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"My time at EUI": alumni's reminiscences

MendesI consider myself tremendously fortunate for having had the opportunity to spend five years at the EUI, both because of its stimulating academic environment and vibrant social life. It is no exaggeration to state that there is no other place like the EUI to pursue a Ph.D. On the one hand, the scholarly and intellectual environment is stimulating and enriching, providing students with all the conditions and resources needed to pursue good-quality independent research, while at the same time being able to rely on the advice of a pool of bright researchers and scholars. On the other hand, the atmosphere is exceptionally friendly and cooperative. Social life is intense and one is also stimulated to engage in non-academic activities, be it sports or other social events. I met wonderful people and made friends for life. Moreover, the vast scholarly network one can establish is sure to be an asset in the future. The cherry on top of the cake is, of course, the idyllic Tuscan surroundings and all the perks that come with the dolce vita italiana. The only downside is that one will remain forever nostalgic of those times.

Mariana Mendes (Ph.D. 2019)

WangenWhether it is about making music (with a little help from your friends), going on hikes and motorbike rides in the Tuscan hills, or simply cherishing the community spirit of Bar Fiasco – to me, the EUI has always been more than simply the host-institution of my Ph.D. Looking back, I associate the place and my time there with personal growth, the creation and celebration of long-lasting friendships – intellectual or otherwise – and endless conversations about the political pasts, presents, and futures of our societies. 

Doing my Ph.D. at the EUI not only provided me with all the academic resources, inspiration, and career perspectives that I could have wished for, it also had a profound impact on how I imagine my political and social responsibilities as a privileged and well-networked researcher. And yet, as much as the EUI will shape you, in truth, it is also up to every new generation of researchers to recreate the supportive, political, self-critical, and intellectually generous environment that defined four of the best years of my life. In many ways, the EUI is not a neatly defined service-provider but rather, it is what its ever-changing community makes of it.

Patrice Wangen (Ph.D. 2019)

TescheThe EUI is the closest thing to a Hotel California that you can find within the social science research community. The EUI offers a truly inspiring environment to pursue your doctoral studies and I do recommend it. The high-quality lectures and conferences create a thriving academic home that is truly unique in Europe. The EUI’s reputation for excellence is well-known in the corridors of the Berlaymont in Brussels and the Eurotower in Frankfurt. The annual State of the Union event offers a great opportunity for EUI researchers to network with high-level policymakers and world-class academics. Thanks to the interdisciplinary training received at the EUI, I was able to join the European Commission as a policy officer even before my defence. Later, I smoothly transitioned back to academia as a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Amsterdam.     

Tobias Tesche (Ph.D. 2019)

ChapkovskiI remember well the first time I caught the bus number 7 to climb the hills towards Fiesole. I followed a narrow stony path from San Domenico 01 bus stop towards the Badia gates. The astonishing beauty of the Florentine landscape that suddenly opens up from there made me think: all this dolce vita, isn't it too distracting for doing a 'real' science? I was totally wrong: right behind me there was one of the best libraries I have ever been to, where we (my colleagues and I) worked far into the night and seminar rooms where in the next few years I participated in so many thought-provoking colloquia and workshops. This combination of intellectual intensity within the Institute and aesthetic perfection of its surroundings is what makes the EUI unique, and I was lucky and proud being a part of it.

Philipp Chapkovski (Ph.D. 2018)

Koen_webDoing a Ph.D. at the EUI means that you are joining a research community of researchers, postdocs and professors. Importantly, you are not just learning new some new technical skills, but you meet a bunch of people from various background who become friends, colleagues and peers for life. EUI provides the best possible graduate school experience in that you can focus on your research, pursuing your intellectual interests in absolute freedom. I came into the EUI having had a career in civil society, working on public policy and I learned a lot from my interactions with a diverse crowd of researchers. Currently, I am working at the World Bank where I apply the skills and critical mindset that I developed at the EUI. There is not a day that passes where I cannot use the skills I learned, when it comes to understanding or producing data, applying common sense, asking the right questions or interacting with high level officials.

