CfA: ISTR 2020 PhD Seminar

Határidő: 09/30/2019

Call for Applications

The ISTR PhD Seminar is open to all enrolled doctoral students in the field of third sector and civil society research, across the different regions in the world, and at all stages of their doctoral research.

The aim of the workshop is to provide doctoral students with the opportunity to engage with senior scholars and peers in extensive intellectual and methodological discussion on their doctoral research, to discuss the main theories and developments in the field, to reflect upon publication and career strategies, and to provide a unique opportunity to network within the international ISTR research community and civil society in general.

About the PhD Seminar

Central to the PhD Seminar are the parallel small group sessions in which the participants have the opportunity to discuss their doctoral research with peers and senior faculty. Students do not need to prepare a paper or a PowerPoint presentation. Rather, in these sessions, students will provide brief overviews of their research and will then spend most of their allotted time soliciting feedback from others that will strengthen students’ PhD work. Participants will be grouped thematically, but the group composition will be heterogeneous in terms of concrete research topics, disciplinary background, research stage, method, and regional affiliation.

The seminars also offer plenary sessions and professional development workshops with presentations by leading scholars in the field.

Additionally, the PhD Seminar will feature the 3-Minute Thesis Competition. Participation is voluntary, but strongly encouraged. In this competition, students will have 3 minutes to present their research using 1 PowerPoint slide to illustrate their presentation. It is not permitted to read from a prepared text.[1] This light-hearted competition encourages students to practice sharing ideas in a clear and compelling manner, which is one important aspect of good research. Compelling presentations can be serious or humorous; the key is engaging the audience in the question at hand. The winner will be awarded a monetary prize and will be asked to make their presentation at a plenary in the main conference.


The ISTR PhD Seminar begins mid-day July 5, 2020, followed by an informal dinner

PhD Seminar plenary and group sessions will take place all day on Monday, July 6 and will conclude the morning of July 7. The ISTR Conference will begin that afternoon.

Participation Costs

  • ISTR will cover two nights of accommodation in shared room (Sunday July 5 and Monday July 6) for all accepted students.
  • ISTR will cover coffee breaks and meals during the Seminar.
  • Students are responsible for travel costs to and from Montreal, ISTR membership fees for 2020/2021, and ISTR Conference fees (student attendance required).
  • Travel and/or hotel subsidies for a limited number of PhD Seminar participants may be available pending further notice.
  • ISTR will offer ISTR conference registration subsidies. Applications will be accepted for these in January/February 2020.

Application requirements

The seminar is limited to a group of (up to) 50 doctoral students. Applicants must become members of ISTR for 2020/2021 and must register and attend the ISTR International Conference. Students are encouraged to submit abstracts to the main conference (see the call here: Past participants in ISTR International and Regional PhD Seminars are welcome to apply.

Eligibility and selection criteria

To be eligible for participation in the PhD Seminar, applicants should be:

  • A doctoral student [all stages of the doctoral research are allowed]
  • Conducting research in the field of third sector and civil society [all academic disciplines are invited]
  • Able to participate in the entire PhD Seminar from Sunday afternoon to Tuesday around noon as well as the conference from Tuesday to Friday
  • Be prepared to present and discuss their doctoral work with peers and faculty, and to participate in an active and constructive way in group discussions

Application process

Please apply online by September 30, 2019.

Direct link to the application form:

The application form requires the following information:

– Full name

– Contact details

– Gender (used to ensure a balance in the small groups and to book shared hotel rooms).

– Disciplinary background

– Institutional affiliation and name(s) of the supervisor(s)

– Working title of PhD project and formal start/end dates of your PhD

– Indication of the stage of your research

– Abstract of PhD research, see template below Call for Papers (min. 500 – max. 800 words).

– Keywords

– Letter from your faculty advisor (preferred) or other university official:

  • confirming your status as a doctoral student
  • providing information about the quality of the candidate as well as specific information about how participation in the PhD seminar would benefit their doctoral studies
  • providing information about financial support available to you from the university. Applications will be accepted on a need-blind basis, but this information will help ISTR to allocate any additional support it is able to provide.

– A brief description (100-150 words) of your motivation to participate in the ISTR PhD Seminar

  • Please also use this space to provide additional detail/clarification on information requested in the application or in the letter from the advisor/university

ISTR will consider all applications that meet the eligibility criteria on a need blind basis. In line with ISTR’s mission to build a global community of scholars and subscribe to the values of diversity and pluralism, participants in the ISTR PhD Seminar will be representative in terms of gender and region, as well as disciplines and stages in the PhD process.

For further inquiries, please contact the ISTR Secretariat:

To learn more, please visit

Selected applicants will be notified by November 5, 2020.

ISTR has hosted several PhD Seminars in the past. The student reflections in these links may be of interest: Amsterdam 2018, Munster 2014 and Stockholm 2016, Munster 2014

[1] Minimal notes are permitted for students writing their thesis in a language other than English.

See full Call for Papers here.