BIGSSS Summer School - Intergroup Conflict and its resolution - the case of Ukraine, 27 June- 2 July 2016, Germany

Publish Date: Feb 17, 2016

Deadline: Mar 18, 2016

Event Dates: from Jun 27, 2016 12:00 to Jul 02, 2016 12:00

About the BIGSSS summer school program

Each year, the Bremen International Graduate School of Social Sciences (BIGSSS) organizes summer school programs with varying research focuses from one of BIGSSS' thematic fields. BIGSSS summer schools are co-funded by renowned partners such as the Volkswagen Foundation, the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and the Mercator Foundation.

The aim of the BIGSSS summer school program is to support young social scientists by opening a cross-border dialogue on theoretical questions and methodological approaches to current matters of social science research. Our main target group are PhD and advanced Master students with a social science background who are motivated to discuss their own research projects in a multidisciplinary and international community of fellow graduate students and first rate international scholars in the close environment of a graduate school.

The next BIGSSS Summer School on "Intergroup conflict and its resolution - the case of Ukraine" will take place June 27-July 2, 2016 on the campus of Jacobs University Bremen.

This year's program
is structured around two core elements:

  1. presentations by renowned lecturers (with discussion)
  2. presentations and discussion of participants‘ own projects.

BIGSSS Summer School on "Intergroup conflict and its resolution - the case of Ukraine", June 27-July 2, 2016

The BIGSSS Summer School 2016 focuses on the conflict in Ukraine, a political conflict that is unprecedented in Europe at least since the end of the Balkan wars around the turn of the millennium, possibly even since the end of World War II. While in late 2013/14 the events in Ukraine unfolded rapidly (with the Euromaidan demonstrations on Kyiv’s Independence Square, the resignation and flight of then-president Yanukovych in February 2014, the annexation of Crimea by Russia in spring, parliament elections in October, and the beginning of the violent conflict in the Donbas region), it seems that since last year the frontiers of this violent conflict have solidified. How can the conflict be described and explained? Due to a focus on geopolitical approaches, little attention is given to the origins and nature of this conflict within Ukraine – historically, politically, psychologically – and the chances for resolution. This is where the Summer School wants to make a contribution and provide a platform for interdisciplinary academic exchange with special attention to the concept of intergroup conflict.

Unlike with regard to other comparable conflicts (Northern Ireland, Cyprus, Israel/Palestine), a multidisciplinary perspective on intergroup conflict and its resolution is rare for Ukraine. In this situation, the BIGSSS Summer School 2016 allows for a rare get-together of political scientists, sociologists, and historians with psychologists who work on intergroup conflict and are typically not part of the academic discourse on the violence in the Donbas region. It aims to contribute to a better understanding of the Ukrainian conflict as well as Ukrainian society and politics at large, and to deepen our insight into the complexity of intergroup conflicts and their resolution. We provide an interdisciplinary platform for young scholars to meet face-to-face, to network, and to participate in academic exchange on their research projects under the guidance of our experienced Summer School faculty and external experts.

The Summer School is a joint initiative between Kiev’s Institute of International Relations (Taras Shevchenko University), Bremen’s Research Centre for East European Studies and BIGSSS.

The BIGSSS Summer School 2016 is fully funded by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and the German Federal Foreign Office (AA).


Target Group of the BIGSSS Summer School 2016
The Summer School is targeted at PhD and advanced master students in political science, psychology, sociology, and history with research projects that focus on democratization and civil society, peace and conflict, or intergroup relations. The projects should focus on - but are not limited to - Ukraine, with a comparative perspective being a particular asset.
Due to the funding regulations of the DAAD, only members of academic institutions from the following countries are eligible to apply:Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, Poland, and Ukraine, regardless of their citizenship.

Recquired Documents
Altogether, the BIGSSS Summer School will host 20 participants who will be selected on the basis of the following assessment:

  • Participants are asked to apply with their own research project (M.A. thesis, Ph.D.-proposal or Ph.D.-thesis) which will be discussed in one of the sessions of the Summer School.
  • Applicants must hand in a proposal (5 to 10 double-spaced pages) of their research projects including (a) a summary, (b) the state of research highlighting relevant debates on the topic and deficits in the literature to be addressed, (c) the objectives, research design and methods, and (d) a bibliography.
  • Applicants must also provide a CV including information on their educational and work history, publications (if available), language competencies and extracurricular interests.
  • Additionally providing a recommendation letter by a person who is familiar with the applicant’s academic achievement and qualified to evaluate her/his track record is a major asset. The recommendation letter may be sent in by the applicant together with the rest of the application material.

Application Formalities

Application deadline is Friday, March 18, 2016.
Feedback on applications will be sent out by the end of April. Once you are accepted as participant you will receive a log-in for the participants' area of this website for more detailed information. Please send your application electronically and as one composite pdf-file to:

Important: We will not consider late, incorrect and incomplete applications. Please read the above instructions carefully.

Terms and Conditions

  • There is no program fee.
  • Accepted participants of the BIGSSS Summer School 2016 receive full room and board on the campus of Jacobs University Bremen.
  • There will be a country-specific maximum support of accepted fellows concerning their travel expenses following the funding guidelines of the DAAD: Armenia 700€, Azerbaijan 675€, Belarus 350€, Georgia 575€, Moldova 300€, Poland 200€, and Ukraine 325€.
  • Please note: all fellows will have to advance their travel costs. They will be reimbursed only after the summer school has ended and after they have handed in all their original travel receipts (boarding passes etc.). The reimbursement of the costs might take up to several weeks!


For organizational information on the BIGSSS Summer School 2016 as well as admission requirements and procedures please contact:

Hannah Hammerschmidt

For information on the Bremen International Graduate school of Social Sciences please contact:

Dr. Christian Peters
Bremen International Graduate School of Social Sciences (BIGSSS)

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