Participants of the training school at Dover castle

First PhD training school held successfully at Kent

The first UPTAKE PhD Training School (TS) was held from 15 to 22 January 2017 at the University of Kent, Canterbury (UK). The theme of the 1st TS was ‘Post-communist transformations, models of development and implications for an emerging multi-order world’.

The main objective of the TS was to offer an opportunity for further skills development and exchange of ideas for PhD and Postdoctoral students working in the field of Russian and East European Studies. Altogether 21 doctoral and post-doctoral fellows both from UPTAKE partner as well as other participated.

The theme of the TS was motivated by the recent political developments:
The new EU Global Security Strategy (2016) notes how the contemporary world is becoming increasingly more connected, contested and complex, shifting from a multi-polar to a multi-order international system. The emerging centres of power may be different not only in their political and economic arrangements, but more so, in their cultural and normative terms. In this vein, how do post-communist transformations fit in? What models of development – cultural, political, historical and socio-economic – do they offer, and how these models/orders align with the established (western) ‘normal’? In this Training School we therefore sought to understand developments across the former Soviet space and whether they present a new normative challenge. An interdisciplinary approach was adopted, inviting students from different scholarly backgrounds to apply (including but not limited to Politics, History, Sociology, Cultural Studies and Economy).

The Training School was run in an ECPR format, offering an in-depth discussion around submitted papers, with the best papers published in the format of on-line conference proceedings. The discussion sessions were supplemented by short research introductions into the work of Senior Scholars of the School of Politics and IR at Kent. More specifically, the four skills training sessions included: (1) Conducting fieldwork in post-Soviet region; (2) Innovative research methods; (3) Networking skills; (4) Media training.

Two social and networking events, including a trip to London to Foreign Commonwealth Office, and a day trip to Dover Castle.

Altogether four training schools are organised for PhD students and post-Doctoral researchers working on the theme of Eastern Europe and Russian studies in the framework of the UPTAKE project funded by the EU. The next training school will take place at the University of Tartu, Estonia in August 2017.

For more information, please contact: Eske van Gils,

Forwarded by:
Maili Vilson
Johan Skytte Institute of Political Studies
University of Tartu, Estonia