The first meeting of the coordinators of the Lehmann-Haupt International Doctoral Program took place with the visit of Dr. Martin Piazena, coordinator of the program at Ilia State University (ISU), in Göttingen in July 2018. As a follow-up, the coordinator at Georg-August-Universität Göttingen, Aleksandra Bovt, visited ISU from September 25 to 27.

On the agenda were various topics around the doctoral program and accordingly many meetings and working sessions were planned. In order to summarize the previous development of the program and the achievements so far, but also to discuss the most important tasks for the upcoming months consultations were held with the Rector of ISU, Prof. Dr. Giga Zedania, and the Vice-Rector, Prof. Dr. Nino Doborjginidze. Furthermore, a meeting with representatives of the ISU School of Arts and Sciences and the School of Natural Sciences and Engineering gave an opportunity to discuss and clarify particular questions regarding the various PhD curricula of both universities. In their capacity as program coordinators, Aleksandra Bovt and Martin Piazena were also received by representatives of the Shota Rustaveli National Sciences Foundation of Georgia, which, together with the German Volkswagen Foundation, is largely funding the Lehmann-Haupt International Doctoral Program.

Besides the many meetings and working sessions, however, there was still time for an encounter with the doctoral students of the Lehmann-Haupt International Doctoral Program. The time together was spent with a walk on Mtatsminda and a dinner in the evening. At the meeting with the current Young Researcher Grant Holder, Dr. Giorgi Chaladze, he did not only report on the progress of his postdoctoral research project, which is funded within the frame of the Lehman-Haupt International Doctoral Program, but also gave Aleksandra Bovt a guided visit to the Institute of Ecology at ISU.

On the third day of the visit, the launching event of the Lehmann-Haupt International Doctoral Program took place. As a representative of the Georg-August-Universität Göttingen, Aleksandra Bovt not only addressed the doctoral candidates, professors and guests present, but also presented a video message from Göttingen University‘s Vice-President, Prof. Dr. Hiltraud Casper-Hehne, who in this way conveyed her best wishes for the success of the doctoral program. With this event, the doctoral program was not only presented to the public but also the ambition to make a long-term contribution to the modernization and internationalization of doctoral education was emphasized. Moreover, the launching event also marked a very special highlight at the end of the second coordinator meeting.

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