Koen Geven (Ph.D. 2018)

KrakowskiThere are few universities around the world that can rival the EUI in terms of the collective research spirit. It is thanks to this spirit that my three years at the EUI were one of the happiest times in my life. Contrary to what I initially feared, it was also a relatively stress-free period. Bumping into friends and colleagues during lunches, coffee breaks or relaxing strolls around the fabulous EUI premises gave me the opportunity to discuss and pre-test my scientific ideas, clarify thoughts and truly enjoy doing research together. I would have never exchanged this experience for any other Ph.D. programme had I had another chance to choose an institution to do my doctorate at.

Krzysztof Krakowski (Ph.D. 2018)

JuliaRoneIf I have to sum up my years at the EUI in one image it would be me sitting on a bench in the Library gardens, reading a book (the literature became more advanced over the 4 years of my Ph.D., but my spot always remained the same), seeing the rooftops of beautiful Florence in the distance, sunshine everywhere. Occasionally a friend would sit next to me to discuss the latest seminar, deadlines, the June Ball, and other crucial topics at the time. I am now a post-doc in Cambridge so the EUI definitely helped my career. Yet, looking back, what I appreciate most about my years in Florence is this combination of friendship in knowledge, intellectual curiosity and the opening of my senses for sun and beauty that changed me and made this period probably the happiest in my life.

Julia Rone (Ph.D. 2018)

TomaszWozniakowskiWhen I first learned about the European University Institute in 2009, it became my dream to come here to pursue doctoral studies. Three years later I applied and was accepted. I was incredibly fortunate to be able to stay in this unique place - to be immersed in bellezza and academic excellence. Having a four-year Ph.D. scholarship allowed me to devote nearly all my time and energy to writing the dissertation. I am immensely grateful to everyone who helped me to follow my dream.

Tomasz Woźniakowski (Ph.D. 2018)

Francisco Alonso_WEBThe making of my dissertation at the EUI was an incredibly enriching intellectual but mostly a life experience. It is difficult to find the words to express my gratitude to all the people who, either directly or indirectly, have influenced this experience, starting with a great group of friends, colleagues and supervisors who helped to turn the lonely tragedy of pursuing a doctoral degree into a sort of collective tragicomedy. These friends are what I cherish the most. Having spent my years of semi-solitary confinement emulating Umberto Eco's medieval monks at the Badia Fiesolana has convinced me about one thing: Without friends you have no chance. Even Hemingway acknowledged it.

Francisco Alonso (Ph.D. 2017)

Margarita Z 1The EUI and its community occupies a very special place in my heart. The time I spent here brought me not only one of the best places one can ever dream about in which to write a doctoral thesis, but also the wonderful people who have surrounded me all these years. Every day spent in the Badia provides one with a special kind of inspiration for research. The intense programme of the first two years immerses newcomers in the world of academic research and stimulates learning from other fields and the exchange of ideas. Apart from completing my Ph.D., I learnt two other languages, started bartending at the university bar Fiasco, got interested in history, having previously been a total stranger. The EUI teaches you not only how to become a scholar, but also how to enjoy your life and discover your other hidden sides.

Margarita Zavadskaya (Ph.D. 2017)

Marco ValbruzziAs known, the EUI somewhat resembles a busy seaport. People, scholars, students, and researchers constantly come and go. Among this flux of people, I had the good fortune of crossing paths with other professors and scholars, who offered me their time and, most importantly, shared their ideas. That's what makes a young student a conscious and experienced researcher in the field of comparative politics. This Institute in Fiesole is not only an academic institution. It is, so to speak, a state of mind and one of best fulfilments of that idea of Europe that we, as Europeans, should defend.


Marco Valbruzzi  (Ph.D. 2017)

Camille BrugierThe EUI has been the most memorable part of my studies, although in itself it was much more than that. It is a space of intellectual challenge – in a good sense. The intellectual challenge of the EUI takes place in the seminars but most importantly at lunch, in the corridors even in the bar. At the EUI even football is intellectualised, deconstructed, reconstructed, scientifically and normatively assessed. My best memories at the EUI would be exactly those non-academic moments lived within a community of intellectuals: the party after a defence, the football games in the stadium and meeting all of these people that otherwise would never have belonged together. This community is truly one of a kind – both uniquely and weirdly European - and the breadth of its value can only be grasped once you have left it. 

