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The Norwegian Research School in History

Awarded: NOK 4.0 mill.

Project Number:


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Project Period:

2019 - 2023


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The National Research School in History (NRSH) has eight partner institutions, all of which are universities or colleges with doctoral students in history and / or related fields. The research school aims to strengthen the students' intellectual reach, specialist competencies and transferable skills. The courses help to build networks among doctoral fellows, across national and institutional boundaries. The research school also contribute to the transfer of experience of PhD education across the institutions. Organization: All partner institutions participate in the Board, under the leadership of professor and director of NRSH Hanne Hagtvedt Vik from the University of Oslo. Each partner institution has one representative; in addition, the board has two external members and two student members. The external members are Professors Regina Grafe at the European University Institute in Florence and Charlotte Appel from the University of Aarhus. The board meets annually, and a smaller group selected by the board assists Vik between the meetings. Students, teachers, administrators and scientific coordinators, as well as the NRSH management, carefully evaluate all courses to learn best practices for future courses. The University of Oslo is the host institution for NRSH. Activities: NRSH offered its first course funded by the Research Council of Norway in December 2019. In March 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic led universities to close as part of their national efforts to curb the spread of the virus. All planning for the remaining year was re-evaluated and the courses rebuilt to fit a digital format, in a close dialogue between the NRSH management and the partner institutions that were responsible for upcoming events. Also in 2021, NRSH was affected by the pandemic and carried out most of the activities digitally. The participation in the courses has generally been good, with a higher number of unique participants than expected at the time of application. The courses are well rated by PhD fellows and teachers, and fellows often report that they return because they have good experiences from previous courses. NRSH has organized the following courses and activities: Courses on theory, method and research ethics, basic courses, 5 ECTS: 2020, March: Methodological and theoretical problems in history, Oslo, UiO. 2021, March: Methodological and theoretical problems in history, digital course, UiO. Course on theory, method and research ethics, advanced research course, 3 ECTS: 2020, October: Multi-voice history with perspectives from indigenous and minority history, digital course, UiT. 2021, May: History and Materiality, digital course, UiB / BI. Course on history in use, advanced research course on major societal challenges taught by university staff and practitioners together, 3 ECTS: 2019, December: History in society: Examples from environmental and climate history, Oslo, UiO. 2021, September: History in society: The case of migration, digital course, UiA. Course in career development and research communication, 1 ECTS: 2020, March: Digital humanities for historians, Oslo, UiO. 2020, October: Remembering contested and repressed pasts, professional skills workshop, digital course, UiT. Dissertation seminars: 2020, June: How to craft great titles, digital course, UiT. 2020, September: How to situate your thesis in the historiography, digital course, UiB. 2020, November / December: How to formulate a persuasive argument? Digital course, NTNU. 2021, February: How to write introductions to chapters and articles, digital course, UiA. 2021, June: New digital archives and tools, digital course, HiV. 2021, September: How to give presentations at academic conferences, Tromsø, UiT. Other activities: 2020, February: Steering group meeting, February 2020, Oslo, UiO. 2021, February: Steering group meeting, February 2021, Oslo, UiO. 2021, September: Round table discussion at the conference Norwegian History Days in Tromsø 3 September 2021: About judging a PhD in history - the requirement for a ?high academic level? when it comes to ?theoretical basis?, Tromsø, UiO.

In January 2018, the eight partners to this application initiated a trial national PhD training school in history. The 26 students and 18 teachers who participated in the two pilot courses rated the experience highly. We are now seeking RCN-funding to build on this successful beginning to create a robust research school in history. The school will encompass all historical periods and thematic orientations and supplement existing training. The institutional partners, faculty members, and their students specialize in a variety of sub-disciplines and differ in theoretical inspiration and methodological approach. Bringing this variety together will secure broad disciplinary knowledge and training for our doctoral students. It will also contribute to eliminating disparities in research training and among Norwegian institutions noted in the Research Council of Norway’s 2017 Evaluation of the Humanities (Report from Panel 5, p. 6). We will annually organize 2(3) disciplinary courses, 2 workshops to develop professional skills, 3 manuscript symposia and 1 forum for supervisors. Teachers will come from the partner institutions or be prominent academics and professionals from other institutions in Norway and abroad. Courses venues will be in all parts of Norway. The Research School will continually seek to establish cooperations with international and national institutions in order to provide students with insights and national and international networks that may be helpful for their projects and professional careers. The Steering Committee will focus on sharing best practices and will include scholars with extensive experience in PhD education at internationally renowned history departments. In the first tree-year period, these will be Professor and Head of Department Regina Grafe of the European University Institute and Professor Charlotte Appel from Aarhus University. We expect an average of 40-45 individual students on our activities each year.


FRIHUMSAM-Fri hum og sam