Bergen Summer Research School

The world comes to UiB

Norms, values, language and culture is the theme for the 2011 Bergen Summer Research School (BSRS). This international, interdisciplinary research School attracts participants from all over the world. The deadline for applications is getting closer.

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It is the interdisciplinary and multicultural perspectives that are the main reasons why PhD candidates should apply to attend Bergen Summer Research School, says school leader Kjersti Fløttum.

- But most important of all is the professional quality of the courses on offer. 

The interdisciplinary communication helps the participants to gain new perspectives that can prove useful in their own field of expertise, adds Fløttum.

The summer school was established as a four-year project and focuses each year on key global challenges.  The last three research schools have focused on Global Poverty, Climate, Environment and Energy and Global Health.  This June, the theme is Norms, Values and Culture.

Academic meeting place

- An interdisciplinary approach gives one a better understanding of the complex challenges that are facing the world.  BSRS is undoubtedly an important meeting place for academics from both rich and less rich nations, from North and South and from other cultures, says Fløttum.

- This year’s summer school will offer five different courses, all with competent lecturers from several UiB faculties and partner institutions here in Bergen (NHH, CMI, HiB and Uni Research).

- We have many helpers.  Enthusiastic lecturers and administrative personnel are all willing contributors.  Each student attends a specific course, but everyone meets to talk and discuss with each other at plenary events and workshops.  One gets to know one another and can test out ones ideas, says Fløttum.

Not the last time

BSRS was originally planned for a period of four years.  It doesn’t however look as though 2011 will be the final year of summer school.

- The university leadership has decided that the summer school is to continue.  How and when, will have to be decided on, says Fløttum.

Fløttum was Vice Rector the first time BSRS was arranged, and she doesn’t hide the fact that the research school is very important to her.

- It’s my baby, but it’s no secret that I’ve said that I I’d retire after four years.  I think it’s important that others continue the work.  For me personally, it will be a little sad to relinquish the leadership when the research school closes at the end of the summer, but perhaps I can contribute in other ways in the future, she says.

This year she will also be teaching one of the courses.

Putting Bergen on the map

Fløttum believes that the three previous summer schools have been important for developing the idea that an interdisciplinary approach can be useful when dealing with complex global challenges.  She has noticed that it has aroused international interest.

- The summer school is beginning to get noticed.  UiB and partners have managed to put Bergen on the map as an international research city.

Fløttum is impressed with BSRS.

- I have always been interested in the interdisciplinary perspective, but now I really believe that an interdisciplinary approach opens up new possibilities for research and education.

The application deadline for Bergen Summer Research School is 1st March.  The application form is to be found here.