Acronym of the Project: PEGASUS
Full name of the Project: Ph.D. Programme on EU GrAd Students University Skills
Category: EU Lifelong Learning Programme
Abstract: The motivation of PEGASUS is to establish a genuinely integrated European Ph.D. degree in political science, on questions of European integration. The objective of the trans-national consortium is to pool existing resources, combine expertise and exchange our different national academic traditions and styles, to create a joint Ph.D. curriculum. PEGASUS thereby contributes to the modernisation, Europeanization and internationalisation of Ph.D. training in and beyond the European Higher Education, Research and Teaching Area. This complementary mix of theoretical and methodical approaches, specific expertise and best practices from our national traditions, represents a clear added value and advantage for successful PEGASUS graduates.
PEGASUS is building a joint Ph.D. training programme with an emphasis on academic substance and transversal academic and professional skills. We aim for our Ph.D. graduates to:
• become high-standing experts in their field of EU studies,
• be able to conduct theory-led research,
• make in-depth use of quantitative and qualitative methods,
• possess outstanding writing and publication skills,
• actively participate in international academic network of the consortium and beyond,
• have gained experience with professionals through practical skills training,
• be experienced in teaching at BA and MA level at the partner universities.
The joint PEGASUS Ph.D. programme will prepare our doctoral students either for an international academic career or enhance their employability in the EU-related labour market. PEGASUS graduates will have high-quality expertise in their field of studies, possess outstanding methodological, writing and publication skills as well as practical insights, teaching experience and a comprehensive international network through the partners of the PEGASUS consortium.
PEGASUS will elaborate a four step curriculum which all early stage Ph.D. students will have to pass:
1. Core modules: This includes modules on historical, legal and theoretical approaches to European integration, external action and issues of democracy in the policies of the legal and living architecture of the EU multilevel system. Crucially, beyond empirical and normative perspectives, refined methodological skills (quantitative and qualitative) will be taught.
2. Specialised modules: different study paths through specialisation modules which allow students to select from a menu of courses at partner universities which are most relevant to their Ph.D. project and future career plans. These can also be chosen from the cross-disciplinary courses of the partner's graduate schools.
3. Professional modules: courses including expert interviews in EU institutions ("Europe at work"), professional skills seminars and training, practical stage at think tank, EU supranational body or International Organisation (TEPSA).
4. Final writing module: students are required to dedicate the last phase of the project to the final editing of their Ph.D. thesis
Ph.D. candidates in PEGASUS will formulate their research proposal based on academic or particular social relevance under the heading of three thematic areas:
1. Internal reform: Institutional and legal architecture
The Treaty of Lisbon, the increased role for EU institutions and the Eurozone crisis offer a fertile research ground for explaining institutional change and adaptation, modes of inter-institutional cooperation and agencification are ranking high on our research agenda. Also issues of differentiated integration and legal fragmentation can be identified as key issues in this field of contemporary EU research.
2. External action: Acting on the global arena and reacting to external shocks
Interactions between the world's regions are changing and old power balances are replaced by newly emerging regional players, thus creating global challenges for the European Union as well as its member states. Evolving patterns of an integrated EU foreign policy, as reflected e.g. in the creation of the European External Action Service (EEAS), the strengthening of the High Representative (HR) and the President of the European Council, further highlight the importance of this research area.
3. Democracy: Legitimacy and accountability
The need to enhance democratic legitimation and accountability in the Union encompasses not least the role of national Parliaments. The Treaty of Lisbon has highlighted the importance of national parliaments to safeguard Europe's democratic values. How national parliaments work together, how they stabilise or undermine the integration process' legitimacy, and how they could guarantee the accountability in times of 'executive-laden' politics is currently amongst the key issues for the further integration project.
The EU-funded PEGASUS project builds on EXACT, an EU-wide Ph.D. and professional training programme for early stage researchers, based on a wide European network. The PEGASUS project will benefit from the experience gained with the two-fold training approach, combining academic and practical skills training. The EXACT project (coordinated by Cologne, with Prague and TEPSA being partners) is a one-time programme ending in December 2013. PEGASUS is committed to sustain these valuable experiences and implement them in a long-term joint Ph.D. programme.
Duration: 2012-2015 (Three years)
Project Leader and Partners:
Project Leader: University of Cologne (CGN)
Participating Partners: Charles University Prague (CHU)
Institute for Advanced Studies Vienna (IHS)
Middle East Technical University Ankara (METU)
Trans European Policy Studies Association (TEPSA)
University of Maastricht (UM)
METU's role: METU had been the Work Package Leader for WP8 titled, 'Exploitation'. In this respect, METU was responsible for developing PEGASUS project's results in different contexts and situations and to optimise the value of the project experience. Then, exploitation had been a key enabler for the success of the project sustainability. In this respect, the objectives of PEGASUS exploitation included:
• To contribute to the development of quality life-long learning and to promote high-performance
• To underline the European and transnational aspects of the partnership
• To publicise benchmarks and best practice
• To create a strategy going hand-in-hand with an effective dissemination strategy
Issues of low-cost sustainability
METU also contributed to the WP7, 'Dissemination'.
Project Website: www.pegasusphd.eu