The ‘Forum Transnational’ is the program’s interdisciplinary research seminar that brings together senior researchers, guest lecturers and PhD candidates enrolled in the IPP Transnational. In the summer term, distinguished international scholars present their recent work, whereas the winter term is used for the presentation and discussion of the PhD projects of the IPP doctoral candidates. Talks and discussions are generally held in English.
The doctoral candidates present their research projects, report on the progress of their work, and discuss research-related questions relevant to their doctoral theses in the research colloquium conducted by their first supervisor, which takes place on a continuous basis. The colloquium provides a forum for the acquisition of academic professionalism in that one practices communicating the results of one’s work and develops skills for dealing with and processing critical, subject-related questions and remarks. Doctoral candidates are expected to attend the meeting, which in most cases will take place every two weeks, on a regular basis and to present their PhD projects once a year within the scope of the research colloquium.
Independent PhD working groups (DocAGs), which consist of several doctoral students, are a principal element of the IPP’s qualification scheme. They serve as a platform for networking individual PhD projects, developing comprehensive theoretical or theme-related issues, and practicing collaborating with fellow PhD students. DocAGs promote the autonomy and self-organization of doctoral students and facilitate the acquisition of organizational skills and putting them into practice in their respective academic field. Mandatory participation in one of the DocAGs includes the independent planning and conducting of a workshop or a small-scale academic conference to which visiting lecturers from outside Frankfurt are to be invited, and which are to take place during the second or third year of a doctoral candidate’s course of study. DocAGs are eligible to use the premises and the infrastructure of the Graduate Center Social Sciences (GRASOC) at the Faculty, and they can apply to the IPP for funding to compensate visiting scholars for their travel expenses as well as to pay them an honorarium.
Conducting Research Abroad
Within the scope of the IPP Transnational, PhD candidates have the opportunity to conduct a research stay at one of its international partner institutions in order to collect international experience and decisively advance their research work. The stay abroad is optional and should take place between a PhD candidate’s second and fifth terms. Basic financing is available from program funds for travel and accommodation expenses.
A key condition for participation in the exchange program for both PhD candidates in Frankfurt as well as visiting PhD candidates is the submission of a working and research schedule for the period of their stay at the respective partner university that has been agreed on with the supervisors in the host country. The application form and an information sheet with details about the conditions and procedures for submitting an application can be downloaded here.
The network of international partner institutions reflects the IPP Transnational’s thematic focus to the extent that institutions are included that can boast high-quality research and training in each of the program’s three research focuses.
In order to reinforce their methodological and theoretical skills, IPP Transnational PhD candidates have the option of attending workshops within the scope of a program offered by the Graduate Center Social Sciences (GRASOC) at the Faculty of Social Sciences. This program comprises a series of methods and theory workshops which are pertinent to the research process, such as interview and analysis techniques, quantitative and qualitative methods, and current research perspectives (intersectionality, transnationality, et al.).
The communication of non-subject-related transferable skills serves to facilitate the efficient and rapid completion of the PhD thesis and at the same time contributes to improving the professional perspective of IPP Transnational PhD candidates. The range of offers includes workshops on project and time management, career planning, conference organization, presentation techniques, publication strategies, writing workshops, and language skills. PhD candidates can assemble a program that is tailored to their individual interests and needs. However, they are required to participate in at least four qualification measures over the course of their postgraduate studies. The range of courses draws on the curriculum of the Goethe Graduate Academy (GRADE) as well as on activities carried out by the Graduate Center Social Sciences (GRASOC) at the Faculty of Social Sciences, in the area of general qualifications.
In cooperation with Goethe University’s International Study Center (ISZ), the IPP Transnational program offers its participants a special compact course in German that is free of charge.