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Research Seminars

In order to promote the research interests of their doctoral fellows, the directors organize a separate weekly seminar, to which other postdoctoral fellows and habilitation candidates under their supervision are also invited. Each seminar is equally open to the other director and his or her research team and senior research fellows, and not least to interested invitees. Both seminars represent the most vital of the four pillars of the Doctoral Training. The aim of these seminars, on the one hand, is to explore pioneering studies with particular analytical attention to theory and method as well as to the coherence of the argument. The model of exemplary learning applies to that end: seminal works that have had lasting discursive impact on a specific discipline can more powerfully illustrate how successful scholarly works are generated. On the other hand, these seminars are also dedicated to discussion of the individual doctoral projects. During the discussion, participants are expected to state not only what they glean from the text, but also where they identify problems and how they would address these challenges differently. This represents a learning experience for all participants. The directors hold regular one-on-one meetings with their doctoral fellows to discuss their work individually and to assist them with decisions regarding which of the many, sometimes conflicting, ideas they should ideally use. It is common, and even desirable, for doctoral fellows to present their work to their group twice a year. The institute is deliberating the suitability of this tried and tested format for the foundational framework of an International Max Planck Research School (IMPRS).