CENTRE FOR ADVANCED STUDY SOFIA

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"How to Teach Europe" Fellowship Programme

2017-2020
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With the support of Porticus and the Robert Bosch Foundation

The TEACHING EUROPE (TE) programme introduces a new and innovative Fellowship module at the Centre for Advanced Study (CAS), Sofia, and the New Europe College (NEC), Bucharest. Beyond the promotion of outstanding individual researchers, as is the mission of these Institutes for Advanced Study, they both position TEACHING EUROPE programme at the intersection of fundamental research and higher education. The joint initiative seeks to identify and bring together bright and motivated young and established university professors from South-eastern Europe to dedicate themselves for a certain amount of time to research work oriented toward a specific goal: to lend the state-of-the-art theories and methodologies in the humanities and social sciences a pan-European and/or global dimension and to apply these findings in higher education and the transmission of knowledge to wider audiences.

On the level of research, this implies bringing transdisciplinary and transnational perspectives to bear on the way today’s humanities and social sciences frame their fields of enquiry. The compartmentalized structure of university teaching and education remains inimical to the institutionalization of forms of epistemic interaction and cross-fertilization, despite abstract commendations of the benefits of interdisciplinarity. Internationalization of research, on the other hand, rarely goes beyond the comparison of a limited number of cases, ignoring or downplaying the inherent relational, entangled, and dialectical transnational dimensions of social phenomena. To conduct an alternative kind of research aimed at questioning the way these disciplines conceptualize their proper area of expertise by deploying up-to-date transdisciplinary and transnational approaches, the Institutes for Advanced Study, such as those based in Sofia and Bucharest, seem to be the ideal sites.

The goal of the proposed program is to use this knowledge to improve the quality of higher education in the humanities and social sciences and to endorse its public relevance. A tangible output will be the conceptualization of a series of new courses or, ultimately and ideally, the development of innovative curricula for the universities of the participating scholars.

FORMAT AND EXPECTED OUTCOMES:

The awarded Fellows are offered support to pursue their research and to use the knowledge thereby gained to create didactic units (teaching course, curriculim, textbook, documentariues, or other forms used in higher education and public communication) under the following framework:

  • 7-months in-residence (both at CAS and NEC) fellowship spanning over a period of three years (750 Euro per month);
  • Accommodation in Sofia and Bucharest, comprising living quarters and working space. The Fellows will also have free access to the CAS and NEC’s libraries and electronic resources/databases;
  • Travel allowance (up to 3 international travels ~ 1500 Euro);
  • Research expenses (100 Euro per month);
  • Fully covered participation in “Teaching Europe” workshops (two per year).

By running this program, CAS and NEC wish to build a bridge between excellent research and excellent teaching, especially in fields where parochialism still largely prevails. It should sharpen awareness of questions of dissemination and convertibility of knowledge among young scholars by fostering the creation of state-of-the-art teaching materials for diverse subject matters. We see the program as a way of “exporting” the two institutes’ experience in rearing innovative and high-standard research to the broader community of university teachers and students. The TE-Fellows’ tangible output will be freely accessible for future generations of teachers and lecturers; the “didactic library” is a minor but sustainable component that may be used in reaching out to future students.

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