First Training School 15-22 January 2017

The first UPTAKE PhD Training School (TS) will be held from 15 to 22 January 2017 at the University of Kent, Canterbury (UK). Its main objective is to offer an opportunity for further skills development and exchange of ideas for PhD and Postdoctoral students  working in the field of Russian and East European Studies.

The theme of the 1st Training School is ‘Post-communist transformations, models of development and implications for an emerging multi-order world’. The new EU Global Security Strategy (2016)  notes how the contemporary world is becoming increasingly more connected, contested and complex, shifting from a multi-polar to a multi-order international system. The emerging centres of power may be different not only in their political and economic arrangements, but more so, in their cultural and normative terms. In this vein, how do post-communist transformations fit in?  What models of development – cultural, political, historical and socio-economic – do they offer, and how these models/orders align with the established (western) ‘normal’? In this Training School we will therefore seek to understand developments across the former Soviet space and whether they present a new normative challenge. We adopt an interdisciplinary approach inviting students from different scholarly backgrounds to apply (including but not limited to Politics, History, Sociology, Cultural Studies and Economy).

The Training School is run in an ECPR format, offering an in-depth discussion around submitted papers, with the best papers published in the format of on-line conference proceedings. The discussion sessions will be supplemented by skills development opportunities and social activities. More specifically, the Training School will include:

  • Paper presentations with time for an in-depth feedback. Unlike most conferences, the TS will provide an opportunity to present your work thoroughly, and to have a personal feedback session. Each presenter will receive up to one hour for speaking and question time.
  • The sessions will be complemented by short research introductions into the work of Senior Scholars of the School of Politics and IR at Kent
  • Four skills training sessions, delivered by experts in the field: (1) Conducting fieldwork in post-Soviet region; (2) Innovative research methods; (3) Networking skills; (4) Media training.
  • Two social and networking events, tentatively including a trip to London, and a day trip to a Historic Kent attraction.
  • There will be plenty of time for socialising, including two dinner nights and tours around Canterbury, to foster collaboration between the UPTAKE PhD and Post-Doc researchers.








The team @Kent is responsible for the organisation of Training Schools. Training Schools are organised for PhD students and post-Doctoral researchers working on the theme of Eastern Europe and Russian studies.


15-22 January 2017: First Training School, University of Kent, Canterbury

August 2017 (specific date tbc): Second Training School, University of Tartu, Tartu

January 2018 (specific date tbc): Third Training School, University of Kent, BSIS, Brussels

August 2018 (specific date tbc): Fourth Training School, Uppsala University, Uppsala

Hospitality details

If you have any enquiries about the Training Schools, feel free to contact either our UPTAKE team at Kent (Eske van Gils , via or the University of Kent’s Hospitality services, in case you have concrete questions about logistics.