Tilmann Kulke (EUI Ph.D. 2016)


Assistant Professor in Islamic History and Global History, Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Ilia State University, Georgia

I would like to start with the friends I met at the EUI. This circle of friends became an indispensable gift for me. I have never worked so intensively with so many enthusiastic people from different countries and cultures over such a long period of time. Without the EUI, I would never have met these colleagues and friends and for this I am infinitely grateful. Also, my awareness as a European/Global citizen really awakened during my time at the EUI. Before I went to the EUI, I never thought it possible to work outside of Germany. The new environment has raised me to a new level.

The academic support and training at the EUI is undoubtedly excellent and the numerous courses and lectures are unique. During the semester, I had at least one additional interesting event in my calendar every week as I was particularly interested in the SPS events. That meant that I was constantly challenged academically at the highest level. In addition to this, there is the language centre, the career seminars, writing courses, etc. Also as the parents of two children, we felt constantly supported and understood and my partner and I will never forget that.

Thanks to my time at the EUI I made a big leap, both personally and professionally. There would have been no comparison had I stayed at home, which surely would have been the simpler solution. I have developed professionally at all levels, leaving the EUI with greater self-confidence and more trust in my academic skills. That I have so quickly received a position as an assistant professor, I owe, without a doubt, to my degree and the experience gained at the EUI. That all said, I am very much indebted to my alma mater and I am looking forward to remaining in close contact with her as an active alumni in the future. 


Dónal Hassett (EUI Ph.D. 2016)

Lecturer in the Political and Cultural History of France and the Francophone World, Department of French, University of Bristol

The Department of History and Civilization at the European University Institute is an excellent environment for young scholars starting out in academic life. It provides researchers with all the resources necessary not only to complete the PhD but also to develop as a young scholar and to prepare for a post-doctoral career. The combination of professors, post-docs and doctoral researchers from across Europe and further afield working on a wide range of geographical and temporal spaces gives researchers access to an unparalleled variety of expertise. The department facilitated my research in both France and North Africa while also granting me every opportunity to develop an international network of academic contacts. This allowed me to move very quickly from PhD into the job market and to find an academic position. The EUI not only provided me with the institutional support needed to successfully start my academic career but also gave me the chance to make friendships with fellow researchers from many different countries. I left the EUI with the skills and qualifications necessary to pursue my career and with the friends and fond memories which will last for a lifetime.

Diana M. Natermann (EUI Ph.D. 2015)dianaNatermann2

Assistant Professor Leiden University

Doing my PhD at the EUI is probably the best thing I did for my academic career. The HEC Department supported my research trips to several different countries and stepped in financially when I needed Swedish language lessons. Also, the library staff was extremely helpful in granting access to most current publications.

My four years in Florence gave me the opportunity to work and befriend other academics from all over the world and our close-knit community of researchers and professors enabled me to learn more about other nation´s academic cultures and approaches to research.

Overall, my EUI experience enlarged my access to international research and my work there definitely helped me in being offered a post-doc position at the University of Hamburg that started mere two weeks after my PhD thesis defense. If you wish to do research in a highly demanding, supportive, and international environment, then apply for a PhD scholarship at the EUI. You will not only be challenged intellectually but also make friends for life (and maybe even meet your future spouse like I did :D). 

Thomas Cauvin

Thomas Cauvin (EUI Ph.D. 2012)

Assistant Professor of History and Public History, University of Louisiana

I was Ph.D. candidate in the EUI’s History and Civilization Department from 2007 to 2012. I must say that those were the best years of my life in terms of research, family life, and fun. Research-wise, I particularly appreciated the close connections I had with my supervisors and other faculty members. The History Department facilitates encounters between scholars from different origins, with different approaches. This diversity was priceless; it enriched my vision of history, and ultimately, made me a better researcher. To give but one example, if I now teach public history, it is largely due to Dr. Serge Noiret who, as historian, librarian, and public historian, made me discover other approaches of the past. I went through many universities in Europe and North America, but nowhere did I find such a stimulating environment. Although day-to-day life may be harsh for PhD candidates, the History Department gave me the best conditions. I could take advantage of the daycare facility for my son, enjoy breaks at the coffee shop, do sports with my friends.  When I entered the EUI I was a young schoolteacher. When I left, I was a Doctor doing comparative history, having published several articles, was involved in pubic history projects, and was ready to struggle in the harsh academic system.

