. Since I did my doctorate in physics and philosophy, I had the opportunity to learn about different subject cultures. I would like to utilize my work experience when acting as an Ombudsperson. I think this office is very important because in my opinion it can help to resolve conflicts, which in extreme cases can lead to the termination of the doctorate. Most conflicts arise from lack of or misleading communication - something that can (more) easily be detected by third parties."




Prof. Stefan Hinz

Division IV - Natural and Built Environment

Phone: +49 721 608-42314
E-Mail: stefan hinzUtn7∂kit edu

further information

Function: Head of the Institute for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (IPF) and Head of the graduate school GRACE (Graduate School for Climate and Environment)
Area of Expertise: Sensor technology and automatic image analysis/AI methods in engineering and environmental sciences
At KIT since: 2008
My motivation to be an Ombudsperson for doctoral researchers and supervisors:

“The doctoral researchers of today are the scientific future of tomorrow. Successful doctoral supervision - also in the sense of challenging and supporting - must therefore be a matter of course for us. This is not always easy with such pronounced characters as are to be found in science in particular. As an ombudsperson, I would therefore like to contribute as a balancing influence.”




PD Stefan Kühnlein

Division V – Physics and Mathematics

Phone: +49 721 608 43039
E-mail: stefan kuehnleinRco6∂kit edu

further information
Function: Academic Senior Councillor at IAG, KIT Department of Mathematics
Area of Expertise: Algebra / number theory
At KIT since: 1997
My motivation to be an Ombudsperson
for doctoral researchers and supervisors:
"Interested in solving individual problems that can be caused by doing a doctorate."




Dr. Birgid Langer

Division I – Biology, Chemistry, and Process Engineering

Phone: +49 721 608 47218
E-mail: birgid langerHzv3∂kit edu

further information

Function: Academic Senior Councillor
Head of Department
Area of Expertise: Chemical biology/biochemistry in the Institutes IOC (UB) and IBG-2 (GFB)
At KIT since: 1991
My motivation to be an Ombudsperson for doctoral researchers and supervisors: "For me, it is important that both parties (doctoral researcher and supervisor) clarify what they are in for (subject and conditions!!!) during the doctoral research phase. My job is to support compliance with this agreement or lead to an agreement in the case of modification requests."


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