Academic Practice Workshops 2008-2009



Forthcoming APW

February 03, 2009

Villa la Fonte, Sala A


Jens Hoffmeister, MWP Web Collaborator, EUI

  • Search Engine Optimization Session for fellows with Personal Websites

Search Engine Optimization is a technique to increase the chances of finding a website through search engines like google, yahoo or msn. Even the most interesting website will be unnoticed if it cannot be found. We will give you some hints on how to optimize your web pages, so that your website is not only easily findable by your name, but also by the topics of your website.


February 11, 2009

Villa la Fonte, CF


  • Workshop on National research Funding Opportunities Open to International Researchers

Research funding opportunities for young researchers are opening up across countries and disciplines. While this is a positive development, especially in the light of a growing demand for such opportunities, the multiplication of grant and scholarship schemes has generated confusion or, at best, the need to have better information. In particular, for internationally mobile academics the crucial question is to get a better sense of the openness of these programmes to non-national competitors, the rules that govern application procedures, and what the programmes are really about in terms of workload, expectations and outcomes. The MWP/ACO workshop on research funding opportunities in the Social Sciences and Humanities will try to clarify these questions by bringing together experts coming from selected countries and institutions who will provide Max Weber Fellows and other members of the EUI community with up-to-date and invaluable information on relevant national research schemes in countries such as the US, UK, Spain, France, Germany, The Netherlands, Sweden and Denmark. Information will include: application and evaluation procedures, statistics related to the allocation of grants, etc. After the presentations, there will be time for individual consultations with the speakers. To register, please send an email to [email protected].


March 9-11, 2009

Villa la Fonte, Conference Room


Lynn McAlpine, Director of the Centre for Excellence, Preparing for Academic Practice, University of Oxford

  • Curriculum and Course Development

This workshop is spread over three days in which the goal is to design a course you would like to teach, or will or have taught. Since the sessions are cumulative, missing any part of them will make it difficult to complete the process of course design. The workshop offers the opportunity to ask and answer the following questions about the course you are designing.

  • What exactly is the subject matter of the course/module?
  • What do I hope others will learn?
  • What kinds of practice and feedback will help students reach the learning outcomes?
  • How will I and the students know they are learning?

The general approach is as follows; each day you

  • Are introduced to research-informed ideas and strategies related to a particular aspect of course design
  • Apply them to your own teaching context and get feedback from other participants and then make revisions
  • Discuss and critique the value of the tools used and how you would modify them for your own use.

Having completed the workshop, you will have personalized a number of research-informed ideas and strategies that you will be able to continue to apply in the future.

In addition to the sessions, please plan to set aside 40-50 minutes on Monday evening and 60-90 minutes on Tuesday evening since the work on Tuesday and Wednesday depends on your having refined your thinking from your initial work the previous day. Wednesday morning we will have a course outline poster session at which participants read over and provide written feedback on each of the course outlines developed.


March 25, 2009

Villa la Fonte, CF


Angela O’Neill, College d'Europe/Fiesole Group

  • Different Teaching Styles?

This workshop aims at raising awareness on how to build on and improve communication and teaching techniques,through personalised feedback based on filmed teaching sessions. A closing session deals with broader issues stemming from the feedback sessions, and aims at presenting different teaching styles which can be adopted by teachers.Certain tips and tricks will be given throughout regarding solid practical teacher skills.


April 17, 2009

Villa la Fonte

Prof. Carel Stolker, Dean of Leiden University Law Faculty

  • Measuring Academic Output

Organized by Nikos Lavranos

In 2005 Prof. Stolker led a Commission established by all law deans of Dutch universities, which published in the same year a report on the way academic output should be measured. The report suggested using objective criteria such as ranking law journals and requiring a certain amount of academic output per year per faculty member. The report has been very influential and implemented by many law faculties. The report relies extensively on a similar Flemish report (pdf.). Prof. Stolker has been invited on Friday 17 April to the Max Weber Programme to talk about the effects and experiences of his report in the Dutch law faculties and the wider issues of academic output measurement.

See article by Prof. Stolker: "Legal Journals: In Pursuit of a More Scientific Approach" (pdf.) for background information.




