| Willy Brandt School of Public Policy

EIPCC graduate centre discusses conferences, research funding and publishing at two-day retreat in Erfurt

For the second year in a row since the foundation of the EIPCC graduate centre, PhD candidates, Postdocs and professors met for two days of workshops and panel discussions. In early November, the EIPCC met at the University of Erfurt to discuss how to prepare for and network at conferences, learn about different kinds of funding for research, and talk with journal editors about publishing strategies.

The EIPCC Retreat means to bring together the EIPCC community in person, to provide a chance to get to know each other and to exchange ideas and individual experiences, both in terms of academic content and academic practice. It was the second annual EIPCC Retreat since the creation of our graduate centre “Effective and Innovative Policymaking in Contested Contexts”. Since many EIPCC members do not live in Erfurt and our regular colloquia are online, the EIPCC coordinators decided to hold this year’s EIPCC Retreat in Erfurt, to show our out-of-town members our beautiful campus and picturesque city.

We kicked off the two-day retreat on Friday morning getting to know each other in an informal way, as we welcomed several new members throughout the previous year, and for some it was the first time in Erfurt. With Prof. Mariana Llanos from the GIGA in Hamburg joining the Brandt School and the EIPCC graduate centre, also her PhD students from GIGA joined the EIPCC. For Hamburg-based PhD candidate Eduardo Tamaki from Brazil, for example, it was the first time meeting his fellow EIPCC members in person. Even for Erfurt-based Jessica Holl from Brazil, who is a faculty member and PhD candidate under the supervision of Prof. Michael Riegner, it was the first time meeting the whole EIPCC community in person. As it was for Dr. Alejandra Ortiz-Ayala, who is the new Postdoctoral Researcher and Head of the Conflict Studies and Management specialisation at the Willy Brandt School of Public Policy.

During the morning session on Friday, Dr. Alejandra Ortiz-Ayala shared her experience on how best to prepare for conferences and how to network strategically, before we continued with a Q&A and compared our own experiences so far. We found that different strategies worked for different people, depending on their personality and their goals for a conference.

After lunch break at the mensa, PhD candidate and lecturer Evans Awuni gave some input on different kinds of funding options for research, both at the University of Erfurt and external. We discussed how to identify and apply to funding opportunities, and collected questions and matters of interest for our more specific workshop on funding opportunities planned for early 2023. After a coffee break at campus café Hilgenfeld, we talked about proposal writing and proposals for funding by looking at a proposal that Dr. Alejandra Ortiz-Ayala is currently working on and that she was gracious enough to share with us already. We then continued with an energiser and team-building session, before we planned the year ahead for the EIPCC graduate centre and distributed responsibilities among our members. At the end of the day, we took our out-of-town members to town and showed them our regular spot Café Nerly, where we went for dinner and some drinks together.

On Saturday morning, we continued our retreat with two morning sessions focusing on academic publishing. First, our EIPCC representative Prof. Andreas Goldthau gave an overview of how to look for a journal to publish in, how to identify a good journal, impact factors, and publishing strategies. After a short break, we continued with a panel discussion with two editors: Our own Prof. Mariana Llanos, editor of the open-access Journal of Politics in Latin America, gave us some advice on what editors look for, how to avoid common mistakes in a cover letter for journals, and what to expect for the PRP journey. She was joined by Prof. Oliver Kessler, Vice Dean for Internationalisation and Advanced Education at the Faculty of Economics, Law and Social Sciences, and Editor in Chief of the European Journal of International Relations. He shared his insights with us from editing the leading journal of European international relations, which receives hundreds of submissions each year.

Finally, we concluded the retreat with a walk and lunch in town. We walked together from campus, past the former Brandt School building, along the Gera river to the Krämerbrücke, where we had lunch in a restaurant. Afterwards, some of us had to catch their trains back home, and some of us continued exploring Erfurt by foot, visiting the cathedral and enjoying the view from the Petersberg hill. As the EIPCC community grows, we already look forward to the next year and the next EIPCC retreat!

If you are interested in the EIPCC graduate centre and the early career researches currently affiliated with the Brandt School and the EIPCC, please feel free to check them out on our website. To get in touch, please contact our collegiate representatives Almut Mohr and Stephanie Gast Zepeda, or write directly to wbs.eipcc@uni-erfut.de.

Doctoral Student
(Willy Brandt School of Public Policy)
Lehrgebäude 4 / room E06
Doctoral Student
(Willy Brandt School of Public Policy)
Lehrgebäude 4 / room E06