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European PhD in Migration, Diversity and Identities

Out of the network project HumanitarianNet (co-ordinated by Julia Gonzalez, Universidad de Deusto, Bilbao), an active core group consisting of seven European universities has been formed. This core group co-operates with the objective to develop a curriculum and an agreement between the participating European universities on the certificate of European PhD in Migration, Diversity and Identities.


The project is aimed at integrating PhD researchers intensively in the European context at the time of their research activities for the PhD dissertation. It offers an international forum to promote in-depth discussions and support for dissertation theses and wants to prepare the participants for planning and implementation of research projects on the European level (e.g. framework programmes of the EU Commission, such as DGXII)


Currently, the certificate is awarded by the consortium of the participating universities, in addition to the national PhD according to the regulations for obtaining doctorates at the local universities, provided that the researcher meets the requirements for the European PhD in Migration, Diversity and Identities, which are as follows:

  • Award of a regular doctorate degree according to the PhD regulations at the local university;
  • The PhD thesis is based on independent research activities of the candidate on the topics of Migration, Diversity and Identities. A professor of one of the participating partner universities of another EU country is involved in the dissertation project;
  • Active participation of the PhD researcher in two international intensive workshops, lasting 10 days each. These are scheduled to take place in mid September every year and are carried out each year by a different university participating (carried out by lecturers of the network, including a presentation of work-in-progress reports by the PhD researchers and discussion of the research projects). The first Intensive seminar took place at the Universidad de Deusto, Bilbao, from 13 to 23 September 2001, with follow-up seminars in Bradford, U.K., in September 2002 and in Vierzehnheiligen near Bamberg.
  • In late summer 2004, the fourth Summer School was held in Helsinki, while the fifth was organised in Padua/Italy in August 2005. The sixth Summer School took place in Liège in summer 2006. Meanwhile, the Summer School series has become part of the training activities conducted by IMISCOE.
  • In addition to the regular assessment of the PhD project, the professor of the other European university will write an expert report on the European and international relevance of the PhD thesis.

A research visit of three months at one of the participating universities is urgently recommended and will be taken into consideration in the assessment of the PhD requirements (based on the ECTS credit point system).
These requirements will be implemented according to the guidelines of the Confederation of European Union Rectors´ Conferences for a European Doctorate.


The certificate on the European PhD in Migration, Diversity and Identities is to be implemented by a mutual agreement between the participating universities
(Pilot group: University of Amsterdam, Otto-Friedrich-Universität Bamberg, University of Bradford, Universidad de Deusto Bilbao, Dublin University (Trinity College), University of Helsinki, University of Liege, University of Ljubljana, University of Padova, University of Sheffield). Two PhD researchers per university can participate in the programme. In the first seminar held in 2001, 26 students participated in the following seminars the number of participants rose to 46 students in two groups. For each intensive seminar 15 hours teaching and 100 hours planning and participation are scheduled. Thus it will be awarded with 10 ECTS credit points.


At the beginning, three main topics were foreseen to be addressed at the intensive seminar:

  • Contemporary European politics and practice on migration
  • Contemporary debates on theorizing identity
  • Critical discussion of PhD research projects methods (sharing experiences with applied methods)


The intensive seminars are implemented by one of the participating universities with their organisation rotating among the participating universities. The host university co-ordinates the programme and the organisation of the seminar and applies for the funds provided by the EU Commission for the year in question.

Funding: EU Commission, DGXII / DG XXII
Local Researchers : Wolfgang Bosswick, Friedrich Heckmann

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