Mentoring program for PhD students

The Scientific Software Center started its mentoring program “Reproducible Science” in May 2015. The program targets PhD students of all backgrounds at Heidelberg University. 

What is the core idea of the mentoring program?

Reproducibility is an increasingly important task in today’s research landscape: The digitalization of research processes has advanced heavily, while the traditional way of disseminating results via publications has not changed significantly. As a consequence, computational results from publications are often not reproducible. This is an unsatisfactory situation, because reproduction of experiments (digital or not) is a fundamental pillar of science. Therefore, new best practices need to be established that allow reproducible science in the digital era. The format of a mentoring program was chosen, because reproducibility is not something that is achieved in an afternoon: It requires planning throughout the entire research process - long before you write your first publication.

Who is eligible for the mentoring program?

The mentoring program targets PhD students of Heidelberg University. Ideally, students are in the first or second year of their PhD when they join the program. We happily accept PhD students from all fields, but students whose research depends on research software will benefit the most from the mentoring program. This can range from students who use domain-specific research software and tools (e.g. geo information systems, relational databases, etc.) to perform their research to students that develop their own research software (e.g. to perform complex simulation tasks).

What activities does the mentoring program include?

The mentoring group will meet every two months to learn and discuss reproducibility-related topics. At the meetings, participants will be taught hands-on knowledge tailored to the group's interests. This includes:

  • Version control systems
  • Task automatization with Bash
  • (Automated) Software testing
  • Research data management
  • Publication of computational results

Additionally, participants will be asked to share experiences from their daily research work and discuss possible solutions with the group.

How does sign up work?

To sign up for the mentoring program, get in touch with us via email: ssc@iwr.uni-heidelberg.de.