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Introduction to German Academic Culture

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Two-day workshop offered by the Bonn Graduate Center on September 26 and 27, 2019, 9.00 a.m. till 5.00 p.m., Alte Sternwarte, Poppelsdorfer Allee 47, Room Pegasus (0.003).

Modul Forschung2

Course Content

In addition to language barriers international PhD candidates in Germany often face challenges on different levels, e.g. in interactions with peers, supervisors or administrational staff. But whereas the necessity for a social integration is seen as a relevant topic which is mainly supported by the International Office or a Welcome Center the necessity for an academic integration is often ignored. Under the (wrong) assumption that academic values and ways of working are the same everywhere in the world, cultural influences on academia are often underestimated. Thus it is easily overlooked that the way to give a talk, to write a paper or to form arguments for example does not only differ from discipline to discipline, but also from academic culture to academic culture. If for instance the tasks and responsibilities of supervisor and doctoral candidate are not clarified, the challenge every PhD candidate in Germany faces can end up in serious problems for international guests especially.
The goal of this hands-on workshop is to make the basic assumptions, expectations and unwritten laws of the German academic culture comprehensible to international doctoral candidates. By focusing on cultural standards in general and academic standards in particular the course strengthens its participant’s skills to adapt to the German academic culture. The understanding of dos and don´ts in higher education will reduce stress and allow junior scientists from abroad to use their time and resources in most effective ways.
Main focus:
  • The German science system in a nutshell
  • German cultural standards and their impact on academia
  • Stumbling blocks for (international) PhDs in Germany
  • Managing the supervisor relationship
  • Interaction with peers and academic staff
  • Presenting in courses and conference settings
  • Dealing with critical feedback and unfair attacks 

Target Group

Doctoral and postdoctoral researchers from all subject areas 

Course Language


Course Instructor

 Dr Nils Reschke 

"Promotion plus"

16 units are applicable for this course within the "Promotion plus" certificate.  


Module 1: Independent Research





Joana SW
In case you have questions regarding our course offerings, please contact:
Joana Bürger-John, Bonn Graduate Center, [Email protection active, please enable JavaScript.].
The premises of Bonn Graduate Center are not barrier-free. Please contact us by e-mail when you register for a workshop if your mobility is limited. We will attempt to find a solution to enable you to participate in our workshop.