Project Z04, Integrated Research and Training Group IRTG

Project Summary

The proposed IRTG will build on existing Ph.D. programs at both partner universities but wishes to complement them with a training program that addresses the particular design and contents of the CRC. Over the last decade, a great variety of structured doctoral programs have been established at the universities of Bonn (UoB) and Cologne (UoC). The Bonn International Graduate School in Development Research (BIGS-DR) based at ZEF builds on a long tradition of graduate education in the context of development research, with many of its graduates focusing on the field of African Studies. Additionally, the Theodor-Brinkmann- Graduate School (TBGS) of the Agricultural Faculty at the UoB also provides a structured graduation context for PhDs working on topics related to agrarian questions in the Global South, particularly Africa. At the UoC, the a.r.t.e.s. the graduate school serves as the educational basis for all doctoral students of the Faculty of the Humanities, supported by the German Excellence Initiative (until 2019) as well as the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). Furthermore, the Graduate School for Geosciences (GSGS) at the UoC offers a structured Ph.D. program for students in Geography. In all four schools, the interdisciplinarity and internationalization of academic research play a decisive role, so that they form an ideal institutional background for the graduate training of the CRC. Nevertheless, to strengthen its cohesion and to deepen exchanges with PhD students in collaborating institutions in Africa it remains crucial for the CRC to create structures that facilitate and foster exchange and discussion among all the Early Career Researchers (ECR) involved in the project. For the IRTG, a number of modules amounting to 12 Credit Points (CP) have been developed in order to guarantee and encourage exchange between the CRC graduates, who will all be enrolled in either the BIGS-DR, TBGS (both UoB), a.r.t.e.s. or GSGS (both UoC). The modules designed and coordinated jointly by the PIs and postdocs of the CRC will (1) provide ECRs with training to enhance their theoretical knowledge and jointly explore the conceptual potential of Future Studies, particularly in relation to the thematic focus of the CRC (Module 1), and (2) train a new generation of scholars transcending traditional disciplinary boundaries to understand, critically discuss, and handle diverse methodological approaches and respective formats of data generated across the divides between the social and natural sciences (Module 2). We also wish to acknowledge and encourage the participation of the ECRs at external workshops and conferences, as well as the organization and reflection of CRC-related lecture series, workshops and reading weeks (Module 3). General academic skills, as well as transferable skills, shall be addressed within the existing structured doctoral programs. This way, the IRTG will enhance the exchange and coherence within the highly interdisciplinary yet thematically focused CRC, while at the same time providing opportunities to strengthen disciplinary skills in the context of well-established programs.

Key Achievements

1. Organising and hosting annual Summer Schools

2. Organization of regular trainings and workshops for ECRs on topics related to future making in rural Africa

3. Funding of study visits

Partner Institutions