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Bielefeld Graduate School

in History and Sociology

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Report on findings - PDF Download


I. Online survey

  • Overview of the survey of doctoral researchers and the doctoral researchers at the BGHS
  • The study programme at the BGHS
  • Strengthening interdisciplinary exchange and self-initiative
  • Positioning in the academic field
  • Structures at the BGHS

II.Survey of supervisors

  • Supervising doctoral researchers as a part of professors' everyday work
  • The supervisors' views of the doctoral researchers
  • Assessments of the BGHS

III. Synthesis of results



The present Report on the findings of the 2016 evaluation survey is an important basis for the current evaluation. It serves to present the strengths and weaknesses of the BGHS and its programme from the perspective of the doctoral researchers and the supervisors in order to provide information for preparing a concept for the strategic development of the BGHS that shows options and necessities for continuing it after Excellence Initiative financing has been phased out in October 2019.
In the first part of the report, we present the results of the standardised online survey of doctoral researchers at the BGHS, which was conducted in January and February 2016. This part provides an overview of the heterogeneous composition of the respondents and their social situation as well as the procedures of doctoral studies and the doctoral researchers' assessments of the opportunities offered at the BGHS. This survey is not a follow-up of the first survey of doctoral researchers which was conducted in 2010 in the course of the evaluation being prepared at the time, but has rather been developed further. Where comparable data are available, we study changes and developments.
In the second part of the report, we present the findings from eight qualitative interviews conducted with professors of the Department of History and the Faculty of Sociology between April and June 2016. They permit insights into the supervisors' perspectives on the situation of the doctoral researchers, the doctoral studies, and the supervisory relationship, which has only rarely been examined specifically to date and was not surveyed in the first evaluation of the BGHS, either. In the third part of the report, we synthesise the findings of the first two parts to provide information about which strengths of the BGHS are attested to by doctoral researchers and supervisors, which aspects are met with ambivalence, and where critical assessments show the need for further development.
Prepared by staff members of the BGHS Office, the present report's primary purpose is to provide, at a descriptive level, insights into the various perspectives, experiences, and opinions about the BGHS and doctoral studies as a whole so that you as readers can form your own opinions. It is our desire to learn from the conclusions and recommendations that you as evaluators, as doctoral researchers, supervisors, and institutions cooperating with the BGHS derive from what is presented in this report to guide the BGHS towards a promising future.

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