The Dean's Master Class

Exercises in multidisciplinary excellence

The Dean’s Master Class forms the backbone of multidisciplinary collaboration in the Graduate School. In quarterly four-hour sessions, the Graduate School dean Professor Liesbet van Zoonen works for a full afternoon with Erasmus University scholars and PhD candidates on a specific research theme that is approached from different disciplinary angles.

The master class is geared towards researchers who want to look beyond their own project and are interested in learning more about the various research approaches that are represented in the Graduate School. Through engaging with such different perspectives, PhD candidates will develop the sensitivities and skills needed for multidisciplinary research.

Previous themes included Aging, the City and the Brain. PhD candidates will receive 2.5 ECTS credits if they have participated in four sessions.


Dean's Master Class

1. Presentations and speed dating
The first hour will be dedicated to presentations, and a round of questions and answers from the speakers. After which, PhD candidates will form groups for a 'speed dating' session to further discuss the theme with the speakers.

2. Ideas factory: formulating your research proposal
After the speed dating session, PhD candidates will work (first individually, then in groups) towards formulating a research proposal. This part of the master class follows a format that is usually called an 'open space' or 'unconference'  meeting.

3. Presenting your research proposal
The final research proposal will be presented to the whole group, and reviewed by the dean and the speakers, considering – among other things – creativity, interdisciplinarity, intellectual rigor and feasibility. The best idea will receive the 'DAME', the Dean’s Award for Multidisciplinary Excellence.

Previous editions