Interdisciplinary summer schools

Interdisciplinary summer schools are a rather efficient way of universities and their faculties to introduce international PhD students and academic staff members to the fields of study they could offer. These summer schools could also offer a great opportunity to international PhD students and academic staff members to extend their knowledge on certain topics, introduce them to new ways of teaching certain fields of study as well as to meet new colleagues, and potentially establish connections within academic circles.


Improved skills and knowledge

Basic information

Categories Profesional & Academic Development Promotion & Visibility
Mobility stages Pre-arrival phase
Delivery schedule Once an academic year
Importance Important to have
Scale of organizational change
Target groups PhD student/Early career researcher
Types of contracts of researchers Full degree student Permanent employee Employee in training (interns, research fellows, postdocs) Exchange student
Career stages of researchers 6-12-months of experience 1-3-years of experience 3-10 years of experience 10-15 years of experience
Lengths of stays of researchers 0-3 months

Practice setup

When organizing interdisciplinary summer schools, the following should be kept in mind:

  • first and foremost, find funding/grant to cover organisation of the interdisciplinary summer school

  • appoint board members in charge of designing the scientific programme,

  • define the disciplines you would like to cover in their summer schools

  • design scientific programme (whom to invite as speakers), the summer school could have also poster awards, determine the duration of the summer school

  • select organisers in charge of securing registration and  logistics/technical aspects of the summer school

  • find and book the venue (s) where the summer school will be held, book accommodation facilities (e.g.dorms)

  • plan networking events that should be an integral part of the summer school, think and approach potential external partners

  • prepare a (virtual) leaflet and description of the planned interdisciplinary summer school including details like agenda, venue (s), and dates, present the benefits for the international PhD students, researchers, lecturers, and academic staff

  • prepare and publish a call for applications for the summer school 

  • promote the summer school via various communication channels, and distribute the information among partner universities, with help of your EURAXESS BHO within the EURAXESS network, embassies, etc.

  • volunteers should be found to help international participants during their stay.

  • participation certificates should be designed.


Challenges to consider: it would be beneficial if the host institution could also offer a few scholarships for talented PhD students/young academics who could not afford to pay a participation fee.

Cost of practice setup
Time required for practice setup
Personnel effort required for practice setup
Actors involved in practice setup
  • IRO/welcome centre
  • Students association
  • Researchers association
  • Leisure activities centre (sport centre, museum, garden)
  • Dormitory/accommodation facility
Partners involved in practice setup
  • Tourist information centre/board
  • Municipality
  • EURAXESS centre
Indicators for evaluating progress/quality of practice setup
  • Training plan and programme designed
Description of collaboration

@Tourist information centre/board/Municipality can help with informing the international partcipants about the beautiful sightseeing places, as well as activities they can indulge in in-between the activities assigned by summer schools.

@EURAXESS centre can help with spreading information on the summer school within its European network

Practice delivery

Delivery activities are mainly connected with:

  • scientific and academic activities should be accompanied by various networking events that could be organised in collaboration with external partners (e.g. municipality, museum, gallery...)

  • volunteers should be assigned with activities that will facilitate international participants' stay and their involvement in the summer school. 

  • at the end of the summer school the participants should receive certificates

  • (online) feedback from the participants should be collected

Cost of practice delivery
Time required for practice delivery
Personnel effort required for practice delivery
Actors involved in practice delivery
  • IRO/welcome centre
  • Students association
  • Researchers association
Partners involved in practice delivery
  • Tourist information centre/board
Indicators for evaluating progress/quality of practice delivery
  • Number of researchers involved in events annually
Description of collaboration

@Municipality can host  a welcome event at its venue, the mayor could give a welcome speech, present the city, its (modern technical, greens or architectural) achievements

@Tourist information centre/board/can help with informing the international participants about the beautiful sightseeing places, as well as activities they can indulge in in-between the activities assigned by summer schools.

Examples of practice

Interdisciplinary Summer School in Novi Sad

In 2017, the University of Novi Sad organized the Interdisciplinary Summer School for Chinese Students. The students were offered lectures in a wide variety of subjects, and were given by the teaching staff from the Faculty of Philosophy, the Faculty of Law, the Faculty of Sciences and the Faculty of Economics of the University of Novi Sad on various topics.

Find out more

1st International Summer School at the Doctoral School of Engineering and Science

The Aalborg University international summer school offers:

  • State of the art PhD courses from 4 of university PhD programs.
  • Excursion to Testcenter Østerild where you can experience up to 220 meters tall windmills and lear more about the developement and testing of windmills in Denmark.
  • Chance to grow your network within and outside PhD students research area - communal lunch and reception on the first evening.
  • Discover or re-discover the city of Aalborg 
Find out more