Document Actions

2. Benefiting from a Pioneering Model

Always ahead of times: Already in 2001, Giessen founded its first Graduate Centre, which has since been praised as a pioneering model. Enjoy the edge that experience gives.

In Giessen, we recognised the signs of the times early. Many doctoral students had long wished for a tailor-made programme that supported them through the particular challenges of a doctorate, and gave them the opportunity to work in a team environment. Justus Liebig University reacted by founding the Giessener Graduiertenzentrum Kulturwissenschaften (GGK) in 2001. It was the first university in Germany with a comprehensive and integrated doctoral programme in the humanities and social sciences. The starting point was always a clear orientation towards the wishes and needs of doctoral students, who were able to take part in the development stage through surveys and workshops. Positive external evaluations and awards prove the success of this flagship institution, which has frequently been praised as a pioneering model for reforms in postgraduate research training. Giessen’s Graduate Centres in the life sciences (GGL) and social sciences (GGS; currently in the course of formation) build on the experiences gained in this successful model, and offer customised programmes for their respective disciplines. And we won’t stop learning the future, either – you, too, can profit from the experience of the original!