The qualification concept for the doctoral students aims at implementing a dialogic relation between life sciences and life writing on all levels of the graduate program. In the first place, this dialog is reflected in the organization of the doctoral supervision: Each fellow has a PhD-advisor in both the life sciences and in life writing. The fellows meet regularly with their primary advisors and compile reports on the progress of their research, which they is sent to their secondary advisors. The PhD-students can contact all of the members and associated members of the graduate program anytime and can consult with them on specific questions regarding their dissertation projects.
Each semester, the graduate program offers three obligatory seminars as key elements of the qualification concept:
- In the Methodology Seminar, the fellows discuss interdisciplinary methods and negotiate diverse approaches to the respective semester topic, such as “Narrativity and Narratibility” (summer term 2014) or “Contextualizing Narrative Practices (winter term 2014);
- in the GRK-Forum, which is also open to associated PhD-students, all of the members of the graduate program – students and faculty – come together to present their current research projects and discuss how their research draws on concepts of corporeality, ability and temporality;
- the Journal Club is a bi-weekly forum, in which the fellows discuss additional texts relevant to the research area. The PhD-students also have the possibility to rehearse conference papers and receive feedback on their dissertation chapters and articles.
In the course of the PhD-program, the fellows will participate in two international spring schools. They are encouraged to attend conferences, present papers and publish articles in collaboration with the more experienced faculty of the graduate program. Additional workshops on presentation skills and writing skills, good scientific practice and career planning, among others, supplement the training.