The central aim of the structured PhD programme is to facilitate the development of excellent academic qualifications as well as interpersonal and career skills. At key focus is placed on providing the support required for the timely completion of a PhD project at an advanced academic level. This support is provided by a study programme that develops advanced methodological and theoretical competencies. An additional hallmark of the programme is it grants sufficient latitude for independent PhD project work and the growth of academic autonomy.

As part of the PhD programme, we provide practical training to further encourage the development of personal and professional skills. This prepares students for research and teaching within the university system as well as for other professional fields. Our focus on imparting practical knowledge and experience broadens the perspectives of PhD students, opening up new career paths. Aside from embarking on academic careers, our students can pursue employment at various cultural institutions: our group actively collaborates with the Frankfurt-based newspaper FAZ as well as various museums, foundations and municipal marketing companies.

All parts of the qualification programme are closely linked to the research programme and are dynamically designed, facilitating an ideal path for doctoral attainment. The programme – which is offered exclusively by the participating and associated academics for the PhD students attending the group – is designed to run over a three-year funding period. It consists of a foundation phase and a completion phase. In the first phase (semesters 1 to 4), students’ understanding of the purpose and methods of the group is consolidated and gradually amplified in compulsory courses. The second phase (semesters 5 and 6) is dedicated to preparing doctoral theses within the scope of a streamlined and more flexible programme now increasingly made up of optional courses.


Study programme
You can download the detailed study programme here: Studienprogramm

The study programme includes compulsory and optional units that enable the broadest possible methodological and content-specific training for PhD students.

Unit types


The colloquia held in the group are used to present and describe the progress made by students in their doctoral studies. They are compulsory for all those involved (PhD students, postdoctoral researchers and supervisors). A PhD student’s colloquium is the most important assessment and balancing element in the qualification programme and takes place regularly at the start of the semester.

Reasearch seminar

The PhD students actively engage with the research programme in the research seminars. Members of the group, associated and invited (international) guest academics as well as the Mercator Fellows work together with the PhD students on texts devoted to the underlying themes of the research training group to create an understanding of the methodological and content-specific framework and to develop perspectives for common questions. The research seminars are held every fortnight in the first two semesters.

Intensive workshop

This unit replaces the research seminar in the third and fourth semesters. Once a semester, one or two guest academics run a (joint) one and a half day intensive workshop with the PhD students. The workshop is linked to a public evening presentation.

Graduate forum

This forum is reserved for young academics (under the guidance of the research coordinator) and gives the PhD students an opportunity to exchange methodologies, to establish working groups, and to develop joint projects. The (compulsory and optional) units in the Graduate Academy, the University’s writing centre and didactics centre (LehreLernen) are also a focal point of this forum. The PhD students are supposed to organise graduate workshops of their own on the basis of discussions held in this forum.

Graduate workshop

Workshops devoted in a broad sense to the topics addressed by the group are organised by changing teams of PhD students (and, if needed, with the academic support of individual supervisors and the research coordinator). The workshops, which are held in the third and fourth semesters, aim to facilitate an exchange of ideas between young German and foreign academics while also encouraging young researchers to act independently within the academic community.

Fakultative Elemente

The Graduate Academy, which is the umbrella organisation for the coordinated PhD programme at Friedrich Schiller University, offers a general qualification programme to PhD students.
The writing centre at the University offers courses and week-long writing workshops to help PhD students make their academic writing more professional.

Romanticism platform

In order to encourage an academic network for the group, a ‘Romanticism platform’ will go online and feature regular contributions from all PhD students and their supervisors. The Romanticism platform will create a new format for linking academic studies on Romanticism.


Additional Qualification
Academic qualification
Presentations and publications

The PhD students are encouraged by their supervisors to make presentations and to publish their work. The University has established a project-based agreement with the journal Athenäum. This enables articles focusing on a particular subject to be jointly published following a peer review process. The scholarly journal published by Professor Christiane Wiesenfeldt, Die Tonkunst, also provides an appropriate forum for publication. A special issue devoted to ‘Romanticism as a Model’ is being put together by the PhD students. Publishing proposals from the PhD students are also being supported.


