Department of Geoscience

General Information about the RTG

The RTG gives ten doctoral candidates the opportunity to advance flow and reactive-transport models for coupled hydrosystems in a unique environment:

  • Every doctoral candidate is supervised by a team of three researchers: a professor of the participating German universities (Tübingen, Hohenheim, Stuttgart), a junior researcher, and a professor at a Canadian partner institution.
  • The three-year doctoral program includes a six-month research stay in Canada.
  • Exchange among the partner institutions and training of the doctoral candidates is fostered by fall- and spring-schools, taking place either in Germany or Canada.
  • The RTG has funds for a visiting-researcher program. This allows inviting specialists in the fields of the PhD research conducted within the GeoEnviron seminar origanized by the doctoral candidates.
  • Advanced-level classes and soft-skill courses help the doctoral candidates achieving their research goals.

Participating Institutions

University of Tübingen

Department of Geosciences

Department of Biology

University of Hohenheim

Institute of Soil Science and Land Evaluation

Institute of Physics and Meteorology

University of Stuttgart

Institute for Modelling Hydraulic and Environmental Systems

Canadian Partner Institutions

University of Waterloo

Department of Earth & Environmental Sciences

Department of Geography and Environmental Management

University of Guelph

Department of Environmental Biology

Department of Geography

Carleton University

Department of Earth Sciences

Laval University

Department of Geology and Geological Engineering

Associated Institution

The RTG is associated to the Collaborative Research Center 1253 CAMPOS - Catchment as Reactors.

Experiments and monitoring at the CAMPOS field sites provide data for doctoral studies on modelling water and solute fluxes within the RTG.

Sponsoring Institution

DFG funds the RTG. The funding period is from June 2012 until May 2021.


Organisation of the RTG

The RTG has the following informative and decision making bodies:

  • the steering committee, presided by the spokesperson
  • the supervisor panel
  • the general assembly of all PhD candidates
  • the individual PhD committees for each PhD candidate

Administration and organisation of the RTG is supported by the RTG secretariat.

Steering Committee

The RTG will be overseen by the steering committee comprising

  • the German and Canadian spokespersons, Olaf Cirpka and Edward Sudicky,
  • two additional senior researchers of the German universities, Peter Grathwohl and Thilo Streck,
  • one young scientist, Barbara Beckingham,
  • two PhD candidates, one elected by the general assembly of all PhD candidates, one by the female candidates only.

The committee decides about appointments of participating researchers, admission of PhD candidates, allocation of resources, and the organisation of the RTG. Decisions about joint activities, e.g. the spring/fall schools will be done in agreement with the Canadian side. The committee is responsible for internal quality management, in particular:

  • to meet general targets of the RTG,
  • to address issues of the collaboration between the partner organisations and the supervision,
  • to address issues identified in the area of gender equality ,
  • to control that actions between supervisors and PhD students that were agreed upon will be realised.

Supervisor Panel

The supervisor panel consists of all participating researchers from the German universities. It performs the selection interviews with the short-listed candidates for the RTG, gives feedback to the steering committee about the organisation of the RTG, and discusses potential PhD topics for the second cohort of PhD candidates.

General Assembly of all PhD Candidates

The PhD candidates organise the general assembly of all PhD candidates, in which the supervisors are not participating. This body discusses all issues of the RTG such as common problems in supervision, wishes regarding the qualification programme and suggestions to improve the collaboration between partner organisations and different research topics. This meetings will result in written proposals to the steering committee. The general assembly elects the representatives of the PhD candidates within the steering committee.

Individual PhD Committees for each PhD Candidate

Meetings of the individual PhD committees for each PhD candidate will include scientific supervision of the doctoral studies and a formalised feedback of the candidates regarding the organisation of the RTG. Minutes of these meetings will be taken and forwarded to the steering committee.