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Program Profile

Aims and objective

Today borders are breaking down and global socio-economic processes are emerging which are shaped and reinforced by European political integration. Employers in many organizations increasingly look out for expert personnel who are prepared to work in different cultural settings, and able to analyze and resolve policy problems in a transnational perspective. Thus more and more students include periods of study at foreign universities in their curriculum in order to gain the solid background required by the important tasks awaiting them and to develop research careers as scholars or professionals in a rapidly changing world.The European Ph.D. in Socio-Economic and Statistical Studies seeks to respond to this innovative demand of human resources. It is an international, interdisciplnary graduate programme which was co-ordinated from 2001-2008 by Sapienza Università di Roma and since October 2008 is co-ordinated by Humboldt-Universitaet zu Berlin.The objective of the European Ph.D. in Socio-Economic and Statistical Studies is to train doctoral candidates for careers where teaching or decision-making is grounded in a thorough understanding of the interplay of social and economic phenomena and is guided by data-based research adopting the most appropriate and advanced statistical methods.

Joint Doctoral Degree

The final Doctoral Degree carrying the label of "Doctor Europaeus" will be assigned respecting the formal requirements specified by the Conference of the Rectors of Universities in E.U. countries:The authorization to present the Doctoral Thesis is given based not only upon the judgment of the tutor at the candidate's home university, but also upon the written reports of at least two professors from partner universities.The Doctoral Commission is composed of professors from different partner universities and includes an international expert external to the doctoral network.The full Doctoral Thesis may be written in a European language of the country where the doctorate is sustained. A short version, in a format ready to be submitted to an international journal, must be written in English.Based upon a joint Agreement the final Doctoral Degree is awarded by the legal representative at the Home University also on behalf of the Partner Universities.

Institutional structures

The European Ph.D.'s institutional structure is constituted by the following:

  • The President represents the European Ph.D.
  • The Scientific Board is made up of 2 representatives from each partner University. The Board meets on an annual basis to approve admissions, define core-curricula, establish examination procedures and evaluate, on the basis of shared methodological criteria, the high quality of the programme.
  • The Doctoral Candidates Representation, as a self-organised body for voicing the interests of the doctoral students to the Scientific Board.
  • The Programme Director bearing responsibility for administering funds and for over-seeing the co-ordination of the programme.
  • The Scientific Manager in charge of the overall programme management and co-ordination.


Programme and Research Areas

In line with the Bologna reforms, the SESS.EuroPhD is designed for a period of three years of study. A preparatory phase of 6-12 months in the form of a Pre-Programme Academic Training is optional, depending on the qualification levels of the individual applicants.An essential part of the curriculum is the experience gained through the study at partner universities abroad. PhD candidates are obliged to spend at least one semester as well as a shorter research stay of 4-6 weeks at other partner universities.Courses of the structured curriculum include Research Colloquia, Special Methods Seminars, Literature Review Seminars, courses on Research Design and Implementation, Project Seminars, and Annual Seminars that are dedicated to topics relevant to the socio-economic and statistical programme organized on a rotating basis by partner universities.The main research areas are the following:

  • The interrelationship between economic and social structure
  • Processes of change and economic organisations and institutions
  • Markets as social structures and networks
  • Labour market, employment, and conflict
  • Welfare state analysis and social security
  • Economic and social inequality and perceptions of social justice
  • Social ethics and the market in face of globalization


Sess Annual Seminars

Annual Seminars, dedicated to topics relevant to the objectives of the course, are organized on a rotating basis by partner universities. These provide an opportunity for teachers and students from different institutions to meet in order to discuss their research. During these meetings students from all Partner Universities present their ongoing research for discussion and the more advanced ones may be invited to give a lecture. Furthermore, each time a particular topic is tackled in special sessions or round tables with the participation of teaching staff from the eight collaborating institutions.

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