A significant amount of the work done by students in the humanities and social sciences tends to be done in relative isolation, sitting at one’s own desk rather than being actively involved in a working group or a laboratory. It is all the more important, therefore, that students should have the opportunity to communicate with other young academics – including those from other disciplines – to share experiences, gain mutual support, easier access to relevant information and new working methods, discover new learning strategies and initiate joint projects. After all, teamwork and cooperation may well prove to be critical skills for later professional life, whether the chosen career is inside or outside academia.

Opportunities to get to know one another, to network with other young researchers and to build up academic skills and cooperation are an integral part of our information and workshop programmes for further academic skills and qualifications.


Our Research Groups

GSHS members can form a research group (“Arbeitsgruppe”- AG) to work together on topics relevant to their doctorate, to network and exchange ideas across disciplines, or to discover new working methods and approaches.
The research groups provide an excellent source of mutual support during the course of your doctoral studies and help improve the integration of doctoral candidates into research, scientific and academic communities. This includes teaching and the enhancement of key academic skills, such as networking and moderating, presentation and communication, academic writing and languages.
Topics for research groups may include:

  • Cross-cutting research topics (e.g., Gender Studies)
  • Research methods (e.g., qualitative social research, data mining, narrative theory, etc.)
  • Networking for doctoral researchers in specific life situations (e.g., international doctoral researchers, doctoral researchers with care responsibilities, etc.)
  • Interdisciplinary reading groups with a specific thematic or theoretical focus
  • Mutual support in academic writing, preparation of presentations, conferences and disputations, etc.
To set up a GSHS research group, it is necessary to complete the official application form and submit it to the GSHS office digitally (pdf format). Right of approval for a research group rests with the GSHS director.

A research group must have a minimum of four GSHS members (junior/full/guest and senior members).
Group members must belong to at least two different doctoral subject areas.

Persons who are not members of the GSHS may participate, but some justification must exist for this (e.g., interdisciplinary research groups with natural scientists). JGU postdoctoral researchers can become involved in the groups at any time.

Groups may appoint a mentor from the JGU, to offer advice and assistance on academic or other PhD-related issues. This person can be a postdoctoral researcher or – in the case of non-specialist groups – another JGU employee with relevant qualifications in research and/or research management.

The names of two group members must be given to the GSHS office as contacts. They will be responsible for organisational matters in regard to the group. Advice and support with group organisational issues, as well as with questions and problems is always available from the GSHS office. They can also assist in finding rooms for meetings.

Membership or mentorship of several groups is possible. However, a contact person may not serve more than one group.

Research groups are approved in the first instance for a period of two years. For longer periods, an application for extension is required.
Groups must meet at least twice per semester, either virtually or in person.

Information on existing research groups is published on the GSHS website. When a member leaves the GSHS (e.g., after receiving their doctoral certificate), a certificate confirming their participation in a research group can be issued to them.


Exchange for members on MS Teams

We have created the "Gutenberg Graduate School of the Humanities and Social Sciences" team on MS Teams, which only GSHS members (junior, full, and visiting) and the office can access.

This team currently offers two ways to network with others:

  • Publishing your profile
    If you would like to inform other members about your dissertation topic, research interests, special expertise, etc., you can publish your profile. To do so, simply fill out the appropriate form and send it to the office, which will upload it for you. You can change or delete your profile at any time (by filling out a new form and sending it to us).
  • Posting requests in our MS Teams "General" channel
    Are you looking for GSHS members who deal with a specific topic? Do you need expertise, for example, on specific methods, would like to form a language tandem, or wish to exchange ideas with others? Maybe you would like to found a GSHS working group (see below) and are looking for like-minded people? Then simply post a request in the "General" channel.


The use of this "team" is of course voluntary. If possible, please always use your JGU account for access, as you will then be able to use the full functionalities of MS Teams.

To our team in MS Teams

Questions about MS Teams? General information can be found here [in German].

You are a GSHS member, but you don't have access to our MS Teams team yet or you don't have a JGU account? Or you have technical difficulties? The office will be happy to help you!

Become a GSHS member (for registered JGU PhD students)
Become a GSHS guest member