Preparing for a Doctoral Project

For those who are deliberating their further professional career inside the academia in Germany, and at the same time, favour interdisciplinarity and their field of research concerns East or South East Europe, the workshop “Preparing for a Doctoral Project”, which was organized by the Graduate School for East and South East European Studies, was the event worth attending.

All participants of the workshop not only received all the necessary information about the admission standards in Germany, but also a piece of advice about how to prepare for each stage of the admission process and how to enhance the chance of success. This is particularly important because the admission process in Germany in general and at the Graduate School in particular is different to other countries and without a prior knowledge and guidance, which was provided during the workshop, the potential candidates could have been disqualified only for formal reasons.

Another big advantage of the workshop was its truly interdisciplinary focus. This aspect is especially relevant when it comes to the main part of the workshop, which was about giving a feedback on individual proposals of doctoral projects. The scholars from the Graduate School, who were organizing the workshop, were not only very well acquainted with all the projects but were able to stimulate a small group discussion about them as well. During discussions, each proposal was assessed from different methodological and theoretical perspectives and strong as well as weak points were revealed and scrutinized.

At the end of the workshop, after series of presentations, lectures, individual as well as group work and social gatherings, every participant presented revised proposal or at least its work in progress version to all the other participants and members of the Graduate School. In conclusion, the workshop was a highly important event for all the candidates who wanted to improve the quality of their research proposal, make new contacts with other researchers with common research interest, or get inspired by ideas and concepts from other fields of study.

Jan Tesař