Objectives PhD and ReMA Training

Mission Statement Research School Political History

The objectives of the Research School Political History are:
–    promoting the quality of research and (inter)national cooperation
–    providing high quality training for PhD candidates and Research Master (RMA) students, the next generation in political history
–    providing a platform for and representation of political historians in the Netherlands and Flanders

Objectives in PhD and ReMA Training

Competencies
The RSHP offers training to two categories of graduate students:

To Research Master Students, admitted to one of the research master programs in History of the associated universities, the RSPH offers training in the following competencies:

Knowledge and reflection
o    Knowledge of current debates, theories, historiography and methodologies in political history and adjacent fields of research.
o    Reflection on the position and characteristics of political history in interdisciplinary research cooperation.

Skills
o    Oral and written reporting and participation in academic, political and public debates.
o    Skills in the use of heuristic tools and techniques as well as digital humanities.

To PhD-candidates supervised by professors of History in the Netherlands and Flanders, the RSPH offers training in the following competencies:

Knowledge and reflection
1.    Knowledge of current debates, theories, methodologies and (digital) tools in political history and adjacent fields of research.
2.    Reflection on political history in interdisciplinary academic cooperation as well as its societal impact.

Skills
3.     Oral and written reporting and participation in (inter)national academic, political and public debates.
4.     Participation in, and the organization of academic workshops and conferences.
5.    Development of (inter)national network of political historians.

Training Programme
For Research Master students, the training offered encompasses:

–    A seminar with seven weekly sessions on theories, historiography and concepts relevant to political history. The workload for the seminar and a term paper is 6 ec (5 ec without paper).
–    An annual summer course (July 2018: International History, 19th and 20 centuries; June 2019: New European Political History) on an important thematic issue or a methodological approach to political history. The workload is 5 or 6 ec (5 ec for a position paper and for participation in 5 consecutive days of meetings, and 1 additional ec for a final research report after the summer school)
–    A triannual conference on the state of the art in political history for ReMA students, PhD candidates and faculty.
–    Optional participation in seminars, master classes (co)organized by the OPG for RMA and PhD-students (1 ec for attendance and a position paper).

For PhD candidates, the training offered encompasses:

–    Five 4 –hour tutorials per year:
o    What is political history? Historiography, theories, concepts
o    Archival and digital sources for research in political history
o    Methods and research strategies for political historians
o    Capita selecta of political history
o    Working in the international academic world of political historians
–    Three seminars per year (incl. a two-day seminar) and the opening of the academic year as a networking event for PhD candidates and senior political historians.
–    Workshops and masterclasses with renowned international historians

Each PhD candidate is expected to participate in a year-cohort in the five tutorials and the three seminars of the nominal curriculum of the academic year following his/her appointment. Participation in RSPH activities in general and seminars in particular is strongly recommended for all PhD candidates after the first year of their appointment. The themes of the seminars (and certainly the PhD projects presented) vary and thus the annual series of seminars offers a wide sample of current debates and topics in political history and adjacent disciplines. In the second or third year, each candidate has the opportunity to present his/her research project in one of the seminars and to act a discussant for the presentation of another candidate. For each presentation, a senior and a junior political historian (i.e., professor or UD/UHD and fellow PhD student respectively) are invited to act as discussant. All seminars are tailored to the needs and interests of the PhD candidates, e.g. by taking into account the topics of their theses. The seminars take place in different cities, thus offering PhD candidates the opportunity to get acquainted with the Dutch (and Flemish) universities which teach political history.

Additionally, the RSPH invites selected PhD candidates to participate in the annual conference of the international Association for Political History (APH). In recent years, PhD candidates from the international institutes affiliated with the APH have taken the imitative to organise an additional workshop on a topic of their choice.

Lecturers
Courses and seminars are all taught and organized by senior researchers (i.e., professors or UDs/UHDs); often guest lecturers from abroad are invited.

Certificate
o    Certificate Training for PhD candidates who have attended all five tutorials
o    Certificate Advanced Training for PhD candidates who have attended at least six research seminars, who have presented their research in a research seminar and who have acted as discussant.
o    Certificate International Training: PhD candidates who have a basic and advanced certificate and who have presented their research in an international APH conference or international PhD APH workshop.

Schedule: competencies and programme

 
Competencies ReMa PhD
1.    Knowledge of current debates, theories, historiography, methodologies and (digital) tools in political history and adjacent fields of research ReMA course
Summer school
Seminars, Tutorials
2.    Reflection on political history in interdisciplinary academic cooperation as well as its societal impact. ReMa course, Summerschool Seminars, Tutorials
3.    Oral and written reporting and participation in academic, political and public debates ReMa course, Summerschool Seminars, Tutorials
4.    Designing and organising academic workshops and conferences Tutorials
5.    Development of (inter)national network of political historians Seminars, Tutorials

The RSPH’s ambition to offer a high-quality training programme and the content of the programme are based on two fundamental considerations:

1.    The programme is complementary to the training and supervision by the ReMA tutor/thesis supervisor and PhD supervisor respectively and to the broader training related to ReMA or PhD graduates’ competences in functioning in an academic and public settings. Inevitable, there will be some overlap between general training for academics in humanities and history and specific training for political historians.
2.    The programme is tailored to the career prospects of ReMA students – typically a PhD position, and for PhD candidates – either a career in academic research and lecturing. In both of the latter cases, a completed PhD thesis and in-depth awareness of the academic literature, primary sources and historical knowledge directly related to the thesis is not enough by far.

(10 October 2018)