Interviews and Decision

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, we reserve the right to conduct the interviews online, if necessary. We will inform all candidates invited to the interviews about necessary changes and adapt our plans according to the worldwide situation.

Candidates selected for personal interviews are invited to Siegen to take part in a two day STAR Selection Event. The University of Siegen wants to provide the potential fellows with the opportunity to get acquainted with the possibilities of the fellowship programme and learn more about the university and available infrastructures. Furthermore, it will allow fellows to personally meet their potential supervisor(s) from the University of Siegen and see their future working environment. Travel and accommodation costs for the fellows to attend this two-day event will be reimbursed in accordance with the regulations of the University of Siegen. While the participation on the first day is voluntary, the interview is obligatory. If candidates find themselves unable to attend in person due to significant personal or logistic reasons (e.g. times to obtain a visa), they are offered an interview via video conference. Since we do not know how the pandemic situation will evolve until the time of the interviews, we would like to act flexibly and possibly discard the idea of getting to know each other personally in favor of online interviews.

Event Schedule:

1st day: The first day of the selection event is intended to enable candidates to familiarise themselves with the university, the programme and working conditions in Germany and Siegen. Presentations and workshops will give information, offer the chance to ask questions and to meet the contact persons of those institutions, who offer support to researchers moving to Siegen. Also, information on the second day and instructions for the personal interview will be given. In the afternoon a tour of the campus and a personal meeting (1-2 hours) with the supervisor and work group is planned.

2nd day: On the second day, the personal interviews will be conducted by the Selection Committee.
Interview procedure:
Interviews are scheduled for at least 30 minutes per person and include a project presentation prepared by each candidate, followed by a discussion. The discussion will be based on project-related questions and include the main weaknesses and strengths pointed out by the international peer review. To ensure equal treatment and fair competition, a standardised catalogue of questions will be used.

All interviews will be conducted in English to ensure that candidates possess the necessary language skills to conduct their project at a foreign institution and publish the project results. At the end of each interview the Selection Committee will determine a score for each of the interview’s evaluation criteria (see table on eligibility criteria) and formulate a summary of the candidate’s main strengths and weaknesses.

Selection Committee:

The Selection Committee is composed of four independent international experts from non-STAR organisations that have a demonstrated expertise in both academia and outside academia. Only those four members will have voting rights. Additional independent leading researchers from the University of Siegen may be invited for specialised scientific support during the interviews.
Other persons who may be requested to participate at the interviews are: The equal opportunities officer, the representative for employees with disabilities, and the staff council. The STAR project manager will act as rapporteur.

Decision making:

After completing the interviews, the Selection Committee will prepare a ranking list for each funding scheme (INCOMING and OUTGOING) of those candidates who passed all required thresholds. Since STAR wants to further promote excellence in research, the final funding decision taken by the Selection Committee, will solely be based on the total scores achieved by the candidates, regardless of their gender. Thus, fellowship offers will be made to the highest scoring 6 INCOMING and highest scoring 4 OUTGOING applicants per call.

If an insufficient number of candidates has passed the necessary thresholds (see Scoring System), the next highest scoring candidates from the waiting list (of the peer review process) will be invited for an interview. If an application was rejected the unsuccessful candidates have one week to submit a process related appeal.

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