PhD Grants – Stipend

Martin-Luther University Halle-Wittenberg, Halle an der Saale, Germany
Final Date of Application: 31.03.2018

The Graduate School “Techniques of Future-Making” at the Research
Cluster “Society and Culture in Motion” (SCM), Halle (Germany) announces
the following openings:

10 grants for Ph.D. students (EUR 1500/month) for 24 months with the
possibility of a 12 months extension

Applications must be received (not postmarked) by March 31st, 2018

Beginning: October 1st, 2018

Ph.D. Grant Descriptions:

The guiding subject matter of SCM is the study of the motion and
transformation of ideas, artefacts, and models in space, time and
between social fields. New technological, political, judicial, as well
as economic frameworks have increasingly trans-local and quite often
global meanings due to their translations into local contexts. SCM aims
to devise concepts that allow for the description of these translation
processes, paying particular attention to creative strategies of
adaption, transformation and redeployment of travelling epistemic or
normative elements. Thus, we aim to understand the reflexive and
stimulating potentials in experiences with unfamiliar cultural or social

Consequently, our primary concern goes beyond the migration of people as
an economic and political process in order to focus on the challenges
and chances that symbolic and normative elements in motion bring about.

From this perspective, we expect interdisciplinary research projects on
aspects of creative resistance, adaptation and camouflage that can be
identified as forms of translation of travelling ideas and models.

The focus could be on historical and social as well as transdisciplinary

Central research topic for the granted projects: Techniques of

Neither the preconditions nor the consequences of the global movement of
elements, which form ever new configurations through their adaptation to
more or less sharply defined contexts, are sufficiently known.
Furthermore, the global movement of elements sets a new framework for
the localisation and stabilisation of social orders – frameworks that
are also insufficiently understood. New technological, political,
judicial, and economic frameworks, indicators and innovations have
increasingly trans-local and quite often global meanings that have to be
appropriated locally. This process always produces something new, yet
the product of this process can seldom be anticipated with a sufficient
degree of certainty. Translation and mediation are therefore important
concepts for the analysis of these processes.

The new forms of movement generated by the last wave of globalisation
(reaching back to the 1980s) entail a number of pressing problems, which
can be characterized by the threatening and juxtaposed scenarios
“homogenisation” and “fragmentation”. The future world is imagined
either as gravitating toward an increasing homogenisation that will bit
by bit destroy the plentiful diversity (ranging from seeds to cultural
and social forms), or as leaning toward an increasing fragmentation that
will result in the incommensurability of human life forms. In this
context, we can exemplify the clusters’ research question by means of a
central problem brought on by the last globalisation wave.

We therefore invite research projects that explore potentially fruitful
ways to deal with these topics.

Who can apply?

Potential Ph.D. students must hold an MA degree (equivalent to the
German MA) in social sciences or humanities, or an equivalent degree
entitling the holder to take up Ph.D. studies in Germany. In order to
fully participate in and take advantage of the GS “Techniques of
Future-Making”‘s activities, ontinuous presence of the students in Halle
is required. Applications must include the following documents:

– Cover letter
– Copy of M.A. certificate (English or German)
– Transcript of Records (if available)
– CV
– Outline of a research proposal together with project timeline (3.000 –
5.000 words). This proposal should relate to the general topic of
“Techniques of Future-Making” (see above for a description of central
research topic). Furthermore, we ask that you include details of your
research progress (if any) up to the time of application.
– Letter of recommendation written by an academic supervisor from the
previous university.
– Proof of adequate knowledge of English (if a non-native speaker).

What we offer: 

The GS SCM offers in particular:
– Transdisciplinary seminars and workshops on various subjects.
– Presentations and talks by visiting scholars.
– Workshops related to key skills training.
– A framework for discussing dissertation projects.
– In addition to the grants, the SCM offers additional financial support
for grantees with children.
– The GS SCM can also contribute to field work expenses (if applicable).
If this kind of support is required, then it should be stated and
explained in the research proposal.

The GS SCM programme is not only directed at the SCM grantees; a number
of other Ph.D. students and junior researchers are continuously taking
part in the programme. While the working language of the SCM is English,
we nevertheless request that students acquire an operative knowledge of
German (for everyday communication as well as reading skills in
scholarly literature). German language instruction is available through
the university.

What is expected from participating Ph.D. students?

We expect a sustained effort in the Ph.D. work, together with a
willingness to actively take part in the SCM schooling programme. This
involves giving presentations and papers at the trans-disciplinary
seminars, workshops, as well as on other occasions a general interest in
methodological and epistemological enquiries.

Successful completion of the degree (Ph.D.) takes place according to the
guidelines and regulations of the corresponding faculty.

Please send complete applications as shown on the SCM website:

by e-mail to:

and/or by ordinary mail to:

Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg
Graduate School “Society and Culture in Motion”
Reichardtstr. 6
D-06114 Halle/Saale