Programme Structure

The Road Ahead

The IMPRS “Global Multiplicity” offers a student-centered research program catering to the needs of doctoral researchers. It enables their members to craft their own projects within their areas of expertise, emphasizing ethnography as a potent investigative tool that transcends disciplinary boundaries. Usually, doctoral candidates commence their studies together in the Winter Term (October–March), allowing them to form a cohesive and supportive cohort. The core curriculum promotes close interactions between doctoral researchers, members of the Teaching Faculty, and international colleagues. Various formats, such as seminars, colloquia, and an annual Spring School foster an environment of innovation and continuous interaction. As a result, students have the opportunity to articulate their ideas within a broader framework of reasoning and effectively communicate their ideas to both academic and non-academic audiences. As a doctoral researcher in the IMPRS “Global Multiplicity”, you will be employed for a duration of 3 + 1 years. The fourth year with be granted as a matter of course based on the Thesis Advisory Committee’s (TAC) positive assessment of progress.

We have carefully crafted four stages to guide you through a satisfying educational experience:
Stage 1: Identify and Train (6–12 Months)
In this initial stage, you will be immersed in a world of discovery and initial trainings. Get to know the IMPRS, its goals, and fellow members.

  • Discuss your research ideas in the colloquia of your thematic groups.
  • Draft a first project proposal.
  • Attend the first mandatory Research Ethics and Data Management Seminar and prepare an ethics statement and risk assessment for your data collection period that will be submitted to your supervisor.
  • Attend your first elective Research Seminar on “Global Multiplicity” and submit a bi-weekly reflection paper or give an oral presentation.
  • Participate in the first annual Spring School and discuss your project proposal draft with your supervisor, thematic group, and peers.
  • Engage in a writeshop during the Spring School and submit your project proposal to your TAC (Thesis Advisory Committee).

Stage 2: Research (8–12 Months)
During this stage, you will be immersed in data collection during one or two time periods.

  • Employing ethnographic methods, such as participant observation and interviews, to gather rich and qualitative data.
  • Engaging in regular communication with your supervisor via email and digital meetings
  • Analysing collected data to generate insights.
  • Adapting to unforeseen challenges and remaining flexible during the research process.
  • Employing reflexivity to understand the researcher’s own biases and positionality in the field.
  • Recognizing and addressing ethical considerations, especially regarding the representation and confidentiality of participants.

Stage 3: Write (7-12 Months)
In this pivotal stage, you will analyse your research material and begin crafting draft chapters for your doctoral thesis.

  • Preparing your doctoral thesis.
  • Meeting with your supervisor to report about your progress and discuss challenges via presentations of your findings in the colloquia of thematic groups or in individual sessions.
  • Attending the second mandatory Research Ethics and Data Management Seminar and preparing a reflective essay on issues of data management to be submitted to your TAC.
  • Attending your second elective Research Seminar. You will also submit a bi-weekly reflection paper or make an oral presentation.
  • Engaging in outreach activities, attending conferences and undertake study visits to other universities.
  • Submitting a first complete draft of your doctoral thesis to your supervisor.
  • Participating in your second Spring School, during which you will present your findings of data acquired during fieldwork.

Stage 4: Communicate and Transition (max. 15 Months)
During the final transitional stage, you will not only finalize your thesis but also be mentored on your further career path.

  • Finalizing your thesis.
  • Attending at least one international conference.
  • Preparing for and completing your examination.
  • Receiving guidance on writing journal articles.
  • Receiving mentoring on your next career steps, e.g. to equip you with training on devising a publication strategy and applying for postdoctoral fellowships.

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