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Tenth Anniversary of Bielefeld Graduate School in History and Sociology

Published on 28. November 2018, 14:18 h
Conference on the future graduate training of young scholars

During its anniversary conference from 30 November to 1 December, the Bielefeld Graduate School in History and Sociology (BGHS) will look back on ten years’ successful training of young researchers as well as the future of promoting young academics. The panel discussion, which will include Professor Dr Peter Strohschneider (President of the German Research Foundation DFG) and Professor Dr Richard Münch (University of Bamberg), will focus on the topic of the conference: “Graduate Training of Young Scholars in Germany – Responsibility for the Future”.

In 2008, the BGHS was launched as a newly approved major project within the joint federal and state Initiative for Excellence. Since then, the Graduate School has offered a place for structured and interdisciplinary doctoral training at the Faculty of Sociology and the Department of History at Bielefeld University.

“Over the past 10 years, the BGHS has developed into an interdisciplinary and international doctoral community that offers an excellent framework for scientific exchange and the development of doctoral students into independent research personalities,” says Professor Dr Ursula Mense-Petermann, Director of the BGHS.

Today, around 120 doctoral students work at the BGHS, of whom more than 40 per cent are women and 30 per cent international doctoral researchers. Over 150 dissertation projects have been completed successfully at the BGHS over the past ten years.

As of 2019, the funding of graduate schools will no longer be part of the newly conceived Excellence Strategy. “Even without the means of the Excellence Strategy, through internal university funding the BGHS will continue to exist as the flagship for promoting young researchers at Bielefeld University. It is successfully anchored in the history and sociology faculties,” says Professor Dr Gerhard Sagerer, Rector of Bielefeld University.

The anniversary conference begins on Friday, 30 November at 3 p.m. with a welcoming address by Rector Professor Dr.-Ing. Gerhard Sagerer and BGHS Director Professor Dr Ursula Mense-Petermann. They will then discuss “The Future of Graduate Training” with Professor Dr Peter Strohschneider (President of the DFG) and Professor Dr Tilman Reitz (educational researcher at the University of Jena). Manfred Götzke from Deutschlandfunk radio will be the moderator. In the keynote lecture starting at 6.30 p.m., Professor Dr Richard Münch from the University of Bamberg and Luhmann Guest Professor 2017 will talk about “Academic Careers. Between Global Competition and National Traditions”.

The conference will take place in building X of Bielefeld University, Universitätsstraße 25, 33615 Bielefeld. The complete conference programme for Friday, 30 November and Saturday, 1 December is available at: http://www.uni-bielefeld.de/(en)/bghs/Programm/Jubilaeum/index.html

Milestones of the Bielefeld Graduate School in History and Sociology:

•    19.10.2007: The Approval Committee of the Excellence Initiative decides on the establishment and funding of the BGHS as of 1 November 2007.
•    22.10.2008: The official opening of the BGHS.
•    9. bis 11.2.2009: Doctoral researchers organise the first annual seminar, the annual conference of the BGHS.
•    15.6.2012: The BGHS receives further funding approval as an institution of excellence.
•    19.5.2014: The Graduate School moves into its new premises in building X.
•    1.10.2016: The BGHS becomes a permanent institution providing a structured doctoral degree programme in history and sociology at Bielefeld University.
•    17.7.2018: The 150th doctorate is successfully completed at the BGHS.

Further information:
•    Portraits of BGHS graduates: https://50jahre.uni-bielefeld.de/2018/11/27/zehn-jahre-bghs-vier-geschichten-aus-der-graduiertenschule (in German)
•    The BGHS: http://www.uni-bielefeld.de/(en)/bghs/index.html
•    Conference programme and timetable of events: http://www.uni-bielefeld.de/(en)/bghs/Programm/Jubilaeum/index.html
•    Press release (22.8.2008) on the opening of the BGHS: https://ekvv.uni-bielefeld.de/blog/pressemitteilungen/entry/eröffnung_der_graduate_school_in (in German)
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