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Programme Description 2010-2011

Below you will find a description and explanation of the structure and content of the different academic acitivities of the Max Weber Programme, current year.

Academic Practice Activities

APW – Academic Practice Workshops (2nd & 4th Wed. of the month; 11.00-13.00) 
APW’s are divided into three modules, which overlap in time to allow for continuity and follow up sessions on activities within the discipline groups (APGs) and Academic Communication Skills (ACS) support within the programme.

The 3 modules are:


APG - Academic Practice Groups 
The Practice Groups are intended to complement the Practice Workshops and can serve as follow-up sessions on the workshops. They are organized independently by the four discipline groups (ECO fellows, HEC fellows, LAW fellows & SPS fellows) and allow for more in-depth exchange of ideas and experiences. To facilitate the meetings, after a general introduction to their aims on Oct. 13th, the APG’s will be scheduled regularly on Wednesdays at 2 pm.


ACS - Academic Communication Skills 

(ACS Modules, Tues. 9.15-10.45; Individual Tutorials, Tues. 11-12.30 Oct-Dec/ 9.30- 11.00 Jan-Jun, and Fri. 10-13, starting Oct. 15)

Organised by the English Unit (EUI Language Centre/FIESOLE group), the ACS modules are designed to assist fellows in fine-tuning their academic communication skills in English. A specific module on pronunciation and public speaking within the context of research presentations will be offered in October, followed by a series of weekly sessions (through December) focusing on specific aspects of academic writing in English central to persuasive research writing. Individual tutorials, instead, provide an opportunity for one-on-one feedback and coaching on writing, presenting and teaching and continue throughout the year.

Multidisciplinary Research Activities

MRW - Multidisciplinary Research Workshop (1st Wed. of the month; 11.00-13.00)

The workshops are organized by MWP in the 1st term and each Academic Practice Group will be responsible for one MRW during the 2nd and 3rd term. The sessions are based on input from an outside speaker, fellow or EUI faculty. The aim is to enhance multidisciplinary understanding between the disciplines present in the programme. These normally two-hour sessions are open to the EUI community.

MWL – Max Weber Lectures (3rd Wednesday of the month; 17.00)

The monthly Max Weber Lectures are delivered by distinguished scholars representing the four disciplines present in the programme. However, the programme aims at inviting scholars who have a special interdisciplinary focus which will be of broad academic interest to all members of the EUI community. These lectures are always at 17.00 and are followed by a cocktail at Villa la Fonte.

Writers' Groups and Academic Communication Skills offerings (information from the EUI Language Centre)

Writers’ Groups (an integrative part of the APW Publishing and Writing component of the programme) and the various Academic Communication Skills offerings (ACS modules, tutorials, support for teaching exchanges) are designed to meet the varied needs of the Max Weber Fellows (both native and non-native speakers of English). They are offered by the English Unit/FIESOLE group on an ongoing basis throughout the year.


WRITERS’ GROUPS: Tuesdays 11-12,30 or other times by arrangement (October 19th-Easter)

Experience with postdocs and junior faculty in various contexts (UK, Australia etc.) shows that Writers’ groups provide an effective setting for obtaining constructive feedback on the readability and effectiveness of texts before submitting them for publication, thus supporting the publishing process and helping to boost output. Groups (normally 4-5 fellows per group) are organised on a disciplinary basis and facilitated by a writing expert (and practicing academic) from the English Unit. They meet once every three weeks and are aimed at both native and non-native speakers of English. In addition to providing a structured setting within which to give and obtain peer feedback, individual sessions may target (according to participants’ current writing goals) specific sections of the research article (eg. introductions, conclusions) or other academic sub-genres (e.g. conference abstracts, book proposals). Sessions are scheduled so as to also allow participants to obtain timely feedback on specific programme-related writing (e.g. research proposal, March Working Paper, etc.).


ACS MODULES: Tuesdays 9.15-10.45 (October-December)

Two modules are offered, focusing on (i) pronunciation and public speaking in the context of research presentations, and (ii) aspects of academic writing in English central to persuasive research writing.   

  • Pronunciation and public speaking (3 sessions, starting Oct. 12th)

This module is designed to assist non-native fellows in improving the intelligibility of their spoken academic English, by focusing selectively on segmental and prosodic features that contribute to successful communication in large-group settings. The module will be tailored to specific problem areas emerging from September presentations and will provide opportunities for rehearsing and obtaining feedback.

  • Academic writing in English (6 sessions, starting Nov. 9th)

This module addresses some key areas of English grammar that are central to persuasive research writing. The specific topics will be finalised after your writing samples have been analysed, but in past years have included modals and modalisation, the expression of writer stance in citing and paraphrasing the work of other scholars, typical patterns of time and tense in different sections of a research paper, as well as problem areas that often persist even at very advanced levels (e.g. use of articles and other elements contributing to discourse cohesion). We will also draw on corpus linguistics to examine how specialised disciplinary-specific corpora can be used to support the writing process.


TUTORIALS Tuesdays 11.00-12.00 Oct-Dec / 9.30-11.00 Jan-Jun, and Fridays 10.00 -13.00 (October-June)

Weekly tutorials provide the opportunity for individual sessions with a member of the English Unit to discuss and revise writing in progress. These sessions can also be used to practice ‘dry runs’ of seminar/conference presentations or job talks, check slides, cover letters, etc. During the week of Oct. 11-15th, dedicated to building your personal website, we will also be available on a one-on-one basis at other times (see sign-ups) for revision and advice on CVs and bio blurbs or other materials you may want to put on-line.




The FIESOLEgroup is a network of applied linguists, educationalists and language professionals from a number of European institutions of higher education committed to the development and dissemination of best practices in the field of academic communication, with particular reference to the English for academic purposes needs of doctoral and post-doctoral researchers and junior faculty in today’s multilingual Europe.

Constituted in 2006 on the occasion of a first meeting organised in Florence under the auspices of the EUI Language Centre and the Max Weber Programme (hence the group’s acronym Fine-tuning Innovative European Strategies to Orient Language Education), the group collaborates through face-to-face interaction, teaching exchanges and a collaborative Moodle platform in order to share teaching and learning practices which have proved successful in the members’ home institutions.

Through its activities, the group is dedicated to developing teaching materials, methodologies, and curricular guidelines particularly suited to multilingual settings in which English functions as an academic lingua franca. Areas of particular expertise include teaching and learning in university classrooms (with particular attention to issues of cultural diversity), academic literacy, writing for publication, para-academic communication. Jointly and as individuals, the group offers workshops, intensive courses and educational consulting services tailored to the needs of host institutions throughout Europe.

In addition to the members of the EUI Language Centre’s English Unit, members of the group include faculty and language professionals from the London School of Economics and Institute of Education (University of London), Humbolt University (Berlin), Collège d’Europe (Bruges), University of Siena.



Page last updated on 06 September 2019

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