Sharing professional and personal experiences and ideas with other doctoral reseachers can be very motivational. Hence, BYRD supports doc-networks that are formed on the initiative of doctoral candidates themselves. They create their own space for reciprocal peer support. Doc-Networks facilitate and enhance PhD research work by providing a source of peer counseling and advice, social inclusion and accompanying academic activities. The individual networks are dedicated to an overarching theme (topic or method) that links together the research interests and projects of its members. Currently, there are 12 active networks with 150 members in total.
The organising committee of the “ScienceChat” consists of eight PhD students from four different ecological working groups of the University of Bremen. By meeting regularly for our seminar and discussion series, we seek to improve collaboration between our working groups, and in particular of the PhD students. The field of ecology is very diverse and offers many different research approaches, but there are also universal concepts that can be applied independent of the individual fields of expertise. This exchange of experience and mutual support has so far been very inspiring and we want to develop it further in the future.
The “ScienceChat” meets every week and invites anyone interested in ecology to attend and participate. It is aimed at PhD students in ecology but is also open to Master’s students or Post-docs, as well as to interested researchers in related fields such as the geo-sciences. We present and discuss recent findings and new methods as well as questions and problems we encounter in our research.
Electroencephalography (EEG) is a commonly used instrument in the investigation of human brain activity. It enjoys great popularity in a multitude of different of contexts and is used by various disciplines. This results in a broad range of different techniques in the acquisition and analysis of EEG data.
The PhD Network for EEG-related research offers a platform for the exchange of knowledge and experience to PhD students from various disciplines that work with EEG, including biology, informatics and psychology. To this aim, regular meetings are organized where participants present their current projects and discuss problems and insights. A database of the participants, their fields and expertise enables all members to quickly get answers to specific questions. Furthermore, speakers from different areas of EEG-research will be invited and activities like the visit of a scientific conference or small symposia are organized.
Studies suggest (cf. Jeppesen/Lakhani 2009) that an extra head on a problem from one specific working field can lead to satisfying solutions. In the DocNetzwerk “Facing professional challenges: Cross-functional PhD network”, graduate students across technical, biological, linguistic, and social fields at the University of Bremen focus on finding the cause of the high effectivity of working groups that have a diverse scientific background in professional (both academic and industrial) environments. The main goal of the cross-functional PhD network is to explore the application of cross-functional teams in academia in order to raise the effectiveness when confronted with challenging tasks. Talks and seminars with scientists and professionals from industry will be organized.
Teacher education based on 'reflective practice' consists of observing, analysing and reflecting on teacher performance in order to improve professional practice. 10 PhD candidates from different faculties contribute to the network. Their common research interest is the raise of reflective competences of prospective teachers.
Empirical research methods are important tools in the educational sciences. This network offers a forum to doctoral researchers for sharing and fostering their research methodology competences via collegial exchange, thus contributes to enhancing empirical-pedagogical research.
The interdisciplinary network consists of young scientists whose PhD projects share the methodological approach “Design-Based Research”. The members focus on teaching and learning processes of individuals in the context of the “Bremer Oberschule”. They belong to different educational ‘didactics’ (“Fachdidaktiken”) and different departments of the University of Bremen (FBs 2, 3, 9 and 10). The network offers meetings on a regular basis, the discussion of key literature and empirical data as well as support during the different stages of the research process.
Social Network Analysis (SNA) becomes more and more popular in empirical research. Against the background of the fast developments driving SNA as an analytic strategy the PhD network n(sna) aims to establish a required peer-to-peer forum, providing the opportunity to discuss and reflect on theoretical and statistical models, possibilities and challenges regarding the application of SNA. It addresses all PhD students interested in and working with networks.
The network consists of young scientists whose PhD projects are embedded within the context of (racism) critical migration research and examine educational questions from the perspective of people of color. The topics concern ethnical, cultural and racist exclusion in structural and social power constellations. Apart from support in empirical evaluation, the network also offers a panel to discuss theoretical and methodological approaches.
The doc-network "Perspectives in the Analysis of Culture" unites doctoral researchers from different humanities around methodological approaches of Black Diaspora Studies, Postcolonial & Decolonial Studies und Transnational Studies. Thematically, the Network involves a range of disciplines from linguistics and literary studies to cultural and political science.
