The aim of this course is to offer participants an opportunity to qualify their Ph.D.-project design within sociology and related areas such as social work, political sociology, or cultural studies. We do this in sessions where course participants present and reflect upon their research plan, while receiving feedback from other Ph.D.-students and from experienced Ph.D.-supervisors. Another aim of the course is to discuss general topics such as thesis form (monograph or articles), thesis quality demands, and writing and publication of articles.

The course targets Ph.D.-students in the first phase of their thesis work (within their first year).

Dependent on participants, the course language is Danish or English.

The course is developed in cooperation with the Department of Sociology, Copenhagen University and offered alternately by the department at Copenhagen University and the department at Aalborg University, students from these institutions are given priority to the course, but applications from other students are welcome.

Organizers and lectures:
Professor Annick Prieur and professor Lars Skov Henriksen, Department of Sociology and Social Work, Aalborg University

Administrative support:
Marianne Høgsbro


25 and 26 August 2020

Aalborg University, Campus Aalborg

Zip code:


Number of seats:
Because of the feedback format of the course there is a maximum of 10 participants.

Registration deadline June 29, 2020. Applicants write a short description of their project (10 – 15 lines) upon application to Professor Annick Prieur and professor Lars Skov Henriksen . Notification about admission will follow shortly after.

Registration and registration fee:
The course is free of charge for PhD fellows enrolled at Aalborg University, participants not enrolled at the Aalborg University will need to pay a fee of 350 DKK

PhD fellows who are not enrolled at Aalborg University need to fill in information about payment etc at this link

Important information concerning PhD courses
We have over some time experienced problems with no-show for both project and general courses. It has now reached a point where we are forced to take action. Therefore, the Doctoral School has decided to introduce a no-show fee of DKK 1,000 for each course where the student does not show up. Cancellations are accepted no later than 2 weeks before start of the course. Registered illness is of course an acceptable reason for not showing up on those days. Furthermore, all courses open for registration approximately four months before start. This can hopefully also provide new students a chance to register for courses during the year. We look forward to your registrations.

Course format and program:
This is a two days’ course focusing on participants’ projects. Based on the logic of the course and the reading list, each participant writes a short paper (6 – 8 pages) about his or her project, applying the following structure:

  • Imaginary (see H. Becker text, reading list, for this particular concept): what is your research question and main approach in the study?
  • Sampling and what is your object of inquiry? (What parts of the empirical reality do you focus on and why?)
  • Concepts: what are your main theories and concepts?
  • Logic: what are your methods and analytical strategies?

All participants make short presentations after which follows a discussion of each Ph.D.-project. 1 hour for each.

Besides paper discussions, the course features short presentations and discussions of central topics related to Ph.D.-projects: Research questions and research design, theory and theorizing, thesis form, writing and publishing articles, where to publish, challenges in the Ph.D.-project, etc.

A detailed program will follow. Short papers are due 17 August 2020, in order to circulate and prepare comments.

Preliminary reading list:

Part 1: Good research is good thinking.

Abend, G. (2008). The Meaning of ’Theory’. Sociological Theory 26(2): 173-199.

Abbott, A. (2004). Methods of Discovery. Heuristics for the Social Sciences. NY & London: Norton & co. Chapter 3 “Introduction to heuristics”, pp. 80-110.

Becker, H. (1992). Cases, causes, conjunctures, stories, and imagery. In: C. Ragin & H. Becker (eds.) What is a Case? Exploring the Foundations of Social Inquiry. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Pp. 205-217.

Swedberg, R. (2016). Before Theory Comes Theorizing or How to Make Social Science More Interesting. British Journal of Sociology 67(1): 5-22.

Savage, M. (2009). Contemporary sociology and the challenge of descriptive assemblage. European Journal of Social Theory, 12(1), 155–174.

Gane, N. (2018): Against a descriptive turn. British Journal of Sociology. DOI: 10.1111/1468-4446.12715

Savage, M. (2019): What makes for a successful sociology? A response to “Against a descriptive turn”. British Journal of Sociology. DOI: 10.1111/1468-4446.12713

Part 2: Some thinking and writing tools.

De Vaus, D. (2001) Research Design in Social Research. London: SAGE. Pp. 17-21 (about different kinds of research questions).

Knopf, J. W.  (2006) Doing a Literature Review. Political Science and Politics 39 (1): 127-132.

Martin, E. (2014). How to Write a Good Article. Current Sociology 62(7): 949-955.

The Sociological Review: Dos and don’ts for authors. Informal advice from Michaela Benson, Managing Editor

  • Description:

    The Doctoral School of Social Sciences offers a 2-day course for PhD supervisors. The course is targeted both new supervisors and experienced supervisors.

