The most important tasks of the programme are
- to organize courses and seminars for the doctoral students
- to assist the doctoral students in orienting themselves in relevant academic fora at international as well as national level and in fulfilling the requirements for change of academic environment
- to contribute in establishing a dynamic and stimulating academic environment for the doctoral students as an integral part of the general research profile of the institute
The activities of the doctoral programme reflect that the Institute for History and Western Civilization is harbouring a broad array of research centres, and the academics linked to the institute teach in approximately study programmes at the various campi of the University of Southern Denmark. Thus there is a great diversity in research interests and research programmes but regular get-togethers at the institute stimulate contacts across specializations. Furthermore, the institute actively encourages the development of interdisciplinary and cross-fertilizing projects. Important examples of this are the four broad research themes that are currently being developed at institute level, i.e. research in political history/the history of politics, cultural encounters, space, and public history/the uses of the past.
The doctoral programme has a well established cooperation with similar programmes at other Danish universities as well as well developed contacts with other academic institutions and museums. The programme also benefits from the numerous networks, nationals and internationals that have been developed within the framework of individual centres and research projects. The advantages of these contacts materialize themselves both in seminars and courses and in the possibilities in change of academic environment.
The key pillar of the doctoral programme’s activities is a permanent seminar series for doctoral students. At the seminars, held at a monthly basis, doctoral students are presenting their projects, drafts of chapters, etc., for fellow students as well as invited senior scholars. The seminar also presents master classes with Danish and international visiting scholars. It also offer the framework for discussions between the students and the head of the doctoral programme on future courses, seminars and other topics that concerns the students. Building of the experiences of the seminar series, it is the ambition to organize trial defence for students during their ultimate (or penultimate) term. Added to this are regular courses and seminars that will typically focus on methodology and theory.
The doctoral programme also cooperates with research projects and research centres in arranging seminars and workshops. This facilitates the contacts between younger and more established researchers, and also gives the doctoral students the chance to present their ongoing research to an international audience.
Finally, it is an important ambition for the doctoral programme to secure that doctoral students are as fully as possible integrated into the academic and social life of the institute. A crucial vehicle for this is the institute’s weekly luncheons where members have discussed research ideas, research projects as well research results since the founding of the institute in 1991.