Young Researchers’ Seminar Graz 2016

DESCNet Young Researchers’ Seminar

University of Graz, 18 – 22 April 2016

The first DESCnet seminar for young researchers was held on 18 – 22 April 2016 and was hosted by the University of Graz. The seminar brought together around 16 PhD students and young researchers from the partner universities, representing all countries from the South Caucasus,
the neighbouring region of Russia as well as Turkey, Austria, and the United States. Subject-wise, the students represented a wide range of emerging academia including legal studies, international relations, economics, and other disciplines.The five-day event workload was equal to 3 ECTS.

The aim of the seminar was to enable young researchers for scientific writing (in particular for future articles for the AESC working papers) and contributing with their articles for the DESCnet newsletter. Young researchers will have the opportunity to present their research work at the AESC Annual Conventions 2017 and 2018 where the best contributions will be awarded and a limited number of young researchers will be invited for the upcoming summer/winter schools to assist in teaching.


The seminar was held by lecturers from the Universities of Graz and Tartu. They presented research methodologies of political science and law with focus on European integration and peace studies in order to comply with the multidisciplinary aspects of the domain. Three lectures were dedicated to transferable skills and practical experiences:

1) Proposal writing and European fundraising, focusing on the research programme, and introduction of several funding opportunities and career opportunities from a practical view. This included the development of group proposals for various programmes and the critical assessment of these proposals.

2) Academic writing, including a theoretical introduction, whereby the participants had the opportunity to practice their skills using topics of the upcoming summer school in Batumi.

3) A presentation of dialogue projects in the Alps-Adriatic region, demonstrating relevant issues and methods for running a project by using
concrete examples.


The key event of the seminar was the Academia – Policy dialogue: Prof. Dr. Erhard Busek, Jean Monnet Professor at the University of Graz and former Vice Federal Chancellor of the Republic of Austria. At present he is also Coordinator of the South-Eastern Cooperative Initiative (SECI) and
Chairman of the Institute for Danube Region and Central Europe among other things. He has many functions in his political career including, Federal Minister of Science and Education, Special Coordinator of the Stability Pact for South Eastern Europe and Special Representative of the Austrian Government on EU Enlargement. He received honorary doctorates from the Universities of Kraków, of Bratislava, of Brasov and Czernowitz, of Liberec and the Webster-St. Louis University Vienna. He was also chairman of the internationally renowned „Forum Alpbach“, bringing together highest-level politicians and opinion makers with academia and students. He shared with the students his rich experience in politics and policy, including ENP and, thereby, provided a unique glimpse into the interplay between scholarly activities and science. He engaged
in a lively dialogue with the young researchers and the lecturers.

The programme of the seminar, teaching materials and feedback of participants can be found below.