All IMPRS-SHH doctoral researchers are supervised by a Thesis Advisory Committee (TAC), made up of two senior faculty scientists as supervisors and one senior or junior faculty scientist as a mentor. At least one supervisor will be from the Max Planck Institute of Geoanthropology and one from the Friedrich Schiller University Jena (FSU). One of the supervisors will be the main supervisor. The third scientist operates as a mentor and is from a different discipline than the student’s main area of study, to ensure that the interdisciplinary approach of the IMPRS-SHH is achieved, and to advise especially regarding transdisciplinary questions. At least one scientist of the TAC should be a female scientist to make equal opportunity visible.

There will be a supervision agreement between the doctoral researchers and their supervisors.

As part of the Mentoring Program, discussions take place between the TAC and the doctoral researcher at least once a year, with some of the meetings occurring without the main supervisor. The results of the talks are recorded and shall regard the status, next steps, and further career development of the doctoral researcher. The TAC shall ensure quality supervision, good scientific practice and equal opportunity according to the guidelines of the Max Planck Society and FSU.

The doctoral researchers are also supported by the IMPRS co­ordinators, the Graduate Academy of FSU and their peer group at the MPI of Geoanthropology. They have their representative on the Managing Board of the IMPRS-SHH and in the PhD net of the Max Planck Society.