The 15 PhD students, called Early Stage Researchers (ESR) are spread equally across the five institutions (see the table below) for the duration of the 36-month doctorate. Each ESR is based at two different institutions, 18 months at each, and will sign two separate employment contracts, one with each of their pathway institutions. This inbuilt mobility will increase the interdisciplinary content of the doctorate and ensure that each ESR will benefit directly from sustained exposure to more than one institutional environment. At the end of the doctorate, after a successful final examination (‘viva’), the two universities that have hosted the ESR and supervised the research will award a joint degree.

ResearcherNo. Recruiting University Co-Hosting Non-academic Partner(offering individual secondments) Planned Start Month Duration (months)
1 Kent (UNIKENT); Porto (UPORTO) Platform for International Cooperation on Undocumented Migration, Brussels 7; 25 18 + 18
2 Kent (UNIKENT); Berlin (FUB) Casa da Música, Porto 7; 25 18 + 18
3 Kent (UNIKENT); Montpellier (UPVM3) Consortium of Migrant Assisting Organizations in the Czech Republic, Prague 7; 25 18 + 18
4 Berlin (FUB); Kent (UNIKENT) National Maritime Museum, London 7; 25 18 + 18
5 Berlin (FUB); Porto (UPORTO) The Online Encyclopaedia of Migration, Prague 7; 25 18 + 18
6 Berlin (FUB); Prague (CUNI) Preußische Staatsbibliothek, Berlin 7; 25 18 + 18
7 Porto (UPORTO); Kent (UNIKENT) The Multicultural Center, Prague 7; 25 18 + 18
8 Porto (UPORTO); Prague (CUNI) Portuguese Refugee Council, Lisbon 7; 25 18 + 18
9 Porto (UPORTO); Montpellier (UPVM3) Kent Refugee Action Network, Canterbury 7; 25 18 + 18
10 Montpellier (UPVM3); Prague (CUNI) La Boutique d’écriture, Montpellier 7; 25 18 + 18
11 Montpellier (UPVM3); Porto (UPORTO) Museum of Migrations and Communities, Fafe, Portugal 7; 25 18 + 18
12 Montpellier (UPVM3); Berlin (FUB) Herzog August Bibliothek, Wolfenbüttel, Germany 7; 25 18 + 18
13 Prague (CUNI); Montpellier (UPVM3) Bibliothèque nationale de France, Avignon 7; 25 18 + 18
14 Prague (CUNI); Berlin (FUB) Herzog August Bibliothek, Wolfenbüttel, Germany 7; 25 18 + 18
15 Prague (CUNI); Kent (UNIKENT) Teatro Nacional São João, Porto 7; 25 18 + 18


ESRs complete a ‘Research and Career Development Plan’ (RCDP) which will be developed and revised throughout the doctorate and submitted for examination at the formal progress reviews taking place every six months. All ESRs are also encouraged to keep a ‘Personal Development Plan’ (PDP) alongside their RCDP. All are invited to discuss the PDP regularly with their supervisors.

All five participating institutions offer further high-profile doctoral programmes across a range of disciplines that will complement MOVES in different ways. All staff are based in Humanities and Social Science departments representing Anglophone Literatures and Cultures, History (including art history), Political and International Studies, Modern Languages, and Cultural Studies. The PhD programmes run by these departments are interdisciplinary and at the forefront of their respective fields in management, content, and delivery. All relevant PhD programmes are recruiting well, ensuring that MOVES researchers will be able to interact with lively peer groups at each institution. These interactions will be further supported by a range of high-profile research centres at all five sites. Selected centres include, for example, the Centre for the Study of Strategic Regions in Prague; the Peter Szondi Institute of Comparative Literary Studies in Berlin; the Centre for Culture, Space and Memory in Porto; the Maison des Sciences de l’Homme Sud in Montpellier; and the Global Europe Centre in Kent.