Camille Brugier  (Ph.D. 2017)

LUNDSTEDTI have never regretted my decision to pursue a Ph.D. at the European University Institute. The stimulating and supportive academic environment at the Political and Social Science Department makes one realize what a privilege it has been to study at the EUI; and, I believe, has also greatly improved my own academic work. The skill sets acquired at the EUI have greatly benefitted me in my position at the Swedish Trade Union Confederation. The large student body at the institute made my time in Florence a truly joyful experience, and I am proud to say that I have met some of my closest friends during my stay in Italy.   

Ludvig Lundstedt (Ph.D. 2017)

Mathilde van DitmarsThe European University Institute is truly unique because of the combination of an extremely stimulating international academic environment, lots of resources and academic freedom, and a wonderful community of researchers. Therefore, I believe it is the greatest place to pursue a Ph.D. in Europe. For me, it has resulted in having the best 4 years of my life (both on the personal and academic level), during which I have completed and defended my dissertation, and found a postdoc position. Having been away from the EUI for some time, I increasingly realise how incomparable it is to regular Ph.D. programmes. This is not only because of the international diversity and academic excellence, but also because of everything else that the institute offers its researchers, ranging from workshops preparing for entering the job market to opportunities for international research visits and presenting your work at conferences. 

Mathilde Van Ditmars (Ph.D. 2017)

Liliya_Leopold_pictureI am a postdoctoral researcher at the Department of Sociology at the University of Amsterdam. I obtained my Ph.D. in social sciences in 2017. My work is in the areas of social epidemiology, demography, and medical sociology. I can recommend the EUI to those who would like to do their PhD as their own project instead of working on a project of someone else. In my experience, most of all, the EUI gives you freedom to follow your own ideas in a unique environment. 

In particular, your supervisor is not your employer, but an advisor. This creates room for a less hierarchical relationship, but instead for a more collegial relationship. As a result, your supervisor is mainly supporting you to develop and structure your own research in a general way; she/he does not tell you what to do. Moreover, the EUI supports long-term visits abroad giving you an opportunity to improve your network and encounter scholars who are more specialized in your particular topic. I applied with my own subject, and gained my Ph.D. thesis without major problems. During this, I spent a lot of time at the University of Amsterdam, where there were more scholars with whom I could work directly on my topic. After my Ph.D. I received a three-year long postdoc appointment there. 

Apart from professional benefits, I gained unique life time experience at the EUI. Not only did I have a chance to live in one of the most beautiful cities, but also to make friends with people from all over the world. The EUI is a very special place in this regard. About 200 new Ph.D. students from different countries arrive every year. In the beginning of the year the EUI organizes a lot of social events at which people can get to know each other. In my cohort, after a few weeks everybody had his own small social circle. Many find also their partner at the EUI. This happened to four friends of mine. Now each of these “EUI couples” have children. I am still regularly in touch with my close friends from the EUI even though we all live in different countries. 

Overall, the EUI is a good place for those who have their own ideas and are able to work independently and who would enjoy an international environment in a beautiful city.

Liliya Leopold (Ph.D. 2017)

Jan KarremansWriting a Ph.D. at the EUI has coincided with the best 5 years of my life and this has definitely not been a coincidence. The EUI has all the ingredients to let its researchers make the most out of their time here and every researcher has the possibility to do so in his/her own particular way. For me, this has meant combining my doctoral studies with many sports and cultural activities, which enriched my life enormously, without ever hindering the progress of my thesis. In the meantime, I had the opportunity to attend some of the best conferences and workshops in my discipline and thereby to greatly broaden my professional networks, both in Europe and outside. In sum, I will always remember this institute with great enthusiasm and I am extremely grateful for the time I have spent here.

