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Planning the Winter Semester

Content (before)

Dear PhD Candidates, dear Post-docs, dear Professors,


As already announced in our last newsletter, at the end of the summer semester we would like to provide you with further information on the state of plans for the coming winter semester.
In Germany, the number of Covid cases has fortunately been remaining relatively low, so that we are cautiously optimistic about autumn! The JLU has also recently started offering students the opportunity to get vaccinated. We would like to expressly encourage you to take advantage of this or other vaccination offers, so that we can establish the necessary conditions for us all to hopefully make it through the winter semester in good health, and to regain some freedom.


State of the semester planning

Preparations for the winter semester are currently in full swing. In terms of teaching, JLU is planning an "in-person semester with restrictions." We have adjusted this framework to the situation at our internationally-oriented centre and with regards to the PhD and post-doc phases, which of course require a somewhat different approach. We still have to live with some uncertainties, not only in relation to travel activities, but also concerning the possibility of larger in-person events on-site. We have therefore – also based on a lot of feedback – decided to again design the core offers at our centre digitally or online in the winter semester. However, and it is very important for us to emphasize this, we would also like to comply with requests to create once again opportunities for encounters outside of the digital sphere, where this is feasible and permitted. The planning at the current state, in precise terms, is as follows:

  • Digital/online or, depending on the possibility and need, as a hybrid format (online/in-person): In the coming semester, the keynote lecture series, master classes, already planned conferences, Core and Intermediate courses, etc. will be primarily digital events. Where possible and/or required, they will be complemented by hybrid formats.
  • Hybrid: some workshops of the Career Service and Teaching Center as well as other practical courses (PKs) are currently being designed as hybrid events in coordination with the instructors (e.g. the series "Alumni Reports").
  • In-person events: A few events that unfortunately had to be canceled in the previous semesters in consultation with the instructors will now be taking place in the coming semester as in-person events, including the Teaching Centre (TC) course "Vorträge und Diskussionen auf Konferenzen."
  • Induction Week/Welcome and Graduation Ceremony (WeGraCe)/Opening Workshop: As in the previous year, the kick-off events for the new GCSC cohort will again primarily take place digitally. Here too, however, we strive to create opportunities for personal, informal meetings and the possibility of getting to know one another. You will receive more information about this over the next few weeks from Jennifer Kappe.
  • Summer Schools: The upcoming summer schools in Copenhagen (ESSCS) and in Bern/Kandersteg (Transhumanities) will be taking place as in-person events. Participants from the GCSC can plan their travel accordingly, and are asked to monitor the infection rates and the hygiene rules communicated by the organisers.
  • Meetings/Conferences: In general, events, including e. g. workshops or conferences organized by the Research Areas and Emerging Topics Research Groups, may as of now be planned and carried out according to the legal framework. The guidelines of the JLU apply here, which a. o. include the submission of a hygiene concept ( If you want to plan an in-person or hybrid event, please contact us early on (
  • Informal encounters: In the hope of low infection rates in autumn, we also want to create some opportunities for informal and spontaneous encounters, such as walks or eating together. Of course, your suggestions and ideas are also very welcome here!

New Semester, New Home

According to planning, we will be able to move into our new building in time for the start of the lecture period, which of course also significantly increases our anticipation for the winter semester. The new GCSC building will house the offices of all our team members as well as the offices or shared workspaces of all the doctoral students (which are currently located at Ludwigsplatz). With the new location, we will now all be working under the same roof for the first time, on the Philosophikum I Campus and in the immediate vicinity of the university library and the dining hall (Mensa)! There is also a wide range of spaces available for collaborative research, especially a larger conference room on the ground floor and four seminar and meeting rooms each. The seminar rooms are equipped with the usual furniture (tables & chairs) and media technology (also suitable for hybrid events), and are primarily intended for purposes such as workshops, master classes, colloquia, etc. The meeting rooms are somewhat smaller in comparison, but equipped with different and flexible furnishings, thus offering opportunities for more informal forms of collaboration such as research area meetings, joint project work, etc. In addition, the building also offers other spaces for spontaneous encounters: there are tea kitchens with adjoining seating areas on each floor, but also a spacious open area in the middle of the building containing an outdoor area or loggia. Together with all our members, we are very much looking forward to familiarising ourselves with the new possibilities of this "enabling space" from the winter semester on!

Content (after)

So that we can all feel at home in the new building, we would also like to ask for your help and creative input. What names should be given to the seminar and meeting rooms (8 rooms in total)? Suggestions can be submitted until 31 October  to Ann Van de Veire (). The best suggestions will then be identified in a voting process - we are already very excited!

Finally, we wish you a relaxing and productive lecture-free time. We hope that you and your families will get through the summer safely!

With warm wishes,
The Executive Board and the Research Management Team of the GCSC