These research groupings stage regular conferences, symposia and lecture series with invited speakers at all five sites. Several also house research projects focused on migration that are complementary with MOVES research, such as the Refugee Tales project at Kent or The Encyclopaedia of Migration in Prague. Through such projects ESRs will also be introduced to outreach and public engagement activities appropriate to research in their fields. All ESRs can also attend training modules at all sites, either in transferable or subject-specific skills. Two of the five universities have established Graduate Schools: the Schlegel Graduate School and the Dahlem Humanities Center in Berlin; and the Graduate School at Kent. Both convene interdisciplinary postgraduate conferences, organize social events, provide financial and pastoral support for postgraduate researchers, and offer regular skills programmes (which will be available to all MOVES ESRs, irrespective of location, through existing online provision).

Description of the training programme

A series of ten coordinated training events – covering both research and transferable skills – forms the backbone of the doctorate. These events take place at all five MOVES universities, and at some of the partners, and bring together the entire project team (staff and ESRs) to enable an ongoing interdisciplinary conversation during the lifetime of the project. They ensure that each single ESR is introduced to all five institutional environments. The participation of partners in these events, and the secondments in year 2, enables the exposure of ESRs to non-academic environments and enhances employment prospects. The presence of invited speakers at several events, and the end-of-project conference, will greatly enhance the abilities for networking.

The sequence of training ensures the systematic progression of each researcher through the 36 months of the programme. A research supervision strand runs parallel to a strand of training events. The training strand is more dominant in the first two years, in order to lay the necessary foundations and ensure that all researchers acquire the knowledge and skills essential for their research. The research strand is more heavily weighted in the second half of the doctorate, when researchers have completed their required initial training and are working towards completing their doctoral theses.

This parallel progression of training and research strands is reflected in the ECTS credits allocated to the mandatory programme elements over the 36 months. All elements of the training programme are subject to robust processes of quality assurance at the five MOVES universities. The training events are split into mandatory, credit-bearing elements on the one hand, and optional, non-credit-bearing elements on the other. Together they provide transferable skills, core research skills, and advanced skills in specific areas.

The credit-bearing training events include the following:

  • A four-week induction programme (including workshops on the project rationale, research methodology, extra-European perspectives, interdisciplinary cooperation, team-working, innovation, public engagement and outreach activities, researchers’ rights and duties, research integrity and ethics, academic communication and dissemination, networking activities, multicultural awareness, gender aspects, as well as round tables of senior researchers, academic guest speakers, and representatives of non-academic partners)
  • Transferable skills workshops (on topics such as conference presentation, time management, archival resources, academic publishing opportunities, project organization, grant capture, proposal writing, IPR, )
  • Three thematic workshops, covering a general introduction to migration research and all five research WPs (1-5), organized in conjunction with non-European academics and/or practitioners
  • A Career Management workshop
  • A Summer School focused on the individual research projects of ESRs combined with lectures and one-to-one feedback offered by senior researchers and invited speakers from within and outside Europe
  • A research-led non-academic secondment with a project partner lasting up to six weeks (exact length depends on the type of project)
  • A Knowledge Transfer Event following the completion of the non-academic secondments (ESRs present the results of their cooperation with non-academic partners; non-academic partners evaluate performance and the quality of the knowledge transfer achieved)
  • An End-of-Project Conference, organized by ESRs (with input from MOVES staff), where final project results is presented to a wider audience

The non-credit-bearing training opportunities include the following:

  • Electronic Publishing Platform: ESRs engage with each other’s projects via this platform which will make research in progress available to the entire team (including all academic staff and ESRs) throughout the lifetime of the project and increase interdisciplinarity through the sharing of research across disciplinary boundaries. ESRs are required to publish their contributions to the Summer School and the End-of-Project Conference on this platform.
  • Supervision seminars: Fellows develop their project ideas in exchange with the rest of their cohort and ESRs in other PhD programmes at their respective sites in these seminars.
  • Field trips to non-academic project partners: These will be organized separately by each MOVES university.
  • International conference paper: all ESRs are encouraged to present at least one formal paper at an international conference not organized by MOVES during the 36 months of the doctorate.
  Main Training Events and Conferences ECTS Lead Institutions Project Month
1 Induction Programme (group secondment) 10 Berlin/Prague 7
2 Transferable Skills Workshops 5 Montpellier/Kent 8-9
3 Workshop 1: Introduction and Contexts (WP1) 5 Kent 13
4 Workshop 2: Movements and Encounters (WPs 2, 3) 5 Berlin/Porto 16
5 Summer School 5 Berlin 18
6 Workshop 3: Transformations and Narratives (WPs 4, 5) 5 Montpellier/Prague 20
7 Career Management Workshop 5 Montpellier 23
8 Individual Non-academic Secondment 10 Berlin/All 25-30
9 Knowledge Transfer Event 5 Montpellier 33
10 End-of-Project Conference 5 Berlin/Kent 40
Total ECTS   60    


