Interdisciplinarity as a principle of MWK-FELLOWS programme

The Max-Weber-Kolleg Erfurt is at its core an interdisciplinary institution. Long-term collaborations, as well as intense scholarly debates between researchers and appointed fellows from different academic disciplines and research fields are an essential part of the academic atmosphere and research strategy of the Max-Weber-Kolleg Erfurt. Interdisciplinarity is a living practice at the Max-Weber-Kolleg Erfurt – from the beginning on. And it has been continually improved in the last years. Researchers from different disciplines work strongly together and MWK-Fellows can highly benefit from these collaborations. To name only one example of how interdisciplinarity is put into practice, have a look at the colloquia within the advanced study programme: colloquia – held in regular intervals – are not conceptualized according to disciplines but in a content- and question-related manner: Young and experienced researchers from different disciplines come together to discuss projects presented in a 20-page paper circulated one week in advance. The moderator invites the participants to discuss the paper in view of their different disciplinary backgrounds. These discussions are not only very fruitful for those who present their project and are confronted with external ideas but also for all involved researchers because they train to think in an interdisciplinary way and they learn (by doing) to overcome disciplinary boarders and to interlink different approaches. This proceeding leads to new and particularly to enhanced and enriched understandings of the discussed problems and to a more appropriate examination of e. g. societal challenges and creative approaches towards them.

Furthermore, the Max-Weber-Kolleg Erfurt has strong connections to other Faculties of the University of Erfurt: the Faculty of Philosophy, the Faculty of Law, Social Sciences and Economics, the Faculty of Education, and the Faculty of Catholic Theology – all of which are located on the campus of the University of Erfurt. Similarly, strong connections exist between Max-Weber-Kolleg Erfurt and the Gotha Research Centre. All these connections are manifested by the fact that high compatible senior researchers of the Faculties and the Gotha Research Centre are co-opted members of the Max-Weber-Kolleg Erfurt. All members of the Max-Weber-Kolleg Erfurt are potential host for MWK-Fellows.

In terms of content, interdisciplinary exchange is supported by the ‘Weberian’ research programme of the Max-Weber-Kolleg Erfurt which offers a framework due to shared basic principles and perspectives. In terms of infrastructure, work spaces for MWK-Fellows are available at the Max-Weber-Kolleg Erfurt building including common rooms and places for discussion and workshops, so researchers can actively discuss and engage with each other on a daily basis.