A Summer in Rotterdam – Looking Back at PhD Sessions at IMISCOE Conference

Now that the new academic year is up and running in full, it is good to look back  at the PhD sessions that took place at the IMISCOE Conference this summer in Rotterdam!

On the first day of the conference several workshops were organised touching upon the different phases of the PhD trajectory, discussing issues such as publishing, networking and funding. Furthermore the ‘Intergenerational feedback cluster’ kicked off their collaboration with speed dates between senior and junior researchers to facilitate a broad network of exchange and feedback within the IMISCOE Network.

PhD Workshops – Eva Zschirnt, University of Neuchâtel

Before the official start of the IMISCOE conference in Rotterdam, the IMSICOE PhD Workshop took place. The first workshop of the morning on “Academic Publications” attracted about 60 PhDs from various disciplines. In this Workshop Prof. Jørgen Carling and Prof. dr. Sawitri Saharso shared their experiences as respectively senior researchers and one of the editors-in-chief of the IMISCOE Journal Comparative Migration Studies (CMS).

Especially students at the beginning of the PhD who did not have any own publication experience got a good overview of the basic publication procedures, the chronological process of publishing in a peer reviewed journal, targeting a journal, and the different kind of responses you can get for an article submission.

The second part of the morning was divided into two parallel workshop sessions, one on “Research Funding” by Dr. Esther Verhoeven, who works at the Dutch National Contact Point for European Research Council (ERC) grants, and the second one on “Networking at Academic Conferences” by Dr. Christof van Mol. The PhD students learned about different funding opportunities offered by the EU under its Horizon 2020 program and the individual grants offered in the first workshop that was particularly tailored to young migration scholars, and about networking during conferences such as IMISCOE in a more interactive second workshop. The tips received during this workshop were immediately put to the test during the following conference days.

Intergenerational Feedback Clusters – Carmen C. Draghici, University Paris 13 – Sorbonne Paris Cité

Geographical constraints remain an obstacle for PhDs to reach inspiring people in an open, neutral and safe context. Reaching scholars is difficult given the limited formal procedures of cooperation among universities. Our project-idea of the Inter-generational Academic Feedback Clusters (IAFC) is based on the belief that PhD students can obtain additional and wider feedback and support from experienced professors within the IMISCOE network. We clustered PhD students according to their interests in specific groups (e.g. based on methodological interests, theoretical interests, implication on policies etc.) and identified experienced professors who share similar interests and expertise. Every cluster is flexible and doctoral students can participate in more than one group and be in contact with different scholars.

At the 2017 IMISCOE Conference this summer the IFAC kicked off their collaboration by organising ‘speed dates’ between PhD students and senior scholars. The small-group discussions allowed each PhD student to receive ‘an extra set of eyes’ on their doctoral research from their peers and senior scholars. The PhD students and the senior scholars were from various disciplines, like social anthropology, sociology, human geography, legal studies, economics or urban studies, with PhD students at different stages of their research – beginning, intermediate and advanced.

Both sessions included an introduction about giving and receiving academic feedback provided by Martha Montero Sieburth, Amsterdam University College and by Marta Bivand Erdal, Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO), for the second session. Additionally Rosa Mas Giralt, University of Leeds, Izabela Grabowska, University of Social Sciences and Humanities (SWPS), and Jens Schneider, Institute of Migration Research and Intercultural Studies (IMIS) also participated in the session.

Follow-up plans

Together with the head of the IMISCOE Training Committee, Marta Erdal Bivand, the organisers plan to carry on this project and come with follow-up proposals for the future. One of them is to create an online platform related to visual methods in qualitative and ethnographic research. Such clusters can be proposed and created by other PhD students on various topics. The online platforms can be a first step, but we also encourage proposals of local events related to similar interests.

  • After the successful workshop in Rotterdam, the IAFC team plans to organise another workshop during the IMISCOE conference in 2018. The PhD Newsletter will keep you informed about this.
  • In the meantime, a few helpful links during your PhD: https://www.vitae.ac.uk/about-us and the European University Association- Council for Doctoral Education http://www.eua-cde.org/

PhD Network

The IMISCOE PhD Network aims to strengthen research and network opportunities for doctoral researchers in the field of migration. The Network has several dedicated working groups, each with active members who plan and carry out activities relevant for PhD migration scholars.

PhD Network

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