Research School » Research School PLUS » Management » Executive Board

Executive Board

The Executive Board (Ex-Board) is the core decision-making body of the Research School PLUS. It consists of nine members:

  • Five professors (including the speaker) .
  • Four doctoral representatives (and their deputies), representing the Humanities, Natural Sciences, Life Sciences, Social Sciences, and Engineering.
With this bundled expertise, the Ex-Board develops application and review process guidelines, and makes final decisions on applications during its monthly meetings. In close cooperation with the speaker, the group is also responsible for the strategic development of the whole RS PLUS project. The professorial members of the Ex-Board were elected by the principal investigators of RS PLUS in November 2012 and hold office for two years.
Doctoral representatives and their deputies are in office for one year before

Executive Board 2017


Kerstin Konietzny - Faculty of Psychology


My name is Kerstin Konietzny and I’m a PhD student in Medical Psychology. As my research project is of interdisciplinary nature, combining the disciplines of medicine and psychology (by investigating the influence of psychological aspects on chronification of pain disorders), I experienced how enriching an exchange of ideas and information between different disciplines (clinicians, physiotherapists and sport disciplines etc.) can be.

As an active reviewer of applications for funding within the RS Plus, I have gained significant insight into the reviewing process and broadened my view concerning scientific projects from other disciplines. During the last year of my PhD I experienced the support of the RS with a grant myself and organized a symposium within my “Mind and Pain in Motion” Research Group. Thereby I got the intriguing opportunity to get in touch with leading scientists and establish and intensify international research contacts for future projects. I’m looking forward to get to know your projects you intend to realize with the wide range of RS funding possibilities. It would be a great pleasure to support our doctoral community to maintain the diversity of RUB research scope.

By applying for the Executive Board of the RS Plus, I hope to gain experience in the management of a third party funding and the decision-making processes and get insight into the self-governance of RUB. As I’m a teamplayer, both in my private (playing football) and professional life (working within my Research Group), I would really appreciate being part of the Executive Board.

Katharina Breidenbach - Faculty of History


My Name is Katharina Breidenbach and I am a PhD student in Early Modern History. In my research, I focus on religious migration in the 17th and 18th century. Beside my studies, I also work as a teacher for adult education. Before I started my PhD, I studied History, Gender Studies and Geography at the Ruhr University Bochum. During this time, I gain experience as a member of the student representatives of Gender Studies in different academic boards. For me, the participation of students and doctoral students in academic boards is very important. My goal is to further strengthen this through the work at the Executive Board of Research School Plus. I hope that with the help of my interdisciplinary studies and my previous experience, I will be able to contribute to the success of Research School Plus.

Social Sciences

Ghizal Lali - Faculty of Management and Economics


My name is Ghizal Lali and I am a research and teaching assistant at the Center of Economic Education at the Faculty of Management and Economics. In my research I focus on dynamic managerial capabilities. Do managers have specific (dynamic) capabilities and if so what are they? I am in the middle of my work and hope to be successful in answering these questions. During my PhD I attended in several events organized by the Research School and enjoyed the exchange with colleagues working in different disciplines and I also appreciated this given chance. But exchange is not the only benefit PhD students can get from the existence of Research School. Research School also allows PhD students the early integration into international research by granting financial support for international projects. It would be a great chance for me and I would appreciate to represent all doctoral students by supporting the Research School as a member in the decision making of granting your projects.

Natural & Life Sciences

Alina Blush - IGSN


I studied biology and finished my bachelor´s as well as my master´s degree at the Ruhr-University Bochum. Since the beginning of my academic career I have been fascinated by neuroscience, so I engaged in the PhD program at the IGSN. The time I spent here and the experiences I made during my studies strongly connect me with the Ruhr-University Bochum. With support of the Research School PLUS program I was able to enrich my doctoral project with various international activities, which would not have been possible otherwise. I think that the Research School offers great support and diverse funding opportunities for us as PhD students, that we should make use of.

Since I enrolled in the Research School I prepared several specific, as well as non-specific reports. I really enjoyed the evaluation of these different applications because I was able to gain insight into different PhD projects, sometimes from research fields far apart from my own expertise, which was particularly inspiring. As a part of the executive board I would like to represent the interests of my fellow students and actively take part in the process of decision making at the Research School PLUS. 

Tobias Meißner - Faculty of Psychology


I think of the RS PLUS as an excellent opportunity for PhD students to engage in international exchange at an early stage of their scientific career. I am happy for the extended period of funding for the RS PLUS and would like to personally contribute to our unique graduate school’s international program and its important mission as a doctoral representative for the Natural/Life Sciences. But why should I represent you in the Executive Board?
First, I have gained extensive experience in representing the interest of my fellows as both student and PhD representative in several boards like appointments committee, evaluation committee or quality improvement committee. Among others, these appointments included responsibilities like budget planning/spending or selecting appropriate candidates for faculty positions. As a member of the RS PLUS Executive Board, I will enjoy to continue working in a decision-making team.
Second, working as a neuroscientist in the field of developmental psychology, I have a strong interdisciplinary perspective. Thus, I can relate to the needs and demands of various disciplines, which will help me to represent the interests of the Natural/Life Sciences while at the same time being able to work in a multidisciplinary team for the benefit of all PhD students.
Third, as a reviewer for RS PLUS and a successful RS PLUS applicant, I am familiar with the management and funding structure of the Research School PLUS. I expect that this overview will help me in the transition to an Executive Board member.


Nele Pollmann - Faculty of mechanical engineering


Hi everybody! I am a mechanical engineer PhD student at the chair of continuum mechanics. Here I study the origin of earthquakes associated with the production of geothermal energy.

In my daily work I enjoy working together in an international team. We are responsible for and try to improve the regular exercise lectures for the students. My students and team members appreciate my cooperative manner and know I will do my best to help. That was one of my reasons to become a member of the MINT-Community for girls. There I guide students with exciting projects but also every day questions concerning the Mathematics, Informatics, Natural sciences and Technics - subjects. 

I was a member of the Executive board in 2015 and would like to use my experiences in the upcoming year. 

Finally I would enjoy being part of the RS PLUS project as I like international work, get known to other research disciplines and help other doctoral students with the development of research at our University or on international level. I am open to communicate in other languages like English or basic Russian.