This is at the core of the project. The goal of the seminar is to organise and analyse focus group discussions with citizens that will be carried out in relation to teaching research projects, i.e. in cooperation with students. The focus group discussions will be used in two ways, a) as a way to debate Europe with citizens and b) as a tool to gather knowledge about the gap between the EU and its citizens. The aims are to discuss with the participating citizens and activists a) their personal reasons for being critical or supportive of democracy in their country and the EU, b) how they see the future perspectives of politics and democracy in the EU and in general and c) what makes more and more people critical of democratic institutions. Based on a synthesis of the state of the art of empirical and attitude research on EU support, a set of questions to structure the discussions will be developed. Each teaching research seminar will reach 30 students in MA or Ph.D. level. Overall, 540 students will therefore profit from the seminars and be able to learn how to do qualitative empirical research and especially how to conduct and analyse focus group discussions.
This course trains all the Ph.D. candidates in the network at Fulda University of Applied Sciences in research design, research methods, and research practices of studying the EU and its multilevel system. Students develop and present their Ph.D. research design in this course. They comment the research design mutually and they receive coaching and tutoring by the applicant. These seminars will be organised in cooperation with Fulda Graduate School in the Social Sciences and its doctoral training curriculum. Each Ph.D. training course “Researching Europe” will reach 15 students in Ph.D. level. Overall 45 students will therefore profit from the training course. They will be able to learn more about research design, research methods, and research practices of studying the EU and its multilevel system, to present their Ph.D. research design, receive comments by other students as well as coaching and tutoring.
The online course will offer in-depth knowledge about the EU from a citizen perspective. The starting point will be the on-line module "Get involved! Explore your opportunities as an EU citizen!", which is offered to more than 150 Erasmus students of all disciplines each year in the framework of the obligatory accompanying on-line course "Hands-on Learning prepare yourself for an intercultural workplace" of the regional contact point for EU-traineeships and university-enterprise cooperation, which is run jointly by Fulda University and institute inter.research e.V. The course will be developed and provided in English language and it will be open to all students participating in the research teaching seminars and the Ph.D. training course “Researching Europe”. It will also be open to all the citizens which participate in the focus group discussions