Role of non-academic sector in the training programme

Partner institutions participate directly in training events through field trips, the Summer School, the Career Management workshop, the non-academic secondments, and the Knowledge Transfer Event:

  • Field trips of ESRs to project partners are conducted by all MOVES universities (months 13 to 17)
  • At the Summer School, partners introduce ESRs to different perspectives on their research and the specific challenges faced by non-academic institutions in the public sector.
  • For the Career Management workshop, partners develop common research themes with ESRs in preparation of the upcoming non-academic secondments.
  • During the non-academic secondments, ESRs work for a period of up to six weeks at a partner organisation related to their main research.
  • For the Knowledge Transfer Event, partners evaluate performance of ESRs and provide further advice on research priorities, career management, grant capture, and professional opportunities beyond each ESR’s individual experience.

The partner organisations include NGOs, charities, and non-profit organizations dealing with migrants and migration, as well as museums, libraries, archives, and the cultural and creative industries that address migration through art, culture, education, or performance. All subscribe to the central tenet of the MOVES project that successful, impact-generating research must be grounded in a two-way dialogue between academic institutions and public-facing organisations. MOVES will take seriously the input received from non-academic partners and make their feedback and advice an integral part of the research programme. Conversely, it is expected that academic perspectives will helpfully shape future public-facing initiatives of the partners.

Supervisors and supervision

All MOVES staff have R4 or R3 profiles according to the descriptors used in the 2011 European Framework for Research Careers. The majority are experienced supervisors with international reputations and prior involvement in the supervision of ESRs. Staff from the partner organizations will be included in supervisory teams.

Over the last ten years, the 34 participating staff have published 59 monographs, around 170 additional books (essay collections, editions, research-driven creative writing outputs), more than 700 major journal articles and book chapters, have won 24 competitive grants of 100k € or higher (of which 6 were valued in excess of 1 million €), and sat on 93 editorial boards. The PhD completions among the 29 experienced supervisors are summarized in the following table.

University Number + profile of supervisors No. of PhD completions Key destinations of graduates
Prague 6 (4 x R4; 2 x R3) 35 Higher education (domestic and international); civil service; diplomatic service; national media; publishing industry
Berlin 7 (all R4) 39 Civil service; cultural and creative sector; publishing industry; television; academia; business sector
Porto 6 (4 x R4; 2 x R3) 33 Civil service; publishing industry; education (including higher education); cultural industries; NGOs; language-service businesses
Montpellier 4 (all R4) 22 Higher education (domestic and international); secondary education
Kent 6 (5 x R4; 1 x R3) 65 Secondary and Higher Education; publishing industry; cultural and creative industries; civil society; government; NGOs, EU institutions


Supervisors advise ESRs on research problems, workload management, methodology, existing scholarly debates, the wider project context, and the state of the art in their research area. Many act regularly as external examiners on doctoral vivas or in PhD programmes elsewhere in Europe or abroad. Through such exchanges, a standard of supervision is maintained across the programme based on best practice in the sector within the EU and internationally. All supervisors collaborate in interdisciplinary research centres. Supervisors are also members of various research networks operating at all MOVES Universities that include partners in Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia and both Americas, which will benefit ESRs.

All ESRs are allocated a minimum of three supervisors, at least one each from the two universities where the researcher will be registered and employed, and at least one from the Humanities and one from the Social Sciences. Staff from the project partners joins supervisory teams either as full supervisor or as adviser.