January 28, 2009

Villa la Fonte, Conference Room


  • How to write/structure grant applications

Anthony Molho, Department of History, EUI


Janury 27, 2009

Villa la Fonte, Sala A

14.00-15.00 (common session)

10.30- 17.30 Private Tutorials

  • The Challenge of Academic Publication in the 21st Century

Tutorials on book proposals (deadline for proposal is 20th January)

Richard Fisher, Executive Director of Academic and Professional Publishing at Cambridge University Press and a Fellow and Vice-President of the Royal Historical Society


Janury 19-21, 2009

Villa la Fonte, Sala A


10 minutes per person


Janury 14, 2009

Villa la Fonte, Seminar Room


  • How to Structure a Lecture - and the use of power point

(Neil McLean, LSE/Fiesole Group)


December 10, 2008

Villa la Fonte,

9.00-10.30, common session

"Interview Skills Training and Feedback on the Mock-Interviews"

Terry Jones, The Careers Group, University of London

Individual feedback, on December 10 & 11


November 26, 2008

Villa la Fonte,


  • Publishing Strategies and Refereeing Peers Work

The session will be split in two:

11.00-12.00 in discipline groups with a faculty member.

LAW (Conference Room) with Bruno De Witte

SPS (Sala A) with Peter Mair

HEC (Sala B) with Martin van Gelderen and Steve Smith

ECO (Seminar Room) with Fernando Vega-Redondo and Giancarlo Corsetti

12.00-13.00 common session for all in Conference Room

Each group share their recommendations and ideas by making a short intervention on what was discussed in the groups.


November 11, 2008, Tuesday

Villa la Fonte, CR


15.00-16.00 Individual consultation on book proposals

(In particular relevant for SPS Fellows, but all are welcome to attend.)

  • Getting Published: English-Language Scholarly Book Publishing in the Social Sciences

Dominic Byatt, Chief Editor for Social Sciences, Oxford University Press

The talk will be about 30-40 minutes followed by a question-and-answer session. Dominic Byatt is more than happy to look at any of the Fellows' book proposals and offer a view about how they might be developed. Please contact Karin Tilmans if you would like to put forward a book proposal for Dominic Byatt to view.


October 22, 2008

Villa la Fonte, CR


David Dill & Michele Grigolo (ACO)

  • Reflecting on universities and your career

"Precis: Different countries offer different opportunities to researchers at an early stage of their career. Differences are related to the degree to which national universities are free and able to compete in an increasingly globalised academic market and recruit the best candidates. During the workshop, fellows will have the opportunity to know more about different models of national higher education systems and to discuss questions related to academic careers. Participants will be divided into groups and invited to reflect on their own experiences of access to and mobility between different systems. The purpose of the workshop is to identify some core issues to be further debated and elaborated at the end of the MWP-ACO conference on University Autonomy of November 12th, 2008. In order to guarantee a successful outcome of the workshop, it is recommended that all fellows participate in it.


  • Introduction to Workshop: The Evolution of University Systems and the Changing Environment of the Academic Profession -- David D. Dill

11:20 – 12:20    MWF Group Discussions:

  • North America (US & Canada)
  • North and Central Europe (Belgium, France, Germany, Russia , The Netherlands)
  • Southern Europe and Latin America (Greece, Israel, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Latin American)
  • UK

Reflecting on your own experience as a student and/or academic staff member in the relevant university system:

  • What are the demands for teaching? How are they changing?
  • What were the strengths and weaknesses of the PhD training in this university system in your experience?
  • Overall, what appear to be the principal challenges for a new academic appointee and for the development of an academic career?

Note: in preparing for this session you may wish to read relevant findings from the Max Weber Programme Academic Careers Observatory (suggestions for improving the website welcome!) and its 2008 Report (.pdf)

12:20 – 1:00 Group Reports and Discussion


October 16 2008

Villa la Fonte, Sala A & B

9.00-13.00 Mock-Interview HEC & SPS

14.00-18.00 Mock-Interview LAW

(Eco in Villa San Paolo, organized by the Eco dep.)


October 8, 2008

Villa la Fonte, CR


Graham Gibbs, Oxford Learning Institute &

Rob van der Vaart, Utrecht University

  • Preparing for Academic Practice

A doctorate, on its own, is a somewhat limited preparation for the full range of practices academics engage in. Researchers leaving Oxford for academic posts have described the experiences that they believe have best prepared them - and many of these involve active involvement in the 'community of practice' of more experienced academics, and gaining first hand experience of a wide range of academic tasks, including drafting grant applications, teaching, supervision, organisation of symposia, and so on. The most effective preparation appears to involve 'learning by doing' and also 'cognitive apprenticeship': learning by seeing experts do what they do and hearing them make the basis of their professional judgements explicit. For developing teaching there is clearly no substitute for broad teaching experience, but there is also evidence from international studies that formal training in teaching improves both teaching and student learning, and that those who are not trained to teach actually get worse over the early years of their teaching. The University of Oxford has a 'Centre for Excellence in Preparing for Academic Practice' and provides funding and consultancy to every academic department to provide support, experience and training for doctoral candidates and post-doctoral researchers. About 60% of doctorates from Oxford go on to academic positions. This session will explain the approach that Oxford takes and its basis in research evidence. Participants will use a tool developed at Oxford for reviewing their own level of experience and preparation for a wide range of academic practices, and will discuss their personal development priorities.