Jan Karremans  (Ph.D. 2017)

Rebecca WolffbergHaving studied and worked abroad in several countries before coming to the EUI, I had already experienced several international academic environments. Nothing, however, came come close to the breadth and level of intellectual capacity I found at the EUI, not to mention the openness and curiosity of mind which characterizes the researchers at the EUI. Doing my Ph.D. at the EUI involved daily interesting talks with people of great academic ability and willingness to share their insights and exchange views on both work and current affairs, which both strengthened my research and broadened my horizons. It also included lots of EUI-activities outside of research, not least with the “Mad Cows” women’s soccer team, which took the stress off after sometimes challenging days of work. It was therefore never a lonely experience being at the EUI, despite the inherent individual nature of Ph.D. work. I also had supervision of the absolute highest quality, and received great assistance from the staff of the EUI whenever I needed help.To sum it up - the 4 years I spent at the EUI have been among the best years of my life, and the friendships and relations I made at the EUI, I have no doubt, will last for life.

Rebecca Wolffberg (Ph.D. 2016)

davide morisi 120xBefore starting my Ph.D., I imagined that the EUI would be a very special place for academic research. Four years later, after graduating, I am absolutely convinced about it – the EUI is truly a unique place. What makes it exceptional, among many aspects, is its genuine international community, in which researchers with diverse backgrounds and expertise create a thriving and stimulating intellectual environment. If I could choose again where to do my Ph.D., I have no doubt I would choose the EUI.

Davide Morisi (Ph.D. 2016)


Pierre SchlosserWriting a Ph.D. here at the European University Institute’s Social and Political Sciences Department was a very rewarding and enriching experience in several ways. If I had however to pick up the most distinctive features of the EUI compared to other leading Ph.D.-awarding universities, I would stress two: the unprecedented access that Ph.D. researchers have to high-caliber senior professors of varying horizons and the deep embeddedness of the EUI in the EU institutional landscape. Given the largely empirical nature of my Ph.D., I was very aware of these two advantages when I applied. A few years later, I realize that these two ingredients are what makes the EUI the unique and fantastic research place that it is. Other places do not provide such opportunities.

Pierre Schlosser (Ph.D. 2016)

Chiara MilanDoing a Ph.D. at the Political and Social Sciences Department of the European University Institute represented a unique and valuable experience. The EUI is an excellent place for research and thesis writing thanks to the wide range of support that it offers to its researchers, both in terms of supporting facilities and academic courses and seminars. The institute provided me with multiple opportunities to meet and network with senior fellows, experts and leading scholars in my field, which broadened my knowledge of the topic and improved the quality of my research project. The mission funding the EUI grants allowed me to take part in several international conferences, as well as to spend a considerable amount of time researching abroad. Finally, at the EUI I had the opportunity to learn other languages, thanks to the passionate work of the teachers of the Language Centre. The Academic Writers’ groups activities and the training aimed at improving writing and teaching skills organized by the Language Centre expanded tremendously my writing and communication capacities. Last but not least, the stimulating and international working environment represented also the setting for the beginning of many long-lasting friendships. 

Chiara Milan (Ph.D. 2016)


GEREKE, JohannaThinking back to my time as a Ph.D. researcher at the EUI brings back many happy memories. I very much enjoyed being a member of such a diverse and nurturing scholarly community, making wonderful friends from all over Europe who experience with you the ups and downs of conducting independent research, and the support from faculty and staff that helped me complete my Ph.D. thesis in the smoothest manner possible. I could not have imagined a better environment in which to spend these past four years and I always look forward to coming back to Florence!

Johanna Gereke (Ph.D. 2016)



SchöllerI can hardly imagine a better place to write a doctoral thesis than the EUI. This unique institute offers manifold opportunities to its Ph.D. researchers. Most importantly, the EUI allowed me to take part in a multitude of academic events representing the state of the art in my discipline, and enabled me to build up an international network with many experts in my field. In this way, the EUI also serves as a door opener to the international job-market.

Magnus Gregor Schöller (Ph.D. 2016)



ComolliMy experience as a doctoral student at the Political and Social Sciences Department at the European University Institute in Florence has been undoubtedly enriching, in all respects. Joining the EUI means becoming part of an international community of researchers and scholars linked by a passion for knowledge. At the EUI our motivation to learn grows and we are professionally enhanced by the community of students, professors and visiting fellows placed at the EUI and with whom we are in close proximity through the numerous academic activities organized at the Institute. At the EUI I learned that writing a Ph.D. dissertation, as well as being a researcher, is a collective endeavour. As an alumna of the EUI, I am proud of being part of this international and vibrant community of researchers.

