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Joint PhD in Diversity Management and Governance

Venues: Karl Franzens Universität Graz (Austria); University of Primorska (Slovenia); New University of Sofia (Bulgaria).
Period: Autumn 2011 - Autumn 2014
Application deadline: Jun. 30, 2011

The Program

Diversities and asymmetries are key characteristics, normal phenomena and state of affairs in all contemporary, complex societies. However, the necessary awareness and knowledge of the social importance of their formal and actual recognition, adequate regulation and management (including the prevention, management and resolution of crises and conflicts) yet need to be developed – especially from the perspective of ensuring desired stability, peace and prosperity.

From the scientific point of view, the PhD programme aims at stimulating young researchers to study, take a critical perspective and suggest innovative ideas - in collaboration with an international teaching staff - in the field of management of diversity, reflecting both from the theoretical point of view and in practice on ethnic-national questions; migration dynamics; integration into a variety of contexts (from agricultural to urban ones); and linguistic, religious, gender and sexual orientation differences. For instance, future PhD candidates might investigate practical aspects such as the organization of work, public administration, access to education or services, rural migrations, international cooperation for development or the organization of work under the management of human and natural resources, the performance management and auditing of diversity within private or public organizations, etc.

This research degree programme, thanks to its interdisciplinary features, can also encourage comparative studies on governance and the management of diversity in various international contexts from a juridical, social, educational, historical, political, economic, agricultural, managerial or corporate perspective. It is precisely such interdisciplinarity that emerges as the key concept in the debate on sustainability, which must be tailored to the requirements of the different territorial characteristics in urban, agricultural-rural, and coastal areas.

The various research seminars and other activities offered in the course of the programme stimulate students to actively engage in studying theories and methodologies relevant for the research, analysis and understanding of diversities – as key preconditions for the successful regulation and management of diversities and for good governance in pluralist societies.

Therefore, the programme sets out to train students in all phases of a research process, which is important for the development of their knowledge and skills necessary for: the initial preparation of research, development of research (project) proposals, acquisition of funds, carrying out of the research, permanent evaluation of research results, presentation, publishing, dissemination and promotion of research results and findings and their application, including proposals for the continuation of research.

By developing their independent, critical and reflective thinking – students will further be prepared to formulate recommendations for improving public policies in different areas aiming at the improvement of integration and a successful management of diversity and to provide consultancy to public and private actors.

Students’ theoretical knowledge, intercultural competence and practical skills will not only be applicable in academic/research work but also improve their performance in practice oriented professions.

The requirements

The Joint PhD Programme comprises 180 ECTS credits, which corresponds to a period of study of at least six semesters or three years. The students have to spend at least two semesters (corresponding to the completion of 60 ECTS) at the home university and at least two semesters (corresponding to the completion of 60 ECTS) in one of the partner universities.

Students have to participate in an adequate number of research seminars totalling to 18 ECTS, and reach the required 42 ECTS credits from restricted electives on the basis of their individual study programme.

Students must determine their PhD thesis’ topic in consultation with an advisor in the course of the first year. The PhD thesis consists of 120 ECTS.

The Degree

After successful completion of the programme, students get the Joint Degree in Diversity Management and Governance, recognized by all partner universities.

In addition, students can be attested in a separate certificate a “European Doctorate”, as per the respective regulations governing the partner institutions and in compliance with the requirements set by the European University Association.


Graduates of master studies or equivalent from the following fields can apply and can be admitted: Law, Economics, Social Sciences (Political Sciences, Sociology, Political Geography, Demography, Gender Studies, Psychology), Humanities (History, Philosophy, Linguistics, Cultural Studies). Graduates from other fields of studies can apply and be admitted only in case the completed programme is judged to be suitable content-wise by the university for which the student applies.

Since the language of instruction in the PhD Programme is English, students whose first language is not English must demonstrate a high level of competence in English through the provision of a language certificate. This certificate is not necessary for students who graduated from a study where English was used as the main medium of instruction.


Application to the Programme

Check the program website for further information!


Information & contacts

Ms. Alexandra Gross
University of Graz
Department of Austrian, European and Comparative Public Law, Political Science and Public Administration
address: Universitätsstraße 15/C3
A-8010 Graz
tel.: 0043.316.380.1243      
fax: 0043.316.380.9156


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