    The course is a process course that takes as its starting point the doctoral supervisors’ understandings of their role and place in the organization through establishing

    1. What forms of pedagogy are embedded in different supervisor and student roles 
    2. An understanding of how the supervisor role evolves over time
    3. An awareness of organisational and environmental dimensions that influence doctoral supervision
    4. Practical tools to facilitate and cope with troublesome areas
  • Organizer: Doctoral School of Social Sciences
  • Lecturer:

    Søren S.E. Bengtsen is Associate Professor in supervision and mentoring in higher education, at the Centre for Teaching Development and Digital Media, Aarhus University. Same place, he is the Deputy Director of the research centre ‘Centre for Higher Education Futures’. Bengtsen has designed and taught the obligatory courses for all new doctoral supervisors and all new doctoral students at the Faculty of Arts, Aarhus University for the last 7 years, and he is the co-coordinator of the Module on ‘Supervision’ on the Teacher Training Programme (Adjunktpædagogikum), which is obligatory for all assistant professors at Aarhus University. Bengtsen is the co-founder of the two national special interest groups ‘Supervision and mentoring in higher education’ and ‘Higher education policy and practice’ under The Danish Network for Educational Development in Higher Education (Dansk Universitetspædagogisk Netværk).

    Further, Bengten is the co-founder and current Chair of the international academic association ‘Philosophy and Theory of Higher Education Society’. He has published widely within higher education, doctoral education, educational philosophy, and the philosophy of higher education. His recent books include Doctoral Supervision. Organization and Dialogue (Aarhus University Press, 2016), The Thinking University. A Philosophical Examination of Though and Higher Education (Co-edited with Ronald Barnett, Springer Publishing, 2018), Knowledge and the University. Re-claiming Life (co-authored with Ronald Barnett, Routledge, 2019), and The Hidden Curriculum in Doctoral Education (co-authored with Dely Elliot, Kay Guccione, and Sofie Kobayashi, Palgrave Macmillan, 2020).

  • Time: 10-11 June 2020
  • Place: Aalborg University, Fibigerstræde 2, room 21, Aalborg

Program Day 1 - Doctoral supervision and the institutional context:

09.00-09.30 - Welcome and presentations

09.30-10.30 - Rules and regulations regarding doctoral supervision                             

10.30-10.45 - Break  

10.45-11.45 - Workshop 1: Doctoral supervision and the institutional context      

11.45-12.00 - Break

12.00-13.00 - Workshop 2: Supervisor wellbeing

Program Day 2 - Roles, relations, and responsibilities in doctoral supervision:

09.00-10.30 - Workshop 3: Roles and relations in doctoral supervision

10.30-10.45 - Break  

10.45-12.15 - Workshop 4: Communication and the supervisory dialogue      

12.15-12.30 - Break

12.30-13.00 - Closing reflection: Next steps and what to bring forward

Deadline for registration: 1 June 2020


  • Description:

    Client participation is a popular concept, generally carrying positive connotations among both administrators and citizen advocates: “It connotes openness and transparency, inclusion and diversity, democracy and voice, equality and deliberation…” (Kelty et al. 2015: 475). Participation is regarded important in combatting social exclusion (Stevens, Bur and Young 2003), contributing to democratization, increasing the self-efficacy of clients, building communities, increasing service efficiency and effectiveness, ensuring fairness and holding government agencies accountable (Mizrahi, Humphreys and Torres 2009; Alford 2009: 37). In addition, participation has become an important source of legitimacy, and public agencies are increasingly expected to enable citizen participation (Kelty et al. 2015). With the advance of new public governance, citizens are also increasingly expected to participate actively, contributing to the delivery of public services to themselves and others. This however leads to new paradoxes, as municipalities “simultaneously want to empower its citizens and control the output of their activities.” (Hansen & Gemal 2014: 3; see also Borghi and van Berkel 2007: 422). With all the different and somewhat contradictory tasks participation is expected to perform, it is important to examine different forms of participation in order to analyze how participation works in specific contexts.

    Lipsky pointed out that client participation has a dual function both as a means to secure individual and fair treatment and as a way of legitimizing the agency’s intervention in the clients’ lives and the control of clients (Lipsky 1980: 42-43). Hence, participation can be non-voluntary for clients and street-level organizations may seek to persuade clients to participate actively in the system (Lipsky 1980: 43). In this context, client participation can be seen as part of an organizational goal of client control as well as a source of organizational legitimacy. White calls for a detailed examination of the concept of participation and the interests it serves and underscores that “participation is not always in the interests of the poor. Everything depends on the type of participation, and the terms on which it is offered. […] exit may be the most empowering option” (White 2011: 64). Hence, it should not be taken for granted that client participation is empowering or liberating to clients. The concept client participation may be regarded problematic for this very reason, since client participation may imply user control and empowerment, but it may also imply treatment participation or even client compliance. Hence, notions of inclusion through client participation remain problematic as long as it remains obscure what participation entails and what the goals of participation are, e.g. involving people in decisions made about them or making services cheaper (Stevens et al. 2003: 90).