The Qualitative Research Workshop at the IPP (Institute for Public Health and Nursing Research) offers a continuous professional context for students, doctoral students, researchers from the IPP, and also for other interested people who search for collegial advice and collaboration for their research projects. Topics that can be included in the joint work may be research interests, research issues, data excerpts, own texts, or more. Also, methodological as well as ethical questions concerning the research topics are being discussed. An orientation towards the qualitative and interpretative research paradigm is the foundation for the activities in the workshop.
The network regulary meets on the second Monday of each month, at Grazer Straße 4, room 1010 at 15:30.
This Doc-Network is an interdisciplinary association of young researchers from cultural studies and educational sciences. The group has a shared interest in topics which involve the manifold societies of Europe. A focal point is put on research projects concerning inequalities within the German society and how to resolve them.
In this Doc-Network, applied linguists and experts on foreign language didactics share the ideas, methods and objectives of their research projects. A special focus is put onto cross-language and interdisciplinary questions. This exchange seems more than necessary in times of plurilingualism in society or school and considering the ideal of the intercultural speaker (Byram).
This network has an interdisciplinary orientation and currently includes PhD projects from the subject areas art education, cultural studies, sociology, political science and health science/public health. There are overlapping and connecting factors between the individual research projects concerning the methodology as well as the consideration of aspects of diversity and gender.
Establishing a Doc-Network
Doc-networks are formed on the initiative of doctoral candidates themselves. They create their own space for reciprocal peer support. Doc-Networks facilitate and enhance PhD research work by providing a source of peer counseling and advice, social inclusion and accompanying academic activities. The individual networks are dedicated to an overarching theme (topic or method) that links together the research interests and projects of its members.
What does a network do for me?
Doc-Networks have many advantages:
- Peer counseling: Doc-Networks enable the reciprocal exchange of experience and work techniques (methods and topics). Participants benefit from such tips and have a forum in which they can discuss their research work.
- Social inclusion: You are part of a group. This presents a welcome and constructive interlude in the daily grind of doctoral research.
- Coordination, knowledge, and motivation: You can engage in (disciplinary and interdisciplinary) discourse and the various activities made available through the network serve to boost motivation.
- Accompanying academic activity: The network provides a source of interdisciplinary discourse beyond your specific field or university.
What are the requirements for creating a Doc-Network?
- Descriptive title/ underlying theme: The theme covered by the network is best illustrated via a descriptive title that provides a visible platform and facilitates finding other members. The title also fixes the frame as well as the thematic and methodological thrust of the network, making it easier for others to see a common reference point to their research.
- Composition of members: Ideally, a network comprises 6 to 15 members, of whom one or two researchers act as contact- and spokespersons. Postdocs and Masters’ students may participate in the network , however, the doctoral researchers should be in the majority.
- Written concept describing the thematic and methodological frame of the network, as well as how the individual dissertation topics fit in with these overarching themes (3-4 pages).
- Brief introductory text: The network provides a brief text describing the main features that will be published on this website.
What makes a successful network?
- Active networks live from their members. Commitment, motivation and personal success are important factors.
- Work in the network – learn from the network: The overarching theme or frame presents the possibility to work towards mutual aims. For example: Participation at scholarly meetings, invitations to guest lecturers or even interdisciplinary publications and projects. A cross-disciplinary and personal exchange of experiences (stumbling blocks, time sinks, good research methods, or new developments and stimuli) is also an important factor.
- Regular participation in network meeting is vital for its sucess.
- Additional activities: Every network develops additional activities, e.g. the organization of special lectures with external speakers, joint contributions to conferences or invitations to alumni for orientation to future careers.
What funding is available to networks?
- Active Networks can apply for up to 2500 € p.a. for the funding of any individual activities they initiate. Among other things, the money can be used to cover the fees of speakers, the organization of workshops and scholarly meetings and printing costs for co-authored publications. The funding can be spread over several different activities and applications can be submitted any time.
- Transferable skills/Kick-off workshop: For every new network, BYRD organises and funds a workshop according to the specific needs of the members (e.g. time management, presentation skills, moderation).
- BYRD will introduce every new Doc-Network on its web platform and assist in finding new members.
What else could materialize?
- A Doc-Network enables you to join in academic discourse with researchers in your field – also after having completed the PhD process. You are able to establish interdisciplinary contacts and acquire insights and competences beyond the boundaries of your own PhD project.
- Co-authored publications: Via co-authored publications you can increase your standing in the scientific community. Together with the group or part of it, you can publish joint articles, project results or initiate scholarly meetings.
- Interesting inclusion in your résumé: When submitting job applications you can refer to your activities and achievements in the Doc-Network, providing an interesting addition to your other qualifications.