Call for Applications ESTER Research Design Course 2022 (Lund, Sweden) - extended deadline 15 June

Rogier van Kooten's picture
October 23, 2022 to October 26, 2022
Subject Fields: 
Business History / Studies, Economic History / Studies, Research and Methodology, Social History / Studies

The N.W. Posthumus Institute participates in the European graduate School for Training in Economic and social historical Research (ESTER), a European platform for postgraduate teaching, involving over 60 universities throughout Europe and offering high-level research training for PhD candidates in an international context. Part of the ESTER programme is its annual Research Design Course (RDC) for economic and social historians. For 2022, this RDC will take place in Lund, Sweden.

Key info

Dates and location23–26 October 2022, Lund (Sweden)
Hosting institutionLund University
OrganisersDr Jaco ZuijderduijnChristina Rothmann (both Lund University, Department of Economic History), Dr Rogier van KootenRené van Weeren BA (both N.W. Posthumus Institute)

The Research Design Course (RDC) is a format promoted by ESTER since the late 1990s. The RDC assists candidates in setting up a high quality and well-designed plan for their dissertation under the guidance of a team of leading senior researchers whose task it is to provide comments and feedback.

Therefore, you will be asked to write a paper of about 25 pages in which you discuss the design of your research. In this paper, you will also prepare a detailed work plan for the dissertation. Prior to the workshop, the N.W. Posthumus Institute will circulate all papers, so the participants can prepare them in advance. During the RDC, you will give a brief presentation of your own paper and will receive feedback from junior and senior scholars in the field. You will also act as reporter, chair, and peer commentator for papers of other PhD participants.


The RDC course is aimed at offering PhD candidates better awareness of research choices that need to can be made by assisting them to:

  • sharpen and refine their research questions;
  • strengthen the focus of their research;increase the consistency of their overall dissertation plan;
  • make explicit the various theoretical and methodological choices that have to be made in the course of the project;
  • improve the composition of the dissertation;
  • learn how to provide feedback to peers.

The overall goal of this methodological reflection is to investigate the scientific procedures that historians use to reach scientific explanations and to combine all analytical elements into a synthetic and coherent historical account.On the last day of the RDC, each participant will be awarded with a certificate.


Candidates participating in the RDC should meet the following minimum requirements:

  • be a PhD candidate in economic and social history (regardless of their research subject)
  • (at the very least) be finishing the first year of their dissertation project, methodology and research design should not be fully crystallised
  • working on their research for at least six months, when they start writing their paper
  • able to have mastered English at a sufficient level

How to apply

Please note that only up to a maximum of 36 participants can be accepted to the Research Design Course.

PhD candidates can apply until the deadline (June 15th) via our online registration form, which should also include an abstract between 400-800 words of their dissertation project. Based on this short summary, the organisation will make a first selection. Once the candidates have been accepted, they will be asked to write their research paper conform guidelines that will be provided. Final admission depends upon the following criteria:

  1. the abstract is received by the deadline, being 1 June 2021
  2. the abstract is of sufficient academic quality
  3. the level of the English used in the abstract is sufficient
Contact Info: 

For inquiries concerning this course, please contact us by e-mail

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