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GSSR is comprised of four disciplines at three institutes of the Polish Academy of Sciences

Institute of Philosophy and Sociology
Institute of Philosophy and Sociology
Institute of Psychology
Political Studies
Institute of Political Studies

GSSR Learning Outcomes Align with PQF and Salzburg Principles

The learning outcomes of GSSR’s PhD Programme – acquisition of expert, transferable and soft skills and new knowledge creation – align with the 8th level of the Polish Qualification Framework (PQF) and the European University Association Salzburg Principles on doctoral education.

Our PhD candidates are researchers in GSSR’s academic community with the aim of becoming international scholars with strong ties to Poland. In line with the 8th level of the PQF to train PhD students for doctoral certification, the GSSR PhD curriculum is designed to:

  1. Consolidate and deepen theoretical and methodological knowledge in the discipline and across disciplines, relevant for students’ dissertation and other research efforts.
  2. Widen PhD candidates’ cognitive horizons to be creative in their approaches and solutions to the dilemmas of modern life.
  3. Foster students’ ability to conduct independent research with strong academic contributions and practical uses beyond academia, thus promoting intersectoral mobility;
  4. Develop students’ ability to analyze and criticize scientific theories, methods, and findings, and disseminate research results to the international scientific and other scholarly communities, and society-at-large in Poland and abroad, and thereby fulfill their obligation as researchers;
  5. Impart real-world experience in research design, fieldwork, teamwork in international projects, preparation of publications, and participation in intellectual debates.

GSSR’s Education Model

GSSR involves outstanding faculty from IFiS, IPS and IP and abroad to implement its 4-year English-language multi- and interdisciplinary doctoral education model that emphasizes:

(I) Learning-through-Research (LtR), implemented via student participation in all stages of the research process, along experienced faculty in Poland and abroad;
(II) Classroom Training, implemented via mandatory and optional courses, summer schools, workshops, and seminars;
(III) Ongoing assessments of students’ progress, based on students’ Individual Research Plan and Programmes, and Yearly Evaluations including the Year 2 Midterm Evaluation.

The interaction of these training policies fosters acquisition of expert, transferable and soft skills, and enables our PhD students to do a top-level doctoral dissertation and publish in acclaimed scholarly outlets within GSSR’s 4-year English-language program. Faculty with impressive academic records from IFiS, IPS and IP, and visiting scholars from other Polish and foreign HEIs, contribute ongoing multi- and interdisciplinary expertise to LtR, Classroom Training and PhD Progress Assessment.

Details of GSSR’s Education Model

From Year 1 students participate in faculty-led research units of IFiS, IP and IPS; LtR is a continuous element that leads to students’ scientific independence. In Years 1 & 2, students take mandatory courses (with emphasis on research methods and refinement of individual projects), elaborate on their dissertation plan, and write a first version of a seminal chapter (or article) of their PhD thesis. Years 3 & 4 are dedicated to research work.

At the start of each academic year, GSSR implements the legally required Individual Research Plan with annual Individual Study Programmes (ISP) submitted by students, and signed by supervisors. These map the mandatory and optional elements of both LtR and Classroom Training. Compulsory courses in a given discipline are available to students of other fields as optional courses that enhance the interdisciplinary character of their studies.

The PhD Handbook outlines the premises of success in GSSR’s PhD Programme. To facilitate PhD scientific activities and dissemination, LtR includes required student participation in minimum one faculty-led research group where students learn expert, transferable and soft skills (e.g. project design & management, team work) and broaden their scholarly networks. Work on a publishable article begins in Year 1. As part of annual evaluations, this work is reviewed (single-blind) by an expert in the field.

Evaluation Commissions review scientific progress in Years 1 – 3 via student-supervisor agreed-upon Individual Research Plan, the ISP, and the article/thesis chapter review. Our expectations for mentoring over the four years of doctoral studies include supervisor guidance of the Individual Research Plan and ISP, active student integration in a research group, defining core elements of the PhD thesis, and writing grant applications. Supervisor’s Opinion about a student’s PhD progress, submitted at the end of each year, enhance GSSR’s Evaluation Commission recommendations. We also implement the legally mandated Midterm (Year 2) Evaluation by External Evaluators.