Famous Last Words
Jul 04, 2016
KFG PhD alumni Lusine Badalyan, Kilian Spandler, and Mathis Lohaus tell us about their stay at the KFG.
The six-month research stay at the KFG has been one of the amazing experiences I had during my PhD studies. Being surrounded by so many intelligent people at one time and having the opportunity to interact and engage in rigorous academic discussions has been both inspiring and enriching for me. I am incredibly thankful to all of the KFG fellows for offering so many insightful comments and suggestions on my dissertation project. And most of all, I am grateful to Tanja and Thomas for their invaluable help, steadfast and thorough advice during the final stage of my PhD. The KFG is a vibrant intellectual school - a place to be.
Let me tell you, after so many years in the KFG it just feels weird to have no Jour Fixe on Monday afternoon. But one can always come back, right? I am truly grateful for the chance to meet so many great researchers throughout the past three-and-a-half years. The fellows have been an inspiration in professional terms – and also great people to talk to (often involving lunch, coffee, or pizza and drinks). In addition, KFG has very generously sponsored my whole PhD endeavor, enabling me to work here in Berlin and to travel for conferences and research. Many, many thanks to Tanja and Thomas, to the admin team (Astrid, Katja, Anne, Lisa, Tina et al.) and to the fellows!
I was given the opportunity to join the KFG on a PhD completion grant from October 2015 to March 2016, during which I finalized my dissertation on ‘Regional Organizations in International Society’, which analyzes the processes of normative arguing surrounding change in the EU and ASEAN. Thanks to the group’s generous institutional and financial support, I was able to hand in the thesis at the University of Tübingen in late March. That being said, the main reason why I will be looking back with gratitude at my time in Berlin is because of the inspiring people I met. You will hardly find a place that brings together scholars at vastly different career stages in such a spirit of mutual respect, intellectual cooperation and, yes, conviviality. My thanks go to Tanja and Thomas for exemplifying this spirit, but also to all the other fellows for living it on a day-to-day basis, and to the coordinating team for making it all possible.