Chiara Comolli (Ph.D. 2016)

Benedetta CottaWriting a Ph.D. in the Political and Social Sciences Department has been a truly unforgettable experience for me. Growing up and completing part of my undergraduate studies in Florence, I already knew the European University Institute by name. Still, it wasn’t until the moment I started my Ph.D. there that I understood the real value of doing research in a highly specialised, multinational institution of such magnitude. The seminars offered by my Department, the fabulous opportunities to brainstorm with my professors and colleagues have truly broadened by academic horizons and provided me with invaluable tools and bright ideas for my research. Moreover, thanks to EUI funding, it had been made possible for me to carry out an extensive amount of fieldwork in various European research centres and universities, to present my research at international conferences and workshops, as well as to attend excellent language and methodology courses. My time at the EUI had been a truly unique period in my life: apart from the wealth of opportunities to hone my academic skills, it was an exceptional multicultural experience that had created a strong foundation for many lasting friendships.

Benedetta Cotta (Ph.D. 2016)


Joseph LaceDoing a Ph.D. at the EUI surpassed what were already my high expectations. While you are expected to start work on refining your Ph.D. topic from day one, the first two years involve course work that will not only broaden your knowledge base but also allow you to refine skills that are directly relevant to your project. At the EUI, you will not only have full access to the faculty who are generous with their time, but also the continuous stream of academics that come through the Robert Schuman Centre and the Max Weber Programme for research stays or post-doctoral work. Researching in the hills of San Domenico at the EUI’s incredibly well-stocked library, overlooking Florence city centre just a 20-minute bus ride away, is what I would describe as the ideal working environment. Take a break and you are guaranteed to meet friends, who happen to be from all over the world, talking in the corridors, reading in the garden or having a coffee on the terrace.

Joseph Lacey (Ph.D. 2015)

Pietro Castelli GattinaraI do not feel comfortable with writing a paragraph mentioning the positive memories of my years at EUI and SPS (the academic and human environment, the relationship with my supervisor and the EUI personnel, the quality of research) while neglecting the negative ones (the neoliberal approach, competitiveness, disregard for workers' rights, cooperation with Italian police against student movements). I am convinced that despite the qualities of the doctoral training at the EUI, a number of shortcomings need to be addressed as well if we want to improve our Ph.D. programme.

Pietro Castelli Gattinara (Ph.D. 2014)

Milena TripkovicBy offering me a place in the Ph.D. programme, the European University Institute has provided me with an opportunity to experience a truly unique academic journey. As a lawyer in the Department of Political and Social Sciences, my initial sentiment of being out of familiar context was soon replaced by admiration for the variety of fields that one can engage with at the EUI. In no other academic institution would I have been so encouraged and supported to write a truly interdisciplinary thesis, which combines law, political science, criminology and political theory. And even if the quality of one’s research ultimately depends on individual abilities, being at the EUI provides a sense of comfort in knowing that every thought and idea can be discussed from so many different perspectives. 

Milena Tripković (Ph.D. 2014)

Alexander StummvollJoining the EUI’s doctoral research programme was one of the best decisions of my life. Becoming part a vibrant research community, engaging with fascinating people from around the world, and having the guidance of approachable professors: you cannot wish for more! Even though I did not work on Italian issues but on the Vatican and the Catholic Church, being embedded in Italian culture, language, and cuisine obviously was a major advantage too. As I also belong to the growing club of researchers who met their future spouse at the EUI’s (in)famous Bar Fiasco I can say: My time at the EUI was truly life-changing – both academically, professionally, and personally! 

Alexander Stummvoll (Ph.D. 2012)

Yves PetersDoing a Ph.D. at the European University Institute is an incredible experience. Having so many nationalities in one place, with so many different backgrounds and approaches—all working on their doctoral thesis or post-doctoral projects—makes for such a valuable academic environment. The professors are often leading scholars in their respective fields, and their training and supervision of EUI researchers is of the highest standard. The fact that you can discuss your research just like that, over lunch or over a beer, makes for an amazing situation and Ph.D. experience, both in terms of the quality of research and social interactions. The EUI library provides the researchers with a wealth of resources making it difficult to get used to the lower standard of many other places. This all is set in a fantastic location, overlooking the Tuscan hills, offering great food, coffee, wine, and ice-cream. Ironically, one only realises the academic strength of the EUI in full once the Ph.D. is concluded. While the experience is incredible at that time, a lot of its value becomes clear when you realise the scholarly network that you suddenly have, as well as the comparative academic advantage you have over those who did not go to the EUI. If I could do a second Ph.D. at the EUI, I would not hesitate in doing so.

