Call for Applications: ISTR PhD Seminar

*Deadline for Submissions is 29 September 2017*

Amsterdam, Netherlands
July 8 – 9, 2018
VU University Amsterdam

Please direct all inquiries to the ISTR Secretariat (

Call for Applications

ISTR is pleased to announce the fourth ISTR PhD Seminar preceding the 13th International Conference in Amsterdam, The Netherlands in July 2018. The ISTR PhD Seminar is a recurring event that takes place bi-annually in conjunction with the international conference.

The ISTR PhD Seminar is open to all doctoral students in the field of third sector and civil society research, across the different regions in the world, and at all stages of their doctoral research. The aim of the workshop is to provide doctoral students with the opportunity to receive extensive intellectual and methodological advice on their doctoral research, to introduce them to main theories and developments in the field, to reflect upon publication and career strategies, and to provide a unique opportunity to network with junior and senior scholars within the international ISTR research community.

More specifically, the seminar will consist of both plenary sessions with presentations by leading scholars in the field, and parallel group sessions in which the participants have the opportunity to present and discuss their doctoral research with peers, junior and senior faculty. Participants will be grouped thematically, but the group composition will be heterogeneous in terms of concrete research topics, disciplinary background, research stage, method, and regional affiliation.

The seminar is limited to a group of (up to) 50 doctoral students. Applicants must be members of ISTR and register and attend the conference. Students are encouraged to submit abstracts to the conference (see the call here:  The ISTR PhD Seminar will start with an afternoon session followed by an informal dinner on Sunday afternoon, July 8, 2018.  Plenary and group sessions will take place on Monday, July 9 and Tuesday, July 10 (in the morning). Participants are expected to arrive on Sunday July 8.

ISTR will cover two nights of accommodation (Sunday July 8 and Monday July 9) as well as coffee breaks and meals during the Seminar.

ISTR will not cover or refund travel costs.  Efforts are under way to secure travel subsidies for a limited number of participants. ISTR will offer conference registration subsidies and discounted registration conference fees (applications will be accepted for these in February 2018). Please check back for updates.


Eligibility and selection criteria

To be eligible for participation, applicants should be:

–          Enrolled as a doctoral student [all stages of the doctoral research are allowed]

–          Working in the field of third sector and civil society research [all academic disciplines are invited]

–           A member of ISTR for 2018/19 and register and attend the 2018 conference (immediately following the PhD seminar)

–          Able to participate in the entire PhD Seminar from Sunday afternoon to Tuesday around noon as well as the conference from Tuesday to Friday

–          Be prepared to present and discuss their doctoral work with peers and faculty, and to participate in an active and constructive way in group discussions

–          (ISTR 2017 membership is not required for application submission)

Application process

Interested students should send their application directly to email: c/o  ISTR PhD Seminar 2018 by September 29, 2017. 

All applications must include the following information:

–          Full name and gender

–          Contact details (including e-mail and phone number)

–          Disciplinary background

–          Institutional affiliation and name(s) of the supervisor(s)

–          Working title of PhD project and formal start/end dates

–          Indication of the stage of your research

–          Abstract of PhD research (min. 500 – max. 800 words)

o   The abstract must include research questions, theoretical framework, methods, and results if already applicable

–          Letter from the faculty advisor providing information about the quality of the candidate as well as specific information about how participation in the PhD seminar would benefit their doctoral studies

–          A brief description (100-150 words) of your motivation to participate in the ISTR PhD Seminar

–          Questions you would like to be discussed at the seminar

–          Keywords

ISTR will consider all applications that meet the eligibility criteria. In line with ISTR’s mission to build a global community of scholars and subscribe to the values of diversity and pluralism, participants in the ISTR PhD Seminar will be representative in terms of gender and region, as well as disciplines and stages in the PhD process.

Selected applicants will be notified by November 3, 2017.