Understanding the Science System and Academic Culture in Germany (GGG, GSGG, GFA, GAUSS)

target group:
international PhD students of the GGG, GSGG, GFA, and GAUSS

Nov 11 (09:00-16:00) and Nov 12 (09:00-12:00), 2021

venue: Online course
available seats: 12
course language: English
lecturer: Dr. Veronika Fuest

International graduate schools and research projects involve novel opportunities of inspiring cooperation with researchers from many countries.
However, notwithstanding global standardizations collaboration may be complicated by cultural differences. On their arrival, young researchers in particular may be hardly familiar with the peculiarities of the science system and the academic culture in Germany. These include the institutional setting and major actors in the field of science from the national to the local levels, power relations and explicit and implicit rules and regulations – whether within their university, their faculty, their school or their project team. Cultures of communication, competition and cooperation, hierarchical and lateral relationships, the ways authority is enacted may vary considerably both internationally and within academic (sub-) organizations.
Misunderstandings, conflicts and insecurity can consume time and energy. They may arise from divergent preconceptions and expectations concerning, as the case may be, relations of super-vision, leadership, responsibilities, personal interaction, gender roles, professional performance and research integrity in particular traditions.

seminars objectives:
International junior researchers are sensitized to the characteristics of the German science system and academic culture. Adaptation and acculturation to the system are supported. Understanding behavior and interactions helps to navigate academic "shark pools" and to be active in more appropriate ways. Uncertainty factors are reduced to the effect that personal and time-related resources can be utilized in better ways.


  • institutional settings, regulations and incentive structures from national to local
  • hierarchical and lateral relationships, micropolitics
  • rules and regulations
  • inherent assumptions, implicit rules and expectations in German academia and in participants’ respective settings
  • stakeholder analysis
  • appropriate levels and ways of addressing misunderstandings and conflicts, of reporting and reaching agreements
  • useful links for further orientation

Please note: This workshop does not include advising on career paths.

credits: 0 credits
Demands: good command of spoken English and active participation

Please, send an e-mail to ggg.kursanmeldung@uni-goettingen.de

This course is organized by the Göttingen Graduate School of Social Sciences (GGG).

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