Call for Applications: Mapping China Summer School 2018


Call for Applications

Mapping China Summer School 2018: Research Design and Research Methodology

10th to 14th September 2018 in Berlin


Formulated in positive terms, area studies are marked by methodological pluralism. Formulated in negative terms, there is no consensus and outright disagreement on the appropriate way to approach research. As a result, many students are left with the impression that research design and methodology resemble an incomprehensive “jungle” or, what is worse, that they are not important. This is especially problematic given the potential of area studies to support not only political science but other disciplines with in-depth knowledge about various regions around the globe. Without this knowledge various disciplines struggle to make sense of the world around them.

In the final semesters of their respective programs, however, it dawns upon many students that they actually know very little about how to systematically approach a thesis. The summer school tackles this predicament based on a hands-on approach. Each participant is supposed to bring with him/her a research question which we will use as examples throughout the workshop. After the summer school all participants will be familiar with the most common approaches to research design and methodology and will be able to frame their own research question in different variations. Additionally, all participants will benefit from meeting other students of area studies interested in a political science approach to their respective research.

The summer school will take place at Freie Universität Berlin. Situated in the quiet and peaceful Dahlem in the south-west of Berlin, Freie Universität Berlin is easily reachable via public transport from all other areas of Berlin. Participants are of course free to enjoy the cultural scene of Berlin during their free-time or can explore the various Chinese food options throughout the city.

Fees, Food and Accommodation:
The participation fee of 80 € will cover the reception, social events, snacks and drinks during the week and a lump sum for administrative and printing costs. For accepted participants the fee is non-refundable. Participants need to cover their own transport, food and accommodation. We offer a 10 € discount to all Mapping China Members!

Applicants should use the application form at the end of this page. Slots are limited to 15 and free slots are filled on a rolling basis. The application process either ends once the places are filled or otherwise on 13 August. The summer school will only take place if the number of participants is higher than five.

(tentative) Schedule:
Mon, 10 September
Morning: Introduction, Philosophy of Science
Afternoon: Self-Study
Evening: Key-Note Address and Reception

Tue, 11 September
Morning: Research Questions
Afternoon: Social Event

Wed 12 September
Morning: The Research Process
Afternoon: Self-Study

Thu, 13 September
Morning: Research Designs I (Experiment, Quantitative Designs)
Afternoon: Self-Study
Evening: Social Event

Fri, 14 September
Morning: Research Designs II (Qualitative Designs, Comparative Case Studies, Plagiarism)
Afternoon: Free

Any questions should be directed to!

We are looking forward to receiving your applications!