Call for papers: Spring intensive course


The International Network in Russian, Eastern European and Eurasian Studies (INREES) welcomes PhD students from the University of Helsinki (UH), the Higher School of Economics (HSE) and the European University at St Petersburg to the five-day intensive course in St Petersburg on April 20-24, 2020. The intensive course is aimed at post-graduate students working in the field of social sciences and humanities.

Course description

Research design is an integral part of every study, as it explains what the aim of your study is and how you are going to do it. A research design should be the starting point of every study, but it also gives the reader (or examiner) a clear view of what your study is all about. It clarifies your thought as an author when you are in the middle of the writing process. It is important to consider how you aim to conduct your study when starting a project, as it might change during the process. Whatever the phase of your study is, it is always good to think of the research design. For the PhD students, research design is part of the Introduction of your dissertation (monographs) or introductory chapter (article based dissertation).

The other aspect of the course is a pedagogical one. The PhD students will have a chance to comment MA students’ research plans, and this way develop their pedagogical skills with the instructors of the course.

The intensive course consists of lectures, workshops and thematic panels. The participants of the course prepare a workshop paper where they present the research design of their dissertation. The aim of the paper is to enable discussion and provide comments to the major points of your dissertation. The papers should include the following issues:

  • What is your research problem and the main research question(s) in your study, as well as how you aim to address these
  • What is your research method and major theoretical framework
  • What are your source materials (can also be described as major material groups)
  • What are the limitations of your study – by applying this kind of research design, what do you have to leave out?

The workload for the course is 5 ECTS. Lecturers and supervisors of the course are experienced researchers and professors from the organizing universities. They have a solid experience in multidisciplinary and international research training. Moreover, they have applied and run many successful research or educational projects and represent different disciplines in the field of humanities and social sciences.

We accept proposals from doctoral students from all disciplines of social sciences and humanities. The doctoral research should address Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies. Please send your applications with a short (200 words) description of your PhD project by February 27, 2020 to

The participants coming outside St. Petersburg are provided travel and accommodation in St. Petersburg. Please note that places on the course are limited. Notification of acceptance will be sent by March 3, 2020.

For more information on the course, please contact Sari Autio-Sarasmo ( and Vladimir Gel’man (

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