Innovative Forms of Teaching and Studying

  1. Structured debates/controversies

    The design of each particular subject area of the research training group is taken to allow for (a) vivid discussion that permits and even encourages the exchange of conflicting views and positions. Accordingly, the promotion of a culture of reflective and careful argumentation and fertile debate is an integral part of the concept of the research training group. In a given debate, two teams (consisting of three to five professors/postdocs/PhD students and, possibly, further prominent and pertinent guests, such as FRIAS fellows) step up for an approximately two-hour controversy, beginning with short speeches and replies, which are then followed by a general discussion including all members of the research training group, their supervisors and interested guests.

  2. Self-organised Workshops

    Part of their training is organised by the doctoral students themselves, specifically in the form of international workshops. The doctoral students receive financial (and other) support in order to invite international guests who, within the framework of a visiting professorship (usually for one month), are also available for teaching and consultation before and after the workshop. The workshops are intended to take place once per semester. For each workshop, a team of two or three PhD students will be responsible. The idea is that during their 3 years as members of the research training group every PhD student participates at least once in the organization of one such workshop.

  3. Master Tutorials

    Following the English model, master tutorials will be offered. In these, maximally two or three doctoral students meet with one of the internal or external FRIAS fellows in order to discuss seminal texts, recent articles or articles currently in progress, and receive feedback concerning the design and progress made on the individual PhD projects.

  4. Autonomous Data Sessions

    As the name suggests, it is in data sessions that work on real data takes centre stage. This ranges from the discussion and application of the most appropriate methods for the selection, compilation, and preparation of the data to their concrete analysis and interpretation. These data sessions are carried out autonomously in the sense that none of the supervisors, but rather the PhD students among themselves organize these sessions (with the occasional support of a postdoc).

  5. Small discussion groups

    All PhD students of the research training group work in small groups and in close contact with postdocs on topics of their own choice. Usually, these discussion groups are composed of one of the linguistics postdocs working at the FRIAS and two or three doctoral students. The idea of this study format is to develop ideas and scientific creativity within a research environment of flat hierarchies.