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Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Berlin Graduate School of Social Sciences (BGSS)


Research Internship

In order to gain insights into ongoing research work and learn to conduct research independently PhD candidates are strongly encouraged to complete a research internship of at least three months before starting the PhD programme or after the first semester. The partner universities offer a great variety of interuniversity opportunities and research institutes they cooperate with where the internships can be conducted. PhD candidates should select a field of research for their internship that is in line with their own research ideas and interests. An internship report, in need of approval by the supervisor, may well be the first step in preparing thesis work. Often the internship will also be used to collect the data for the dissertation project. In any event, the choice of the internship should match the research interests of the candidates and should be discussed carefully with the advisors.

Research Colloquium

One of the central courses at the beginning of the PhD programme is the research colloquium where all candidates are given the opportunity to present and discuss their projects in their initial stages. This course, coordinated by two or more members of the Sess.EuroPhD teaching staff aims at improving the design of a project and exercising presentation skills in an academic setting. Moreover, the weekly colloquium is an excellent opportunity for the exchange of ideas with fellow candidates.

Special Methods Seminar

This seminar offers an opportunity to present and discuss the proposal from a methodological perspective at an early stage of the student's research project. Based on the methodological approaches used and needed for the successful completion of the research, various workshops on methods will be offered in order to improve and deepen the respective skills.

Literature Review Seminar

This seminar provides a framework for producing the literature review (and hence first chapter) of the doctoral dissertation.  It begins with a discussion of standard writing and organizational problems, as well as of the scope and aim of the literature review. The next step is the discussion of the doctoral candidates' individual outlines for their reviews.  After several weeks of writing the reviews, these first drafts, also known as the February Papers, are discussed.

Research Design and Implementation

The purpose of this seminar is to discuss relevant questions about the research design and the appropriate methods of implementation in various short workshops. Different ‘how-to’ techniques will be approached, presented and contrasted in order to understand the linkages between the theoretical and methodological basis of the dissertation projects.

Annual Seminars

Annual Seminars, dedicated to topics relevant to the socio-economic and statistical programme, are organized on a rotating basis by partner universities. These week-long seminars provide an opportunity for teachers and students from different universities to meet in order to discuss their research. Whereas during these meetings all doctoral students are expected to present their ongoing work, some may be invited to give special lectures. The next Annual Seminar is scheduled to take place in Haifa, Israel, in September 2012. Previous meetings were held in Rome (2003), Berlin (2004), Rome (2005 and 2006), Brussels (2007), Southampton (2008), Barcelona (2009), Villa Vigoni, Italy (2010), and Tampere (2011).