"COVID-19 Pandemic Poses Serious Challenges for Doctoral Education" › view all


Statement by the BIGSSS Deanery

In recognition of the serious challenges that the COVID 19 pandemic poses for the BIGSSS community, we, the Deanery of the Bremen International Graduate School of Social Sciences, would like to make the following statement:

The pandemic has placed – and still places – unprecedented demands on our private lives as well as our workplaces at both universities. For several months now, fellows have experienced difficulties because their access to important resources has been hindered or blocked, affecting the essential parts of the doctoral research, such as data collection and data processing as well as opportunities for lively discussions on (preliminary) findings with colleagues. The shutdown has led to a more difficult access to libraries, conferences, workshops, survey data collection or focus group discussions, and has also impeded the exchange between supervisors and doctoral researchers.

As Deanery of the Graduate School, we would like to emphasize that we are aware of these trying conditions. The response of our doctoral fellows, our staff and our universities’ administration to the Covid-19 has been remarkable, considering how quickly we all had to adapt to a new set of circumstances. Still, we are in the middle of the crisis and therefore we will do everything we can to continue providing the best possible conditions for the scientific work of our fellows.

Whenever necessary, BIGSSS will examine each individual case and will try to find tailor-made solutions together with supervisors, management, and the doctoral researchers themselves. We hope that the leadership of the University of Bremen and of Jacobs University as well as all research funding institutions and actors in higher education policy will continue to respond with great care and attention to the specific needs of doctoral researchers. We are in favor of initiatives that make these needs an explicit concern at our universities and in all political organizations that shape higher education in Bremen and beyond.

During these crucial months, we, the Deanery, will do our utmost to reduce stress for those affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. Our thoughts are with all those directly and indirectly affected, and we hope that you all will remain safe.