KIT-Zentrum Mensch und Technik

Mission Statement

The Graduate School “Cultures of Knowledge” provides the opportunity for doctoral researchers to experience the study of knowledge in a multitude of scientific contexts, expanding their academic background with interdisciplinary perspectives. The program will enable doctoral researchers to determine the historical, institutional, social and global conditions for the production of knowledge and diffusion in matters relevant for the KIT Center Humans and Technology. The supervision concept is meant to be tailored to individual needs and participants of the Graduate School can profit from numerous proposed courses as well as from suggested classes or self-organized events.

Applying a broad knowledge concept allows to focus on specific practices in which knowledge is generated, stored, communicated, and applied. The concept “Cultures of Knowledge” thus allows to describe how people, groups of people (e.g. academics) or society as a whole deal with knowledge – and its absence.

As part of the KIT Center Humans and Technology, the Graduate School “Cultures of Knowledge” fosters close interaction between KIT departments in the humanities, social sciences, natural and engineering sciences as well as activities supporting the dialogue with public interest groups. The Graduate School gives doctoral researchers an opportunity to analyze seemingly abstract issues of “knowledge” in specific socio-technical constellations, places, innovation processes and organizations – from the perspective of a wide variety of scientific disciplines. In providing doctoral researchers with methodological tools that allow them to analyze and contribute to processes at the interface of science and society (e.g., innovation processes, policy advice or sustainability transitions), they will be well-prepared for future careers in this interface.

 

The Graduate School supports doctoral researchers with a threefold added value:

  • they receive an interdisciplinary supervision that is tailored to their needs, where they choose a mentor from another scientific discipline;
  • they learn self-reliance for their professional life, whether in science or in practice, administrating a budget, which they can use to cover the costs of events they plan to host, participating in the program committee of the Graduate School, and by bearing responsibility in the steering committee, which will be composed of elected doctoral researchers and the spokespersons of the graduate school;
  • they learn disciplinary and methodological basics as well as transferrable skills, providing them with competencies to 1) situate their work in interdisciplinary contexts on a high methodological level, 2) strengthen their scientific mindset and their responsibilities as researchers, and 3) facilitate discussion with the general public on the role and function of research and technology in society.