Skip to content

Academic Practice

The Academic Practice Activities aim at improving Fellow’s competencies in areas essential for academic excellence.

The Academic Practice activities focus on skills highly valued in global academia that can be tailored to individual needs.

They take diverse forms: one-off seminars and workshops, small series of seminars and workshops, whole modules, small working groups working towards similar goals, and individual feedback.

Academic Practice Activities

The Draft Publication is a compulsory part of the Max Weber Programme to ensure that every Fellow produces a piece of research of publishable quality that has benefited from peer feedback from both a substantive and formal (linguistic and presentational) point of view.

The Academic Communications Skills activities are designed to help Fellows develop and refine the oral and written skills necessary for effective academic practice. Offered by the in-house (EUI) members of the FIESOLE Group and external experts, they take three forms: workshops and short modules; facilitating of small groups of Fellows working towards similar goals; individual feedback and consultations.

Fellows are required to present themselves, their projects and research interests during ad hoc sessions scheduled for September. They receive individual feedback during one-on-one sessions with a member of the Academic Communications Skills team to identify and discuss areas of potential growth in the area of academic public speaking skills.

This Module offers a comprehensive guide to public speaking in a global academic setting. Fellows will learn, for example, how to conduct a target audience analysis, develop content and structure it for maximum impact, create and effectively use visual aids that support their ideas, or handle tough questions. We aim to show that public speaking in an academic setting may be an exciting, enjoyable and energising experience.

Introductory workshop on developing an effective ‘job-market package’ (CV, cover letter, supporting documents) and targeting it to a specific job call/position in order to ‘make the match’ most effectively. The workshop is designed for those Fellows who anticipate being on the job market during the current academic year or are interested in general in how to strategically present their academic profiles with specific career opportunities in mind.

Series of workshops focusing on the development of grant proposals and providing forum for practice-oriented debate on academic grants and projects.

The stay at the EUI is independent and largely self-organized. This places increased demands on self-discipline. This session is designed to make Fellows aware of strategies that can improve the self-management and time-management and ensure that the quality of the performance and the well-being are balanced and maintained in a sustainable way. The product of this session is a plan of time, activities and goals for the Fellowship.

The Conference Skills workshops are designed to familiarise early-stage researchers with the core principles of effective organisation of academic conferences. It addresses both stages, planning and managing a conference, and focuses on practicalities related to diverse issues, such as writing the conference call, team development, communication before, during and after the conference, timetabling, slot chairing or choice of conference session formats.

This workshop is designed to improve the creative thinking of early-stage researchers. It presents creativity in the context of several theoretical concepts and addresses questions of creative potential, processes, situations and barriers. Fellows are engaged in a series of participative activities.

Applications for teaching positions in some national settings may ask for a ‘teaching statement/philosophy’, a short document detailing the conception of teaching/learning, teaching experience and classroom practices. This workshop is designed for those Fellows who do not follow the Teaching Certificate Module. 

Writers’ Groups.

Organised on a disciplinary basis, Writers’ Groups (usually 4 to 6 Fellows) provide a supportive setting for obtaining focused, hands-on peer feedback on draft articles (or portions thereof) prior to journal submission.

Style in Research Writing.

This module takes Fellows research writing as a starting point to explore the interface between form (grammar/syntax), style/rhetoric and argumentative structure. The overall aim is to expand the expressive range and enhance scholarly ‘voice’ and effectiveness.

Draft-to-Submission in 8 Weeks.

Adapted from Belcher’s Writing your journal article in 12 weeks with the postdoc situation specifically in mind. Fellows will profit most from this module if already have a draft ready to be revised.


Articulated into three blocks (book proposal; sample chapter; theme/draft conclusions), this course/work group runs across the year, and is designed to help Fellows get revised dissertation on the road to publication in book form.

The Journal Review Process: A Disciplinary Perspective
(with senior academic staff)

During these informal sessions (four workshops, one per discipline), two faculty members with journal editing experience will provide a behind-the-scenes view of the various steps involved in the journal review process (e.g. deciding whether to desk reject, selecting reviewers and sending out for review, handling R & R) and providing advice about publishing strategies for early-career scholars.

Writing a Successful Book Proposal (editor’s rep & ACS staff)

This activity offers input and Q-A session with a commissioning editor from one of the major academic publishers (in recent years, e.g. OUP, CUP) to get a better understanding of what makes for a successful book proposal. It is a part of block 2 of the ‘Dissertation to Book’ Module, but also open by sign-up to other interested Fellows.

MWP offers a service of text revision and editing. All written work (articles, book reviews etc.) for revision/editing needs to be sent directly to Alyson Price including the following information: title; genre (article, conference paper, book review, PowerPoint presentation etc.); length; how soon the Fellow needs the work back.

Individual consultations provide the opportunity for one-on-one sessions with a member of the Academic Communications Skills team to discuss and revise research writing in progress. These sessions can also be used to look over Fellows’ application materials, revise book or research proposals, prepare and practice ‘dry runs’ of conference presentations and job talks, do interview practice, or support other professional communication needs.

The Teaching Certificate Module reflects global trends in the domain of teaching and learning practices in Higher Education (HE). Reconciling traditional and innovative teaching theories with the day-to-day pragmatics is often easier said than done, especially when students and institutions expectations grow and external factors keep changing the rules of the game unexpectedly. This is why this programme is set to enhance Fellows’ ability to develop teaching skills set and adapt to diverse teaching environments of national and institutional cultures in a fully flexible and professional manner.

The programme includes creation of the Fellow’s own teaching portfolio that will be based on previous formal, informal and non-formal experience and training; four face-to-face workshops focused on (a) introduction to teaching at HE institutions and course design, (b) lesson design, (c) teaching tools and methods, and microteaching practice, and (d) feedback, assessment and reflection; Teaching Practice experience at a FIESOLE Group university; and on a personal reflection. Apart from the Portfolio development, Fellows will be expected to engage actively in individual and group assignments and discussions.

Max Weber Fellows become automatically members of an Academic Practice Group. These groups are independent and self-organized discipline-based working groups which meet regularly through the year. They have a double objective of improving different aspects of the academic practice of their members through peer review, and helping to define standards of excellence, possibly with the support of scholars and other professionals. The success of each Academic Practice Group is the collective responsibility of all its members. All Academic Practice Groups work in close cooperation with the MWP Academic Coordinator and are expected to be engaged in MWP activities, such as Max Weber Lectures, Occasional Lectures,  Multidisciplinary Research Workshops, June Conference and Academic Careers Observatory. 


Page last updated on 16/10/2023

Go back to top of the page