The Director of the Institute of Philosophy and Sociology of the Polish Academy of Sciences announces a competition for the position of the Director of the Graduate School for Social Research (GSSR) at the Institute (www.gssr.edu.pl) for the term 2017 – 2020.
Devoted to Education and Open Society
The mission of the Graduate School for Social Research (GSSR) is to promote post-graduate education in accordance with the highest European standards. Our MA and PhD programmes have been developed over the years based on the knowledge and experience of leading scholars from the Institute of Philosophy and Sociology of the Polish Academy of Sciences, Lancaster University, and the Central European University, as well as other respected academics from institutions around the world. Our programmes appeal to students with creative and independent minds who are ready not only for an intensive accumulation of knowledge, but also for a critical way of viewing existing interpretations and conceptions.
The School’s position within the Institute of Philosophy and Sociology, a leading institute of the Polish Academy of Sciences, allows integration of teaching and research in its MA and PhD programmes and of academically oriented and applied research in its post doctoral programmes, all enriched by the presence of an international community of scholars. Our aim is to bring these elements together to add something new to the Polish academic scene
The knowledge and concrete know-how that our graduates acquire prepare them for rewarding careers in a multicultural environment in contemporary society. We aim at educating students predominantly, but not exclusively from the region, from Asia and from sub-Saharan Africa, not only for future academic careers but also for careers in public life and business. Our courses help students to understand, explain, and predict social phenomena and their economic, social, political and cultural conditions. Moreover, our graduates are able to use these social mechanisms and phenomena to successfully achieve their professional and academic goals, and this is the key to working effectively as today’s managers, politicians, cultural directors, and scholars.
We offer high academic standards, programmes following the British system of education, close links to the leading Polish social research institution, and the individual attention of our faculty members. We expect our students to be intellectually open-minded and full of new ideas. When they leave we expect our graduates to have research and analytical skills in the social sciences/humanities equipping them for careers in academic, professional and public life.
Prof. Andrzej Rychard
A brief history of the School
The Graduate School for Social Research (GSSR) was created at the Institute of Philosophy and Sociology of the Polish Academy of Sciences (IFiS PAN) in 1992. IFiS is a leading institution for the social sciences in Poland. The idea of the GSSR was conceived by a group of scholars, philosophers, sociologists, lawyers, economists, psychologists and political scientists from the Polish Academy of Sciences and other institutions of higher education with the objective of training students in the field of contemporary social and cultural sciences.
The founders of the GSSR were dissatisfied with the existing system of doctoral studies, often consisting solely of the individual work of the candidates under the guidance of their academic supervisor thus excessively restricting the scope of their interests and delaying the completion of the PhD dissertation. The founders’ intention was to establish a European centre of doctoral studies with high academic standards, whose diploma would be highly respected both in Poland and abroad, providing a springboard for a scientific or professional career.
The GSSR does not seek to replace the existing PhD programmes in other Polish institutions, but at the same time it offers what is intended to be a more efficient and a more interdisciplinary educational approach. Each student pursues an individual course of studies, designed jointly with a personal academic tutor. Students are required to attend a fixed number of hours of classes and earn a prescribed number of credits. Studies in the GSSR continue for no more than four years, concluding with the defence of the PhD dissertation (with the possibility of extension for one year and maternity leave). The defence is held at the appropriate institute of the Polish Academy of Sciences or at a higher education institution in accordance with the relevant legal provisions.
In January 1995 an international jury appointed by the Institute for Human Sciences in Vienna and chaired by Lord Ralf Dahrendorf awarded the GSSR the Hannah Arendt Prize, which was established by the Körber Foundation for institutions promoting reforms in the higher education system in Central and Eastern Europe. In October 2000 the GSSR received the Hannah Arendt Prize for the second time.
In 2006 The Centre for Social Studies (CSS) joined the GSSR. The CSS was established in Warsaw in 1995 by the Institute of Philosophy and Sociology of the Polish Academy of Sciences (IFiS) in cooperation with Lancaster University in the United Kingdom , the Central European University in Hungary (until 2003 the CSS in Warsaw functioned as the Sociology Department of the CEU) and the Środkowoeuropejska Fundacja Edukacyjna (ŚFE)* .
IFiS PAN was awarded the highest rating, A+, in the most recent (2013) evaluation of academic units in Poland by the KEJN (Committee for Evaluation of Academic Units) . This rating category is described by the Minister for Science and Higher Education on the web site of the Ministry as ‘the elite, Poland’s visiting card of Polish science in the country and in the world’. Out of 963 units evaluated only 37 were given the highest A+ rating, and of these only 12 were in the category ‘humanities and social sciences’. The presence of the GSSR within IFiS contributed to the award of the A+ rating.
*The ŚFE, a non-profit foundation registered in Poland and reporting to the (then) Ministry of Education and Science in Warsaw , has now ceased all activities.