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PhD network

– a research forum for PhD students engaged in vulnerable groups in the research field of the human and social sciences with a special focus on ethics and ethical dilemmas in the research process.

PhD students meet in a research forum within the framework of DPU, Aarhus University facilitated across areas of research in the field of the human and social sciences as well as across professional groups.

The research forum has been established as a PhD course at Aarhus University led by a responsible associate professor, and the participants are PhD students of all universities in the country.

The forum functions as a network of exchange of experience based on the participants’ different phases of their PhD course. The main point is to be a PhD student in the research field of the human and social sciences with a special focus on research aimed at vulnerable groups in society – and with a special view to ethical issues at all levels in the research process, from selection of informants to dissemination of PhD dissertation, articles etc.

In practice, PhD students have an employment status at various universities and/or institutes, sector research institutions, etc. and as such do not have contact in everyday life. The function of the research forum is to give the possibility for PhD students to gain knowledge of other ongoing projects and to provide opportunities and space for professional discussions and feedback across the projects with a special focus on ethical issues, conflicts and dilemmas throughout the PhD course.

The main purpose is to establish a research forum for PhD students, who are in different phases of their research process, but have a common research focus aimed at vulnerable groups in society, e.g. vulnerable children and young people, or people who belong to various marginalized, excluded and stigmatized positions in society. At the same time, the main purpose is to focus on ethical challenges, dilemmas and conflicts when research is aimed at the socially excluded and vulnerable groups in society. Thus, the research forum will also be concentrated on presentations and discussion of ethical aspects in the research process in terms of research design, data collection, analysis, dissemination and publication of research results.

The research forum will also focus on sharing ideas and methods and giving feedback on other PhD students’ challenges regarding everything from topics to data collection to article writing.

Participation in the PhD network requires no preparation, unless it is agreed to present aspects of own research, e.g. ethical considerations in data collection, analysis, etc.

In the research forum, the PhD students will also be introduced to a number of theoretical presentations regarding understandings and the impact of ethics in research aimed at vulnerable groups in society and/or special ethical issues related to various parts of the research process.

In the program for the period 2022/2023, a number of researchers have been invited. These researchers all work in different ways with ethical issues and dilemmas in their research and will give presentations based on their own research. The PhD students will be given the opportunities for questions and discussions along the way.

Practical information

The PhD network meets approx. every three months from 12.00-16.00, on Campus Emdrup/Copenhagen.

Bring your own breakfast. Coffee / tea / water will be available.

When participating in the network, the students will be awarded 1.5 ECTS points and issued a certificate upon completion of the course.

The following dates for network meetings are scheduled:

  • 17 May 2022
  • 20 September 2022
  • 17 January 2023
  • 17 May 2023

In cases in which students are prevented from participating, for example due to fieldwork, a zoom meeting will be created.

Detailed programme for the respective days follows.

Kirsten Elisa Petersen
Associate Professor, PhD
DPU, Aarhus University