The university's own funded Graduate Centres are a specific feature of the University of Erfurt: they are the supporting pillars of the structured promotion of young academics at the University of Erfurt and based on the Erfurt Doctoral and Postdoctoral Programme (EPPP). They serve to support, supervise and qualify young academics at different stages of their careers.
The standards and the quality of support, supervision and qualification are ensured by a regular, programme-oriented recertification.
EPPP-certified Graduate Centres are automatically members of the Christoph Martin Wieland Graduate Forum, thus have lasting effects on helping systematically and contribute to shaping the graduate support at the University of Erfurt.
Within the framework of the EPPP, Graduate Centres pursue a research-oriented guiding theme. The professional and interdisciplinary qualification of the young researchers is supported in a structured and target-oriented way.
Both the graduater centres themselves and the young researchers belonging to them benefit from permanent financial and non-material support from within the university.
The Certified Graduate Centres
In the graduate center "Bildungsqualität", doctoral students, postdocs and university lecturers from various disciplines in educational research are involved. They examine educational processes in schools and universities with their respective determinants at the level of learners (e.g. learning processes, individual prerequisites, learning environment), teachers (e.g. professional skills, professionalization processes) and teaching (e.g. lesson design, individual support, use of digital media) as well as their systemic embedding in the respective context.
The research focuses on three main areas of research: (1) the professionalization of teachers, (2) teaching-learning processes from a didactic and educational science perspective, and (3) questions of individual support, taking digital media into account. All research focuses on the current social challenges of inclusion and migration, digitization and social inequality.
Center for Empirical Research in Economics and Behavioral Sciences (CEREB)
CEREB brings together scientists in the fields of economics and behavioral science in order to promote discourse and the research success of the participating scientists. Key topics are the theoretical modeling of human decision-making behavior and the design of social institutions. Subgroups of CEREB are involved in the educational focus of the University of Erfurt and deal with educational and career choices as long-term self-management processes. They supplement decision research with a life course-related perspective and examine the conditions and consequences of self-selected learning, action and development contexts.
The "Center for Political Practices and Orders" (C2PO) offers scientists from various disciplines a space for communication in order to question current developments in social theory, political theory and international theory with regard to their understanding and consequences for the formation of orders. In addition to practices of order formation, the focus is on concepts of order and processes of stabilizing order.
The communication space created by the C2PO is thus thematically effective through the interdisciplinary composition of its members and their corresponding interdisciplinary cooperation, which is constantly being expanded; in the area of education through regularly held colloquia and other events that provide space for reflection; and in the area of research through cooperation in the preparation of applications for external funding and the organization of research workshops.
The graduate centre "Communication and Digital Media" investigates the significance of (digital) media in the socialization process. Our research is oriented towards the social sciences and is characterized by a methodological and theoretical pluralism that focuses primarily on so-called medium-range theories. The inter- and transdisciplinary orientation of the research program allows us to look at acting with media - and thus their functions and effects on individual and societal developments - both from the perspective of communication science and from the perspectives of sociology, political science, media education or psychology. Three interlinked thematic focuses characterize our collegium: the analysis of questions of health communication, developments in the field of child and youth media research, and the investigation of political and social communication.
Effective and Innovative Policymaking in Contested Contexts (EIPCC)
The key theme of EIPCC is the investigation into effective and innovative forms of policymaking particularly in contested contexts. It covers research on the four dimensions of (i) Public Policymaking, (ii) Socio-economic Development and Effective Policymaking, (iii) Socially Innovative Policymaking, and (iv) Policymaking in Conflicted and Contested Orders. Contestations may arise due to the globalization of economic and social relationships and its consequences for the economic, social and even physical wellbeing of societies; the significant structural and political challenges in the course of ageing societies or international migration; new political forms of contestation such as populist or even extremist parties; and unresolved, violent conflicts. As part of this research agenda, EIPCC is meant to function as a learning hub bringing together international early career researchers primarily with a focus on (or from) the Global South.