Yvette Peters (Ph.D. 2011)


Julia Hermann

Writing a doctoral thesis at the EUI is no doubt a unique experience. Studying together with interesting and highly motivated people from all over Europe (and beyond), having academic discussions while enjoying delicious Italian food on the mensa-terrace with a breathtaking view over Florence, looking into the Tuscan hills, the cyprusses and olive trees, while racking one’s brain trying to solve a theoretical problem, having a picnic in the library garden, rowing on the Arno, exploring the Tuscan countryside – the combination of all this forms an unforgettable experience which culminates in the defence of a Ph.D.-thesis. At the EUI, on the hills above Florence, I grew academically, made long-lasting friendships and found the love of my life.

Julia Hermann (Ph.D. 2011)

Mi Ah SchøyenThe European University Institute is a highly inspiring place that provides you with a setting that gives you every opportunity to grow both intellectually and at the personal level. I have sometimes been asked whether I would make the same decision again, to join the EUI, if I could turn the clock back. To me that's an easy question. Moving to Florence was a decision that I never regretted. The combination of a high class faculty, a rich programme of academic seminars, workshops and lectures that give you methodological skills and substantive insights, together with outstanding supporting facilities (such as the library, administrative staff, the language centre) make an excellent offer. What is more, with so many nationalities represented, the EUI is a great place to learn about cultural differences and make lifetime friends regardless of national boundaries. In addition, Florence obviously has a lot to offer beyond the EUI and is well worth taking some time out to explore.

Mi Ah Schøyen (Ph.D. 2011)

Jonas RadlThanks to the outstanding scholarly quality of the institution, doing your Ph.D. at the EUI enhances your knowledge, fosters your skills, and trains you into becoming a fully-fledged scientist. Yet the unique EUI experience will leave an even deeper imprint on you. Personally, my first year at the EUI’s Badia Fiesolana was the most memorable, due to the rapid immersion in a truly European environment. What stayed with me from the later years is the spirit of ambition and striving for excellence in research, which is essential in the competitive grind that is academia. However, as well as public transport, I have to warn you about other downsides. Beware that spending these years in Florence will forever spoil your standards for coffee, food, and architecture.

Jonas Radl (Ph.D. 2010)

Sergi Pardos-Prado

A Ph.D. programme at the European University Institute can become a deep intellectual and human experience. The diversity of native languages, cultural backgrounds, and past personal experiences makes the EUI a true sociological laboratory. Apart from strong academic training and opportunities, the EUI can certainly provide an inspiring and unique human setting that I will never forget.

Sergi Pardos-Prado (Ph.D. 2010)


AnnaSobczakHaving done my Ph.D. research at the European University Institute has been a real privilege for me. During my years at Badia Fiesolana, every day I was surrounded by great international minds in an intellectually stimulating environment on a Tuscan hill overlooking Florence. These times offered me incredibly memorable experience that not only enriched me with the necessary skills for my current position at the European Commission but also provided me with valuable personal contacts at universities and international organisations around the world that will last a lifetime.  

Anna Sobczak (Ph.D. 2010)

Kaat SMETSAfter visiting various academic institutions in  Europe and North America, I have fully come to grasp the remarkable nature of the European University Institute. It's unique international environment does not only provide one with the opportunity to get to know scholars from all over the world, subconsciously you also learn about academic and cultural differences through colleagues that practically come from all over the world. When at the EUI it is hard not to get hit by the research-vibe. There is always an interesting talk or workshop to attend. Moreover, the culture of constructive discussion makes that the EUI is a place where you can discover your best inner researcher. All of these features are topped by an excellent library, helpful and friendly staff, beautiful surroundings, and the opportunity to live in Italy the country of outstanding coffee, food, wine, and - for large parts of the year - beautiful weather. I would not hesitate at all if I had to make the choice to pursue my PhD at the EUI once more.

