IEE Newsletter No. 27

PhD IDS: The Joint-PhD in cooperation with International Institute of Social Studies (ISS)

Raffael Beier reports on the joint PhD programme and his own experiences with doing a joint PhD.

Since the partnership agreement for the Joint-PhD programme between the IEE and the International Institute of Social Studies (ISS) was signed in 2014, three PhD candidates from the IEE have enrolled in the programme. As part of the joint agreement, Anne Siebert, Britta Holzberg and I spend regular periods and a minimum of six months in total at the ISS in The Hague, which is a formal part of Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) and one of the leading institutes in development research.

Additional Supervisors Bringing in Special Expertise

During the course of our PhDs, all of us are supervised by staff from both universities – RUB and EUR – which was one of my main reasons for joining the programme. In my case, the additional supervisors from ISS, Sylvia Bergh and Erhard Berner, could bring in their expertise on Moroccan regional politics and informal housing policies respectively, which was useful for me to advance my project and get helpful institutional contacts for my field research in Morocco.

Thesis Writing at the ISS

Currently, Anne and I are sitting in the same flexible office space, focusing on writing our theses, while overlooking The Hague city centre from the office window. For Anne, who arrived in the beginning of May, it is her second stay, and for me, who will be staying from Mid-March to Mid-May, it is already my third time at the ISS. Britta will join Anne in June after having finished her second field research period in Jordan. Besides an intensive supervision and writing period, these stays offer a great opportunity to exchange with other researchers and attend seminars.

Anne Siebert Raffael Beier ISSAnne Siebert and Raffael Beier at the ISS (photo: Beier)

Three Seminars as Core Elements of the Joint Programme at the ISS

During the PhD joint programme, all candidates are obliged to complete three ‘seminars’ in which they present on their work. The Dissertation Draft Seminar (DDS) has to be passed before going to the field. It includes the presentation of the dissertation design, including detailed plans for field research, and a first sample chapter dealing with either theory or literature review. Whereas supervisors support you to prepare the requested DDS documents, during the seminar itself two internal and one external discussant comment on and evaluate your work. All of us have passed this first step. While Anne and Britta are planning to do the next step, the ‘Mid-Term Seminar’ (MTS) at the PhD Conference in Bochum this year, I am preparing for the ‘Full Draft Seminar’ (FDS), which is the last step before the final oral defence that will take place in The Hague.

BeierRaffael Beier
Research Fellow + PhD Student
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Phone: +49 (0)234 / 32-24857
Fax: +49 (0)234 / 32-14294

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