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What is a Grad School?

There is no universal agreement about how a Graduate School should be organized and empirical evidence shows that Graduate Schools across Europe can differ from each other in terms of their goals, structure, institutional position, functions, etc. For instance, in Germany considerable differences exist between the Graduate Schools funded by the DAAD through its Graduate School Scholarship Programme (GSSP) since 2014. In fact, some German Universities have established several Graduate Schools under this funding scheme. As of today, some of them have simultaneously founded several international Graduate Schools which are not identical to each other in terms of their scope and approach.[1] However, many of the GSSP Graduate Schools offer structured programmes similar to that of EDELNet.

The Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) distinguishes between the concepts of Graduiertenkolleg (also translated as Research Training Group) and Graduiertenschule (Graduate School). The main differences between these two notions seem to be the degree of specialization – the Graduiertenkolleg concentrating on a narrow and highly specialized research topic – and their size in terms of number of students and instructors – the Graduiertenkolleg gathering a small group of students and instructors working on closely related research questions.[2] The EDELNet Graduate School is strongly aligned with the DFG concept of Graduiertenschule.


[2] at 11, 16, retrieved 23.01.2019; The French notion of “école doctorale” also seems to overlap significantly with the broad concept used by EDELNet. retrieved 04.01.2019