Kaat Smets (Ph.D. 2010)

Dorota Szelewa

Coming to the EUI was one of the best decisions of my life and I am grateful for having had this chance to join the Department of Political and  Social Science as a PhD researcher. I was amazed by the beauty of Tuscany and I never stopped appreciating it. But most importantly, I had an absolutely unique opportunity to receive training and intellectual stimulus from great academics. The scholarly exchange between researchers and professors from different policy fields builds an interdisciplinary approach to research. Thanks to that I managed not to close within one policy area, but I learned how to discuss many different aspects of studying social phenomena. The mode of academic exchange and the level of excellence have become blueprints for my further academic work. Since I left Florence and moved on with my career, I have always been asking myself this question: how would you do it if you were at the EUI?

Dorota Szelewa (Ph.D. 2009)

Igor Abdalla Medina de SouzaThe years of my Ph.D. at the EUI are simply unforgettable. The Department of Political and Social Sciences provides a unique environment on both intellectual and personal grounds. In fact, we not only have the opportunity to be in touch with leading professors in our field, but also the administrative staff and doctoral candidates are interesting people from which we can draw a very rich experience.

Igor Abdalla Medina de Souza (Ph.D 2010)

Christian ThauerThe EUI is a truly exciting place: intellectually stimulating, culturally diverse and  interdisciplinary. I can think of no better place to do a Ph.D in terms of supervision, support and academic life. As I have experienced recently, having a Ph.D from the EUI is also helpful for succeeding on the academic job market. The Institute is known to be one of the leading academic social science institutions in Europe.

Christian Thauer (Ph.D 2010)

Tim Peace

I thoroughly enjoyed my time at the EUI and can't think of a better place to write a Ph.D thesis. Being part of the largest doctoral programme in Europe means that you can interact with and count on the support of many other fellow researchers, some of whom will become your lifetime friends. The institution affords the opportunity to come into contact with world class academics, whether they be permanent faculty, visiting scholars or simply passing through for the many lectures, workshops and conferences that regularly take place. The intellectual stimulation of the EUI and its beautiful setting coupled with the cultural opportunities of living in Florence make for a truly unforgettable experience.

Timothy Peace (Ph.D 2010)

Eva AnduizaThe EUI experience certainly counts as one of the best in my life. The challenging intellectual atmosphere, its multicultural and interdisciplinary character, and above all the quality, both human and professional, of the staff and researchers, have left a lasting impression on my academic career. 

Eva Anduiza (Ph.D. 1997)

Olaf OsicaThe  EUI doctoral programme exceeded my expectations. I was prepared for just a comfortable place to write my Ph.D. in the middle of lovely Tuscan landscapes. With the passing of time, however, I discovered EUI as a unique place where the art of studying and the way of living merge into a great life experience one can profit from through the entire professional career.

Olaf Osica (Ph.D. 2007)

AmyVerdunDoing my Ph.D. in the Department of Political and Social Sciences at the EUI was rewarding in every possible. I enjoyed the fact I could work with leading scholars in the field, do fieldwork for my doctoral studies, and attend courses that provided an excellent basis for my Ph.D. thesis and indeed the rest of my career. The EUI offers not just an excellent doctoral programme but also a terrific place to be a postdoctoral fellow or visiting fellow as I experienced during the times I returned after I graduated. Having the opportunity to mingle with students from all over Europe and with scholars from all over the world has been tremendously important to me. As such it offers a scholarly place for the best and the brightest and hence creates a terrific network of students and scholars that extends well beyond one’s time at the EUI. I could think of no better place to do a doctorate, or spend some time as a postdoctoral fellow or visiting professor.

Amy Verdun (Ph.D. 1995)

ThomasPoguntkeWhenever I go to a major international conference in my field it seems that about half of the people in the room have been at the EUI either as researchers, fellows or faculty. What more can you say to show that the EUI is simply one of the leading institutions in its field.

Thomas Poguntke (Ph.D. 1989)


Page last updated on 13 July 2020