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The Environmental Policy Research Centre (FFU) is one of the premier European institutions offering social science PhDs related to environmental and sustainable energy issues. Presently, approximately 30 individuals from around the world are earning their PhDs at the FFU. The program is highly competitive. PhD topics are decided in consultation between the student and the supervising faculty member. The FFU welcomes PhD candidates interested in issues of national, comparative, and international environmental and energy politics and policy. (see for a list of current PhD students >>).
Students finance their PhDs through a variety of means. Some have positions as research and teaching associates, others have been awarded fellowships or grants from national and international foundations, and yet others are working in professional positions as they research and write their dissertation.
Numerous activities are organized for the PhD students. A bi-weekly colloquium provides an opportunity for PhD candidates to discuss research design and methodology questions, engage in theoretical debates, and present and critique PhD research. An annual Salzburg Conference is organized related to energy and the environment and PhD students are invited to present their work there to a group of experts in the field. A wide array of courses related to energy and the environment, comparative and international politics, social movements, and methodology are available to PhD students. The FFU regularly invites outside experts to classes and many PhD students become involved in consulting projects in their fields. Special events are organized and provide students with the opportunity for intensive training and exchange. An example is the Marie Currie Training Course in Environmental Governance run in conjunction with the Vrije Universitat Amsterdam (http://web.fu-berlin.de/ffu/hdgec-school/). Many PhD students are also invited to present their work to students in the bachelor’s and master’s courses and sometimes to co-teach a course.
Possible PhD supervisors at the FFU are Prof. Dr. Miranda Schreurs, PD Dr. Lutz Mez and Dr. Klaus Jacob. If you are interested in applying for the PhD program at the FFU, please be prepared to send a copy of your transcripts, curriculum vitae, and dissertation prospectus (a research proposal of 5-10 pages in length) outlining your research question, theoretical perspective, and methodological design to your proposed research supervisor.
Once you have received the okay from a potential PhD supervisor, prospective PhD candidates will need to obtain the approval notification (Zulassungsbescheid) of the Admission’s Board (Promotionsausschuss). You can download a bulletin and the application form from the General Student Advisory Service: http://www.fu-berlin.de/studium/promotion/
Further information and application forms are available from the registrar’s office of the faculty: http://www.polsoz.fu-berlin.de/studium/pruefungsbuero/promotionen/index.html
New Publication: Special Symposium on Nature, Science, and Politics, or: Policy Assessment to Promote Sustainable Development
Editors: Sabine Weiland, Vivien Weiss and John Turnpenny. Nature+Culture, Volume 8, Number 1, Spring 2013
This special symposium explores how the construction and utilization of scientific knowledge in policy making and its impact in the policy process itself can be better understood.