The annual European Doctoral Summer School will take place week commencing Monday 19th June 2023.

Organised by the University of York, University of Munster and Maastricht University, the School offers doctoral candidates an opportunity to work with colleagues from different institutions, culture and values, in sessions that will enable you to consider how to maximise your strengths, skills, career prospects and self confidence.

Sustainability in research, careers and leadership

As researchers we define problems, offer interpretations and find solutions. Inspired by how we see and experience the world around us, we create pathways through the unknown and identify new ways of working. Recognising that there are limitations on resources - physical, geographic, cultural, social and economic, the theme for the 2023 European Doctoral Summer School is sustainability.

Open to doctoral researchers from all disciplines at the universities of Muenster, Maastricht and York, we invite you to consider how you can build sustainability into your research, career and leadership. Colleagues from each of the 3 partner universities will offer support and guidance throughout the summer school, and you'll have the opportunity to work in groups with researchers across disciplines and institutions.

2023 Programme

See the full 2023 European Doctoral Summer School Programme (PDF , 5,616kb)

Book your place at the European Doctoral Summer School 2023

Book onto the individual sessions outlined in the programme using the form above.

Attendees who attend all sessions at the Summer School will receive a Sustainable Research Doctoral Scholar Certificate. Attendees who attend some of the sessions will receive a certificate of attendance.

Monday 19 June

This session will show you how a team of doctoral researchers can function well in an ever-changing environment, even without a hierarchy. Imagine having a (doctoral) supervisor that lacks up-to-date expertise, that is uninvolved or absent. You might feel quite insecure, being left on your own, or frustrated at having to carry a burden of total responsibility for your work. Adopting a sustainable, shared leadership style as a leadership approach can help you to pass through such hindrances and gain access to knowledge and other resources that you need.

Tuesday 20 June

A sustainable career adapts and evolves with you over the course of your working life. It is key to ensuring you are happy, healthy and fulfilled in your chosen profession. Building a sustainable career involves developing an awareness of your interests, strengths and values and making best use of your skills and experience.

This interactive session will invite you to discover your unique ‘career vision’: who you are, where you want to go and what you will need to get there. Whether you are currently planning an academic career, or are open to other possibilities, this workshop will help you to clarify your vision and use it to make professional decisions moving forward.


Wednesday 21 June

Sustainability issues are often complex and finding solutions may be a daunting task. How can we understand issues in their full complexity? Systems thinking is an academic approach that fosters an understanding of how to look at the connected wholes instead of separate parts. It is considered a crucial competency for those who want to contribute to sustainable change. In this introductory workshop, participants will get acquainted with the main concepts of systems thinking, and understand how elements or parts of a system can be interconnected or feed back into each other.

Thursday 22 June

Doing great research is one thing, communicating the importance of it to non-specialists is quite another. Being able to clearly and concisely articulate what your research (or any project) is about and why anyone should care about it is an important skill. Engaging and sustaining public interest in your research requires careful planning, consideration and focus on the mutual goals. To make sure your key messages are clear, we will explore a range of methods for enhancing your skills to successfully engage the public and will look at practical examples of how to inspire, inform and engage interest.

Friday 23 June

Give a 5-minute presentation on one of the topics below. Each presentation is followed by a 10-minute feedback round.

1- Developing a Sustainable Career
This is to be a personal reflection and include an overview of what you’ve learnt about your own values, broader
skills, a Professional Development Plan (PDP) and actions to develop your career.

Key learning outcome: an action plan that you can revisit

2- Sustainable Leadership
A personal reflection on the implementation of the shared leadership approach in your current research
environment. This includes an overview of advantages of implementation, obstacles and the team role that you
would take on.

Key learning outcome: an action plan that you can revisit

3- Making Research Sustainable
A presentation for a lay audience of the potential impact of your research in contributing to a sustainable future.

Key learning outcome: a presentation (recorded on video) that you can use to support your research profile on social media/web etc

4- Developing a Sustainable Research Culture
A presentation/pitch for your peers and senior managers at your institution.

Key learning outcome: a cost neutral proposal to enhance research culture for early career researchers that can be submitted to your graduate school and institution for consideration.