If a given PhD topic does not have an international component or perspective, collaboration with the international academic community will be encouraged. Interested PhD students will be to spend one to two months in working groups run by collaborative partners abroad.

Teaching experience

The participating institutes at Friedrich Schiller University enable PhD students to gather teaching experience. Students can teach as a teacher or co-teacher for a maximum of two semesters. The University’s service office ‘LehreLernen ’ offers interested PhD students the opportunity to complete the teaching qualification programme ‘Basic’, which is made up of four modules and is funded for PhD students.

Organisation of conferences

PhD students can also take on the responsibility of preparing conferences with our collaborative partners.


Practical Qualifications
The commission of the research group encompasses intellectual concepts and everyday life questions. This orientation is reflected in practical training and instruction. “Sites of Romanticism” is the section of training that deals with specific work on models of Romanticism.  This is achieved through work-shadowing, projects, and internships. The practical qualification part aims for reflection and the active facilitation of transfer processes. On one hand, the analytical perception of the changes that have taken place in discourse within the public contexts of museums, marketing and journalism should be heightened. On the other hand, the PhD students should be trained to talk about the subject matter of the research group in other social contexts and textual genres. Last but not least, the doctoral scholars should prepare themselves for the labour market outside academia.

Educational Work in Museums

Models of Romanticism will be used in museums. These will be updated and communicated to the public. Sensualisation and materialisation of core ideas and forms of life in Romanticism take place in this context.  There are collaborations with museums in Jena (Ernst-Haeckel-Haus, Romantiker-Haus), in the region (Novalis-Museum Schloss Oberwiederstedt), accross the nation (Pommersches Landesmuseum, Greifswald, Kügelgenhaus/Museum der Dresdner Romantik, Künstlerhaus Schloss Wiepersdorf), and abroad (Maison Chateaubriand, Walden Woods Project). Doctoral scholars have already interned with our international partners in Malabry (near Paris) and in Concord (Massachusetts). Whereas project work usually allows insight into existing and established structures, the co-operation with the Freien Deutschen Hochstift allows for participation in the design and development of an institution that is yet to be constructed –  in this case the Deutschen Romantik Museum. Through project assistance, doctoral scholars were involved in various musicological and structural preparations, in the exhibition design of the current exhibition and the in museum education in the HochStift/Goethehaus.

Event Conception, Design and Development

In Jena, doctoral scholars may choose to examine to what degree hypotheses influence organisation and event series. The number of cultural events that are aimed at a wider audience are increasing and promise great entertainment value; the doctoral scholars can therefore acquire the necessary qualifications in any of the areas of the steadily-growing cultural life. In the field of cultural management, the doctoral scholars have, up till now, acquired qualifications through the organisation of different events.  In the summer of 2016 “Romantische Welten. Musik – Poesie – Bewegte Bilder” was held in the Jena Hofoper (Jena Courtyard Opera). In November 2018 the event “Concerts, reading and discussion” will tether the specific questions posed by the Research Group to present-day cultural life. In addition to reflective discussion fora, readings, musical, and pictorial contributions can be exemplars for the updating or upgrading of Romanticism.  In this section, the doctoral scholars will be supported where necessary and receive workshop-based training from a cultural manager from Munich who is currently organising the Munich Literature festival.

Municipal and Cultural Marketing

An effective method of popularising and broadcasting Romantic models is through municipal marketing. In 2015 Jena presented itself as the City of Romanticism. Dresden attempted the same in 2014 with a yearlong campaign. The Romantic city of Heidelberg stages its Romanticism every day for the tourists to see. A practical orientation in tourism marketing is possible in municipal JenaKultur.


“Sites of Romanticism” will be visited in a series of workshops and, under professional instruction, depicted in journalistic publications. This part of the project takes part in conjunction with Frankfurter Allgemein newspaper. Every group in the 3rd or 4th semester will be offered participation in a two part workshop. In 2017 it was conducted by Dr. Uwe Ebbinghaus. The workshop consisted of an excursion and guidance in the compilation of reports that were published in the faz.net.