The research project of the interdisciplinary EPPP-certified graduate centre „Sprachbeherrschung“ deals with the theory-based apprehension, description and promotion of linguistic competence in both monolingual and multilingual constellations. By that all lingustic modalities (reading, listening, writing, speaking) in language use, language processing and language acquisition (first and second language acquisition) are taken into account. The graduate centre „Sprachbeherrschung“ is actively involved in the development of the research focus „Education, School, and Behaviour“ of the University of Erfurt. The participating researchers have already worked on numerously relevant scientific questionings from the perspective of their respective disciplines and are renowend by multiple successful third-party fundings and publications.
The graduate center TZM is the graduate group of the Forum Texte.Zeichnen.Medien. It is characterized above all by the type of scholarly access to the above-mentioned objects: texts, signs, media, which combines the exact reading of texts (and other representations) with media and cultural studies questions. It brings together the subject areas and specific perspectives of general and comparative literature, English/American studies, modern German literature, Romance studies and Slavic studies in trans- and interphilological perspectives and questions. The nationally and internationally perceived literary and media-theoretical profile of Erfurt's literary studies is reflected in various, also interdisciplinary, research collaborations in which the Forum: Texte.Zeichnen.Medien. is involved, such as the Research Group "Verräumlichung und Kulturtechniken" the Erfurt Group on New Materialism, the "Erfurter Raum-Zeit-Forschung", the BMBF-funded project Karten-Meere (cf. the concept of Erfurt Literary Studies). Here, two main references stand in the foreground: the joint research on the "knowledge of philology" and the interdisciplinary connections into which literary studies contributes its specific analytical competencies, especially in the constellations created by the newly established university research field of "Wissen.Räume.Medien" are to be identified.
The graduate center TZM organizes its own events, such as the internal writing workshop, discussion and reading workshops, smaller conferences, and it participates in the events of the Forum TZM: conferences and workshops on many aspects of literature and media studies, as well as on cultural techniques, and a colloquium, which brings together all doctoral and post-doctoral students, university professors and research assistants, and invites external, often international researchers from all areas of literary and cultural studies.
The Graduate Centre "Theology - Tradition - Transformation (t³)" deals with transformation processes of religion, Christianity and church in European contexts. The interest that links the various projects in the centre is focused on the tasks, challenges and perspectives of Christianity in a strongly secularized society and a constantly changing cultural and social environment. Docs, postdocs and professors from various disciplines work on corresponding questions. Colloquia are held regularly, conferences and guest lectures are offered. There are research cooperations with theological institutions in several neighbouring European countries. Theologians from Germany and abroad are given the opportunity as Fellows to pursue their own research projects in Erfurt.
In the graduate center "Wissensgeschichte der Neuzeit", doctoral students, postdocs and senior scholars conduct research on transdisciplinary history of knowledge. The focus is on practices that produce knowledge, as well as on the interest in different forms of knowledge, including how they developed in the sciences. Methodologically, the spectrum of approaches is broad, ranging from actor-centered assumptions of historical anthropology, cultural techniques, material culture research, approaches of spatial and intellectual history, and explicitly postcolonially inspired research approaches. One focus is on studies of the history of the Gothaer Hof and the Perthes Collection, which is oriented towards global history and allows knowledge to be explored in colonial contexts.
Communicative focal points are weekly meetings: the colloquium and regular workshops on writing and publishing. In addition, the research location Gotha makes it possible to establish a wealth of international academic contacts through the Herzog-Ernst scholarship program and guest lectures.
For the application of new graduate centres: Further information on the establishment of a graduate Center can be found under Graduate Service
For young researchers: Information on application and admission to a graduate center / the Max Weber Kolleg or the membership in the Erfurt Doctoral and Postdoctoral Programme (EPPP) can be found on the page of the Graduate Service.