The study programme of the Research Training Group provides for a three-year curriculum, under the premise of enabling doctoral candidates to graduate within the three-year period. It therefore aims at a balanced mix of independent research within the scope of the dissertation projects and of joint study units within the Research Training Group circle. In line with the principles outlined above, the study programme provides for different focuses and components over its three-year course. During the first year of study, the central contents and objectives of the Research Training Group, together with fundamental knowledge from the field of economic sciences and geography, will be taught in foundation seminars.
Throughout the three-year study programme, a research colloquium and a group-internal seminar will take place each semester. Each of the latter will be accompanied by Mercator Fellows and will serve the application of methodological and theoretical knowledge to more specific topics. In addition to these mandatory events the Group members will be able, according to interest and requirement, to attend courses from the university’s educational range. In total, the time taken up by mandatory events during the first year is 4 study week hours; during the last two years, 3.5 study week hours.
During the semester, all events are to be combined on one jour fixe (Friday), so that the rest of the week is available for work on the dissertation. On the jour fixe, the participants of the Research Training Group will meet in different configurations: on ‘plenary day’, morning seminars will take place on a fortnightly basis; at these, in addition to the Group members, university teachers or visiting scientists will collaborate according to topical focus. In the afternoons, the research colloquium and a co-ordination meeting will take place in plenum (1x per month) . On the following Friday in each case, the Group participants will be able to take part in optional courses, in work meetings within the lines of research and in the subject-specific doctoral candidates colloquium. The latter will be co-ordinated by the participating subjects in such manner that there are no clashes with the Research Training Group. The jour fixe will take place only during the semester and will alternate between Cologne and Bonn.