Research program funded by Foundation fiat panis takes off with workshop series

April 07, 2011.  

April 8, 2011. The research program on food security and rural development in developing countries, supported by the Foundation fiat panis via its “Dr. Hermann Eiselen PhD Grant” has started with a series of joint workshops for doctoral students. Participants were 22 PhD students from ZEF and the Food Security Center at the University of Hohenheim.


“We have planned four joint workshops under the thematic umbrella of food security. Two workshops have already taken place”, says Detlev Virchow, coordinator of the PhD Program of the Food Security Center at the University of Hohenheim. “The first one dealt with learning intercultural skills, the second one focused on ‘Policy and science’ (April 1-2, 2011, in Bonn). The third workshop will be on leadership, whereas the topic of the last one will be ‘Research methodologies’. So far, the students were very enthusiastic about what they learned and how the workshops were set up”.


The aim of the most recent workshop on ‘Policy and science’, taking place at ZEF from April 1-2 was to introduce strategies and methods for implementation-oriented research. Implementation was understood here in a political sense: How can students identify political decision makers in their research regions, how can they get in touch with them and involve them if necessary in their research work?


“The workshop was very useful for us and we need more of these”, says ZEF doctoral student and workshop participant Olena Dubovyk. “It is important for PhD students to know how applicable their own work can be. The workshop series funded by the Foundation fiat panis really contributes to enhancing our knowledge and competences for our potential political work in the future. However, it was also interesting to see, that not every PhD study can be implemented or used in a direct way”.


“We wanted to make students realize that conducting implementation-oriented research, which is what ZEF wants its students to do in the end, is not only about applying scientific methods, but also about cooperation and partnerships with stakeholders and decision-makers on the spot”, say Peter Moll and Ute Zander, two experts on implementation-oriented research, who carried out this workshop. “We have to say that the students who took part in this workshop were already sensibilized for this, so the workshop was very productive and the exchange extremely fruitful”, concludes Moll.



Alma van der Veen