Career – Stipend

Research Cluster and Graduate School "Society and Culture in Motion"

The Graduate School “Techniques of Future-Making” at the Research Cluster “Society and Culture in Motion” (SCM), Halle (Germany) announces the openings of 10 grants for Ph.D. students (EUR 1500/month) for 24 months with the possibility of a 12 months extension. Beginning is October 1st, 2018. Applications must be received by March 31st, 2018.

  • Location: Halle/Saale / Deutschland
  • Institution: Universität Halle
  • Deadline: 31. March 2018 Bewerbungsschluss beachten
  • Documents to: verwaltung[at]

Ph.D. Grant Descriptions:

The guiding subject matter of SCM is the study of the motion and transformation of ideas, artefacts, and models in space, time and between social fields. New technological, political, judicial, as well as economic frameworks have increasingly trans-local and quite often global meanings due to their translations into local contexts. SCM aims to devise concepts that allow for the description of these translation processes, paying particular attention to creative strategies of adaption, transformation and redeployment of travelling epistemic or normative elements. Thus, they aim to understand the reflexive and stimulating potentials in experiences with unfamiliar cultural or social orders.

Consequently, their primary concern goes beyond the migration of people as an economic and political process in order to focus on the challenges and chances that symbolic and normative elements in motion bring about.

From this perspective, they expect interdisciplinary research projects on aspects of creative resistance, adaptation and camouflage that can be identified as forms of translation of travelling ideas and models.

The focus could be on historical and social as well as transdisciplinary movements.

Central research topic for the granted projects: Techniques of Future-Making

Neither the preconditions nor the consequences of the global movement of elements, which form ever new configurations through their adaptation to more or less sharply defined contexts, are sufficiently known. Furthermore, the global movement of elements sets a new framework for the localisation and stabilisation of social orders - frameworks that are also insufficiently understood. New technological, political, judicial, and economic frameworks, indicators and innovations have increasingly trans-local and quite often global meanings that have to be appropriated locally. This process always produces something new, yet the product of this process can seldom be anticipated with a sufficient degree of certainty. Translation and mediation are therefore important concepts for the analysis of these processes.

The new forms of movement generated by the last wave of globalisation (reaching back to the 1980s) entail a number of pressing problems, which can be characterized by the threatening and juxtaposed scenarios “homogenisation” and “fragmentation”. The future world is imagined either as gravitating toward an increasing homogenisation that will bit by bit destroy the plentiful diversity (ranging from seeds to cultural and social forms), or as leaning toward an increasing fragmentation that will result in the incommensurability of human life forms. In this context, we can exemplify the clusters’ research question by means of a central problem brought on by the last globalisation wave.

The Graduate School therefore invites research projects that explore potentially fruitful ways to deal with these topics.

Who can apply?

Potential Ph.D. students must hold an MA degree (equivalent to the German MA) in social sciences or humanities, or an equivalent degree entitling the holder to take up Ph.D. studies in Germany. In order to fully participate in and take advantage of the GS “Techniques of Future-Making”’s activities, ontinuous presence of the students in Halle is required. Applications must include the following documents:

  • Cover letter
  • Copy of M.A. certificate (English or German)
  • Transcript of Records (if available)
  • CV
  • Outline of a research proposal together with project timeline (3.000 - 5.000 words). This proposal should relate to the general topic of “Techniques of Future-Making” (see above for a description of central research topic). Furthermore, we ask that you include details of your research progress (if any) up to the time of application.
  • Letter of recommendation written by an academic supervisor from the previous university.
  • Proof of adequate knowledge of English (if a non-native speaker).

What the Graduate School offers:

The GS SCM offers in particular:

  • Transdisciplinary seminars and workshops on various subjects.
  • Presentations and talks by visiting scholars.
  • Workshops related to key skills training.
  • A framework for discussing dissertation projects.
  • In addition to the grants, the SCM offers additional financial support for grantees with children.
  • The GS SCM can also contribute to field work expenses (if applicable). If this kind of support is required, then it should be stated and explained in the research proposal.

The GS SCM programme is not only directed at the SCM grantees; a number of other Ph.D. students and junior researchers are continuously taking part in the programme. While the working language of the SCM is English, they nevertheless request that students acquire an operative knowledge of German (for everyday communication as well as reading skills in scholarly literature). German language instruction is available through the university.

What is expected from participating Ph.D. students?

The GS SCM expects a sustained effort in the Ph.D. work, together with a willingness to actively take part in the SCM schooling programme. This involves giving presentations and papers at the trans-disciplinary seminars, workshops, as well as on other occasions a general interest in methodological and epistemological enquiries.

Successful completion of the degree (Ph.D.) takes place according to the guidelines and regulations of the corresponding faculty.

Please send complete applications as shown on the SCM website:

by e-mail to: verwaltung[at]

and/or by ordinary mail to:

Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg
Graduate School “Society and Culture in Motion”
Reichardtstr. 6
D-06114 Halle/Saale

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