Research Design Course (European graduate School for Training in Economic and Social Historical Research)

Tim Riswick's picture
Call for Papers
October 19, 2020 to October 21, 2020
Subject Fields: 
Business History / Studies, Demographic History / Studies, Economic History / Studies, Immigration & Migration History / Studies, Labor History / Studies

The Research Design Course (RDC) is a three-day workshop organized by ESTER, in which the PhD candidates in Economic, Social and Demographic History will discuss their work and that of others. Each participant will write a paper of 25 pages, according to the provided guidelines, in which they explicate their research theme and methodology. A group session will take about 70 minutes, in which all papers are presented and cross-examined by fellow PhD candidates and appointed senior commentators. This will be concluded with a general discussion.

The RDC therefore assists candidates in setting up a high quality and well-designed plan for their dissertation, under the supervision of leading senior researchers who provide them with constructive feedback. Thus, the RDC is not a “course” in which an instructor will give a lecture or that you will discuss historical theories in a seminar setting. Instead, it is focussed on the presentation of individual projects and the ensuing discussions on how to improve them. Therefore, you will be asked to write a paper in which you discuss the design of your research. Prior to the workshop, all 36 papers will be circulated, so the participants can prepare advance. On the last day of the RDC, each participant will be awarded with a certificate.

The 2020 RDC is scheduled to take place at ISEG, Lisbon School of Economics and Management in Lisbon. However, if the COVID-19 measures prevent the RDC from taking place in Lisbon, this event will be organised in a digital environment. The course will start with an informal welcome session on Sunday 18 October around 6 pm. The course will end on Wednesday 21 October around 4 pm.

There are no registration costs and accommodation will be partly covered by the organisation. A maximum amount of 200 euro (per participant) has been made available to support the participants in acquiring a hotel room etc., which should be arranged through their own-initiative. Candidates who do not have travel budget, or for whom financing would be an obstacle to participate, may be eligible for a travel subsidy. This is especially intended to encourage participation of candidates from Eastern Europe. Please indicate this wish in your application.

Contact Info: 

PhD candidates can apply via our online registration form, which should also include an 800-word abstract 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 the provided guidelines. 

For inquiries concerning this course, please contact the education programme director of ESTER: Tim Riswick (

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