The academic and scientific objectives of the Graduate School are focussed on, first, the interrelation of Natural Sciences and Humanities in an independent School beside traditional faculties, second, the integration of a highly interdisciplinary research theme of general interest, and, third, a new concept of research training clusters and support infrastructure platforms.
The graduate students are grouped into three interdisciplinary research clusters representing methodically different approaches to the theme of ‘Human Development in Landscapes’. The research done within these clusters is supported by three research platforms, which provide the infrastructure for the graduate activities. The combination of clusters and platforms represents a new concept of form and content in interdisciplinary graduate education. The new Graduate School fosters intensified cross-linkages between academic disciplines and provides for its graduate students an efficient research infrastructure with easy access to the wide range of analytical facilities, data archives, and expertise available at CAU and its non-university partners. This enables the graduate students to do innovative research into the development of human groups in landscapes, touching on themes such as the interaction between individuals, the creation of social spaces, and anthropogenic landscape development in a changing environment. The School enhances the existing CAU strengths in archaeological research and establish CAU as an international research and educational centre in the field.
The Graduate School offers a holistic approach in the study of human development and aspires to become the outstanding location for international graduate training and research in the field of ‘Human Development in Landscapes’. Access to a wide range of existing resources and structures in combination with a barrier-free amalgamation of excellent disciplines create a new form of graduate programme with the following important aspects:
- Interdisciplinarity: The PhD programme in ‘Human Development in Landscapes’ brings together graduate students from diverse disciplines and different institutions. This allows a more complete study of research questions by the combination of methods from various academic fields as well as opens up new research perspectives.
- Internationality: The Graduate School aims for a participation of 50 % foreign students to create a truly international research environment, stimulating scientific exchange, and networking. International lectures and workshops as well as organisation of and participation in international summer schools will further enhance international orientation and cooperation.
- Support centre: A support centre of interdisciplinary character composed of three platforms has been created, offering analytical tools and expertise to support the research of the graduate students.
- Practical training: Communication and research management skills are part of the syllabus of the Graduate School and are supplemented by practical experiences in the management and presentation of the student´s own research.
- Gender equality: The programme provides a recruiting scheme and a supporting environment for women scientists in agreement with CAU´s general objectives of a balanced representation of female doctoral students. The School will offer support to students and scientists with commitments to childcare.
- Competitive capacity: The new programme, with its strong international orientation, generates an international appeal and produces researchers well qualified for international academic-level positions. Thus the doctoral training strategy outlined above clearly is of utmost importance in order to address the subject of Human Development in Landscapes, and meets the demands of a scientific and social environment in change.