Professor Graham Gibbs was Director of the Oxford Learning Institute from 2004-7. He has an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Utrecht for his international leadership of the development of university teaching.


October 1, 2008

Villa la Fonte, CR


  • Working Papers and the Use of Cadmus (Database of EUI Publications)

Veerle Deckmyn, Head of Library, EUI

A demonstration on the EUI repository Cadmus will be given, along with information on the following specific areas.

I. The EUI repository Cadmus

  • What to submit
  • What not to submit
  • Who can submit
  • How to submit
  • How to search the Repository
  • Some Statistics  

II. Toolbox for Authors

III. Future developments / Content and IT


September 25, 2008

Villa la Fonte, Seminar Room (2nd floor)


11.30-17.00 Individual Tutorials

David Bowskill – Lecturer in English for Academic and Legal Purposes

Language Centre, Humboldt University, Berlin

  • Biostatement, CV and Cover Letter

This workshop will deal with three important documents for academics on the job market – the biostatement, the CV and the cover letter. We will begin with a discussion of the purposes, content and structure of the biostatement. To prepare for this exercise, participants should sign up for the Moodle course supporting this workshop. Once enrolled each participant should find a partner (via Moodle and ideally from a different discipline) with whom they should exchange and critically read biostatements before the workshop. We will then look at the Anglo-American CV comparing and contrasting it with the content and structure expected in the participants’ own cultures. To facilitate this activity, participants should also exchange and critically read each other’s CVs. Finally we will discuss the role of the cover letter in a successful application. This text is either very short; as the applicant is also required to submit a supporting statement, or it is a longer text, highlighting the applicant’s relevant research and/or teaching experience. To prepare for this part of the workshop participants will be asked to work in discipline specific groups drafting applications in response to real job advertisements from the Times Higher Educational Supplement online.

The Moodle course and materials will be available 7 – 10 days before the workshop to allow time for the preparatory activities. I will be available for individual consultations after the workshop on Thursday 25th September. Alternatively I can be contacted via Moodle or by e-mail: [email protected]


September 24, 2008

Villa la Fonte, Seminar Room (2nd floor)


David Bowskill – Lecturer in English for Academic and Legal Purposes

Language Centre, Humboldt University, Berlin

  • E-Learning in Support of Lectures and Seminars/Introduction to Moodle

This workshop serves two purposes: 1) to examine the role that e-learning tools and web-based learning platforms can play in support of both lectures and seminars and 2) to introduce the Max Weber fellows to Moodle, the online learning platform supporting the programme. Firstly we will consider how effectively course content can be delivered and/or complemented online (dedicated course websites, additional materials (audio-visual and textual) online links). After this we will discuss the efficacy of learning platforms for administering courses and assessing learning (assignments, forums, online lessons/workshops and tests). Finally we will examine the role of communication tools in facilitating the communication between tutor and student and between course participants (chat, e-mail discussion lists/forums and instant messaging). In this final aspect the role of e-learning tools in developing the social cohesion of learner groups will also be considered.

To obtain full benefit from the workshop it is recommended to sign up for the relevant Moodle course and attempt some of the exercises in advance. The online materials will be available 7 – 10 days before the workshop to allow time for the preparatory activities. I will be available for individual consultations both before and after the workshop on Wednesday 24th September. Alternatively I can be contacted via Moodle or by e-mail: [email protected]


September 15-19, 2008

Villa la Fonte, Conference Room (Thursday and Friday in Seminar Room)

14.00-17.50 (Mon, Tue)

14.00-17.30 (Wed, Thur, Fri)

Max Weber Fellows introduce themselves and their research agenda to their fellow colleaugues, faculty and staff. Each fellow has 15 minutes for this initial presentation.

Fellows are adviced to keep in mind that they are introducing themselves to a multidisciplinary group of fellows.

About the presentations:

  • The session ‘time keeper’ will be the Chair and the Chair of a Session is whoever speaks last in that session
  • 15 min. presentations (choose your own format)
  • Possible outline:

1. Very brief personal (academic) background

2. Set your Research Agenda in perspective

3. Briefly explain your specific contribution (idea), or expected contribution

4. If it applies, possible links with other fellows’ work

5. Conclusion

  • Each fellows is expected to provide short written feedback on at least four fellows’presentations (two from outside your discipline)
  • Presentations will be filmed for additional feedback


Page last updated on 26 June 2019

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