Composition of supervisory team
1 Main supervisor 1 R4 staff based at one of the two degree-awarding institutions
2 Main supervisor 2 R4 or R3 staff based at the other of the two degree-awarding institutions
3 Third supervisor R4 or R3 staff based at any of the five universities or at a project partner, completing (if required) the interdisciplinary profile of the supervisory team
4 Adviser Staff based at project partner (if third supervisor is from a MOVES university)


ESRs and supervisors make contact at regular intervals, at least six times in each stage of the programme (once a month). Such contacts take the form of consultative meetings which are expected to be carried out physically but can also be conducted through electronic means such as skype, phone or email, if circumstances require this. Owing to the joint nature of the programme and the requirement of interdisciplinarity, one or more of the supervisors normally are in another country and therefore not available for face-to-face consultations and supervisory meetings. In such cases, supervisors based at other sites will either take part in meetings via skype, or send in notes ahead of the meeting and receive a report afterwards. These and other duties are formulated in the Doctoral Candidate Agreement (DCA), to be signed by each ESR.

Supervisors have a particular responsibility for ensuring that ESRs are trained to develop as researchers with high ethical standards, and to avoid research misconduct. All supervisors are responsible for including ESRs in the academic community and in relevant research groupings. Supervisors and ESRs should treat each other as colleagues while always being aware of their different roles in the supervision process, so that all parties understand the expectations. The rights and obligations of supervisors and ESRs are defined in the DCA.

In addition to the regular supervisory meetings, each ESR has to achieve a series of milestones in the form of six progress reviews (see following table). These progress reviews are conducted by the local supervisor, at least one of the other two supervisors (who may join physically or via skype), and one further local MOVES staff member.

Stage Month Type of meeting Work to be submitted ECTS
1 12 Induction review Research proposal including thesis outline; draft chapter (minimum 5,000 words); RCDP 15
2 18 End-of-year progress review Revised RCDP; draft chapter/s (minimum 10,000 words) 15
3 24 Mid-year progress review Revised RCDP; Draft chapter/s (minimum 10,000 words) 20
4 30 End-of-year progress review Revised RCDP; draft chapter/s (minimum 10,000 words) 20
5 36 Mid-year progress review Revised RCDP; draft chapter/s (minimum 20,000 words) 25
6 42 Submission review and Viva Revised RCDP; work to date; draft of the thesis (minimum 75,000 words) for the Submission review and final draft for the Viva 25
Total ECTS     120

The programme-level Academic Board reviews the progress reports of all ESRs at six-monthly intervals and formally decides on progression to the next stage of the programme. The rules are communicated to the ESRs in the form of a Researchers’ Handbook.


Each ESR is seconded once, and many twice: 12 ESRs (excepting the three starting their pathway in Prague) are seconded to a four-week induction programme to Prague in month 1, and all ESRs are seconded for a period up to six weeks to a non-academic partner organisation between months 25 and 30. The secondments are structured around demonstrable synergies between the 15 individual projects and the specialized activities of the partners. In this way, the progress of each ESR’s research in the final year is directly shaped by the secondment. For the allocation of ESRs to partners see Overview and content structure of the doctoral programme.

After the non-academic secondment, ESRs are encouraged to review their practice in response to the experience and maximize the accessibility of their research to non-academic audiences, thus enhancing the possibilities for greater dissemination and impact. They are asked to reflect on the use of their research in a non-academic environment and whether they are employing adequate forms of communication. It is also expected that the professional experience will improve employment possibilities for MOVES graduates.

All non-academic partners have been chosen with a view to offering a contrasting but complementary environment to ESRs. Exposure to organisations in which the current migrant crisis is confronted directly will complement those research projects that develop a significant comparative focus between past and present forms of migration. Secondments in the cultural and creative industries will complement those projects best that enable the exploitation of different forms of historical evidence through fictionalizing or documentary treatment. The appropriate matches between individual thesis projects and non-academic secondments are indicated in the list of Fellows’ individual projects (see below). The Knowledge Transfer Event in month 33 guarantees that the benefits gained by each individual ESR are transmitted to the entire cohort.