    Participation has long been an important concept in a range of disciplines (e.g. political sciences, social work, rural development, media studies). The popularity of the concept of participation has led scholars to be wary that the concept may become “drained of substance” (Cohen and Uphoff 2011: 34).  Across different streams of research, there is not a common conceptualization of client participation.

    The aim of the course is to familiarize students with classical and contemporary perspectives on client participation, to enable students to critically discuss assumptions, methodological approaches and empirical results regarding client participation. In addition, the course aims at furthering the PhD-students work on constructing a theoretical framework and methodological approach to a specific research problem in the student’s own ongoing or planned project.

Welcome to Academic Information Searching, Publishing and Management (AISPM).

Due to the Corona situation the course is postponed. New date: 12-13 November 2020.

If you have already been registered for the course in March, please register again if you wish to participate in November.

Please observe that this course is intended for PhD students within the Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities.

Please enrol in the course here:

Date: 12-13 November 2020

Place: Aalborg. Room: TBA

Time: 9.00 - 15.00

Description: This 2-day course gives you skills and knowledge within a wide range of relevant areas useful during your PhD. The objective of the course is to facilitate your entrance into the academic research world, so it is recommended that you take it when starting your PhD.

The course will cover these essential areas (see the attached file for a detailed programme):

• Searching, evaluating and organising information – How to apply a structured method to search information e.g. for a literature review. How to prepare and apply relevant criteria for assessing and documenting the search results. How reference management tools can facilitate the process of organising search results

• Research evaluation – What research evaluation entails. Citations and h-index as measures for evaluating research. How to use the most central databases in research evaluation for your subject

 • Publication strategy - How to increase publications’ visibility and searchability in databases through well-informed choices regarding an article’s key features (titles, keywords and abstracts) and choice of publication channel such as BFI and other relevant impact measures. How to use relevant tools and websites for choosing where to publish

 • Research visibility, networking and profiling - How to register research in VBN, knowledge and use of researcher identifiers, scholarly networks and Open Access

The course is a “toolbox for research”-course with a mix of presentations and hands-on exercises, either working on your own focusing on your own PhD-project or in small groups with a shared focus. Please remember to bring your computer.

Preparation before the course: Please see the attached file with articles of subjects covered in the course. As preparation for the class exercises, you are asked to skim an article, which is also attached. Prior to the course you also need to make sure you can log in to Aalborg University Research Portal at For support, please contact

Exercises: There will be both class exercises and home exercises. The home exercises will be introduced during the course. You arerequired to finish the home exercises at home and return them by a specific date.

Accommodation: There will be coffee and tea during the day. However, you will have to bring your own lunch. Alternatively, you have to go to the canteen at Fibigerstræde 15. It is approximately a 10 minutes’ walk.

Course language: English

Important: In order to pass the course you are required to be present for the duration of the course’s two days and complete the home exercises.

Organizers: Anne Marya Greve, e-mail:

Lecturers from Aalborg University Library Infoteam and VBN Team


Registration deadline: 1 November 2020



General course objectives

This PhD course aims to acquaint PhD students with the process of theorizing and theory building in management research. We start from the premise that it is critical for PhD students to master the process of theorizing and theory development from the extant knowledge and empirical data quite early in their Doctoral studies.

Learning objectives

By the end of the course, the PhD candidates will have gained skills and knowledge in: (1) gaining sensitivity to theoretical development during the literature review process, and (2) analyzing and theorizing from qualitative data.


We target PhD students who are in their first eighteen - twenty-four months of the doctoral programme; students in their later stage of their studies are welcome also to apply. We accept max 20 students.


The PhD course will be delivered using a mixture of lecture-based and interactive teaching methods, including group assignments and feedback to PhD candidates on their identified issues and challenges.

The following TBRP faculty will be presenting: Dr. Andy Lowe, Grounded Theory Institute in California; Professor Emeritus Nikhilesh Dholakia; Dr. Michael Fast, University College of Northern Denmark; Dr. Romeo V. Turcan, Aalborg University (host).


Participation fee

300 EUR: the fee will cover costs related to: lunches (5), coffee breaks (2/day), dinners (2), and course material. Each participant is responsible for his/her own travel and accommodation.


DL1: Essay submission - March 31, 2020

DL2: Essay acceptance - April 10, 2020

DL3: Registration and payment of course fee – April 30, 2020


Aalborg University

Course website