Intensive courses form the core of the FRRESH network activities. These two- to three-day intensive courses are dedicated to specific methodological and theoretical questions in Russian and Eurasian studies. They also address issues around argumentation, academic writing and project management skills. The Finnish-Russian intensive courses include lectures and workshops. The lectures will discuss methodological and theoretical approaches from various perspectives. Courses aimed at improving research skills will incorporate practical examples from research projects.
In the workshops, students will discuss their research from these perspectives. PhD students prepare papers for the workshop, and receive comments on their papers from other PhD students and researchers. In this way, the multidisciplinary and cross-boundary network offers an opportunity for its members to gain wider perspectives on and different approaches to their research.
The FRRESH network and its partners organise annual summer schools, which bring together PhD students from Finland, Russia and other countries. The summer school follows the idea of the North American Graduate School, where research training is seen as not only developing postgraduate students’ research skills but also widening PhD students’ knowledge and intellectual scope. Therefore, the topics of the annual summer schools will vary from year to year. The aim is to look at the region in terms of the following vital aspects:
Conflicts – locating Russia and Ukraine in a broader geographical perspective (ranging from the Balkans to the Middle East) and analysing them through several disciplinary views (international relations, history, economics, cultural studies)
Governance and policy changes – taking the Eurasian region as an example of related phenomena in other areas of the world and approaching the topic through political, sociological, and cultural analysis
Migration – Russia and Eurasia in an international perspective (problems of refugees, labour market, cultural adjustments, etc. through the prism of sociology, anthropology, law, culture, etc.)
Human capital – examining welfare, social issues, education, the environment, etc., in Russia and Eurasia through the lenses of various disciplines and approaches
Separate workshops will be dedicated to questions of theoretical formation, methodology, data gathering and area expertise. The supervisors of the summer school workshops include both invited speakers and lecturers and senior researchers from the network itself.
Teaching and project management skills
In addition, the network’s postgraduate students are also offered a chance to develop their teaching skills, as they will teach, lecture and supervise MA students on both the Aleksanteri Institute’s and the EUSP’s MA programmes. Lectures and supervision are designed and conducted alongside senior researchers.
The FRRESH network devotes a special intensive course to teaching argumentation and academic writing for PhD students. Through this, it aims to improve the quality of academic writing and research proposals, both essential skills for future researchers. The FRRESH network integrates research training, area expertise and societal influence in a flexible way, so that the members of the network can be active in all of these fields.