Manuel Perez Garcia (EUI Ph.D. 2011)Manuel Perez Garcia

Associate Professor, School of International Studies, Renmin University of China (Beijing)

Since I entered to the doctoral program at the HEC, EUI, in 2006, the form, method and view I approached to history, starting from my own research, profoundly changed. Of course such change was for the better. The training that researchers receive at HEC help them to go beyond local studies that different scholar traditions in Europe, especially in southern European countries such as Portugal, Spain, France, Italy or Greece, for instance, have firmly kept during decades. If you ask me how many departments, faculties, universities or research institutions in such countries have a solid program on trans-national, comparative and global history, I will definitely say that the number of institutions and practitioners of trans-national and global history is quite marginal. Thus, the HEC makes a huge difference in training researchers with a solid theory, methodology on comparative, trans-national and global history and how to apply it to different case studies. This cutting-edge approach is contributing to prepare a new generation of global historians. In my own case, since 2006 until the present I have been out of my own country by experiencing different historiographies in Europe, U.S.A, Latin America, and currently in China. Surely such global and trans-national view help me to enrich my understanding of the historical process of the early globalization and to escape of micro-local and national myopias to recognize that the world does not start and finish in the community and place where we were born.

Eveline G. Bouwers (EUI Ph.D. 2009)Bouwers

Head of Emmy Noether Research Group, Leibniz Institute of European History (Mainz)

The EUI is a truly international institute that brings together junior researchers and established professors from across Europe (and a bit beyond). Given its size, it provides for an intimate environment where supervisors are approachable, the administrative staff helpful and the doctoral seminars focus on important themes from European history and historiography. Simultaneously, the steady influx of new researchers makes for a dynamic and welcoming community, which also reflects in the extracurricular activities organized by/for students: language courses, sporting facilities, art classes and the Bar Fiasco. Given its truly European character, structured program, community feeling and focus on research, I would definitely recommend the EUI to anyone interested in pursuing a doctorate in European history (and, needless to say, to anyone interested in working where humanist thinkers and Renaissance heroes once lived…).

Magdalena Waligórska (EUI Ph.D. 2009) Magdalena Waligórska

Junior Professor, History Institute, University of Bremen 

Located in the historic Villa Schifanoia, surrounded by a sun-bathed Italian garden, and overlooking a breathtaking panorama of Florence, the History and Civilization Department, is a truly inspiring place. Excellent teaching staff from all over the world, multi-lingual surroundings, a multitude of scholarly events, and, last but not least, helpful and efficient administrative staff, all contribute to the fact that studying there is a privilege. As a HEC researcher, I received tuition and assistance not only of the highest quality, but also tailored to my particular needs. With a background in literature and sociology, I successfully completed an interdisciplinary Ph.D. project, learning such diverse skills as, for example, carrying out semi-structured guided interviews, or reading German Frakturschrift. The HEC Department was not only a place where I received a red-carpet treatment in the four years of my stay there (impeccable library service which procures next to any book in the world you need, mission resources that allow you to carry out archival research abroad and attend conferences, Language Centre and editing service which overhaul your English), but also an institution which furnished me with experiences that helped my further academic career. With the support of the Institute, for instance, I was able to organize an international conference on my research topic and publish the conference proceedings. Finally, I really believe in the importance of genius loci for all those who write. And all I can say is that watching the sun setting over Florence from the library window has a very soothing effect on the toils of producing a thesis.


Page last updated on 28 August 2018

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