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About Us

The Graduate School for East and Southeast European Studies was founded in 2012 as a joint doctoral programme by the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität (LMU) Munich and the Universität Regensburg (UR) as part of of the German Initiative of Excellence. From the very beginning, the Graduate School has also been in collaboration with extramural institutions, all sharing the goal to advance the study of Eastern and Southeastern Europe.

Since the Excellence Initiative ended in 2019, we have continued our successful programme both in Regensburg and Munich, although now as two formally separate entities: the GS OSESLMU and GS OSESUR. The Graduate School in Regensburg is maintained through funding from the University of Regensburg and a special grant by the Ministry for Science and Culture of the Free State of Bavaria.

The GS OSESUR constitutes a cross-faculty research and graduate training platform, including the faculties of Philosophy, Art History, History and Humanities (PKGG), Language, Literature and Culture (SLK), and the Faculty of Law. The Bavarian State Library, the Institute for Eastern Law (IOR) and the Leibniz Institute for East and Southeast European Studies (IOS) also support its activities as institutional partners.

Innovative, International and Interdisciplinary Doctoral Training

The primary objective of the Graduate School is to train excellent doctoral researchers and to support their research. We offer a lively international and interdisciplinary environment as well as a structured doctoral training programme with intensive monitoring. The Graduate School provides doctoral scholarships, a personal workplace, access to research facilities, transferable skills training and a mentoring programme. We also encourage our graduate students to pursue their own initiatives.

While the Gradate School’s research focuses on East and Southeast Europe, we are committed to the idea of integrated Area Studies. East and Southeast Europe cannot be understood as isolated from other parts of the world, but only by their interactions with other regions. Comparative approaches are also necessary to explore the differences and similarities between East and Southeast Europe and other places, and to identify the specificities of the region. This is why we are particularly interested in trans-regional entanglement and transfers. For that reason, the Graduate School also integrates specialists from other areas, such as North America. The close cooperation of the GS OSESUR with the Leibniz ScienceCampus “Europe and America in the Modern World” is a case in point.

Transfer of Knowledge, Outreach and Publication

East and Southeast Europe is a highly dynamic region, and also the only place in Europe with recent experiences of war. It is often considered a geo-political fault line, while at the same time, European integration has fundamentally reshaped the region. Political events and social crises in the region affect the whole of Europe and Germany in particular. The mass migration of workers from the region to Germany exemplifies how important East and Southeast Europe is to us. Nonetheless, in the public mind, knowledge of the region is limited or tainted by out-dated stereotypes. This is one of the reasons that the Graduate School makes a great effort to communicate information about East and Southeast Europe and its connections with other parts of the world to different audiences: we have established an academic book series "Schnittstellen", the blog "Erinnerungskulturen"  (Memory Cultures), maintained by GS OSESLMU, and we frequently organise lectures, panel discussions, book presentations and workshops that deal with current developments and their historical background.

Broad Network of Academic and non-Academic Partners

A broad programme like ours relies on cooperation: apart from the institutional members of the GS OSES, we have established a broad network of academic partners – ranging from Russia to the United States. Our visiting researcher programme enables us to invite leading scholars from other institutions abroad, thereby intensifying our outreach and network. We also build close partnerships locally: the interdisciplinary Elite Graduate Program for East European Studies (Masters), jointly run by Ludwig-Maximilian-Universität München, and Universität Regensburg, has been integral to the foundation of our work. The Alumni of the Elite Graduate Program and the Graduate School founded the alumni association AMUROST e.V., which helps us to maintain contact with our graduates, and our close partnership with the Regensburg Arts Initiative "Donumenta e.V." and the municipal educational institution “Volkshochschule der Stadt Regensburg” are crucial for reaching audiences outside of academia.


Equal Opportunities, Diversity and Inclusion

People of a great diversity of genders, lifestyle, religions and cultural and social backgrounds encounter each other at the GS OSESUR. Our goal is to realize a democratic and participatory Graduate School where multi-faceted and open-minded research can thrive and where a constructive culture of discussion prevails. This is why we are committed to continually developing our Equal Opportunities, Diversity and Inclusion Policy. In our understanding of the term, equality encompasses not only the particularly pressing issue of gender equality but also - and increasingly so - the promotion of diversity through oppenness and overcoming structural disadvantages and privileges.

You can find our Equal Opportunities, Diversity and Inclusion Policy here.

In order to ensure the integrity and realization of this policy, the members of the GS OSESUR also signed our Code of Conduct which you can access here.


Learn more About Us, about our Research Profile, our Doctoral Programme, and our Publications and Outreach activities. A leaflet with basic information on the Graduate School is ready for download as pdf-file in English here.

For the PhD programme in Munich, please follow this link: www.gs-oses.de


The highest representative body of the GS OSESUR is the annual Members’ Assembly. Its business includes the election and dismissal of the executive board members and of other bodies.

The main steering body of the GS OSESUR is its Executive Board. The board consists of the Speaker, two other faculty members, the Equal Opportunity Officer, the Doctoral Scholar’s Representative, and—as consultative member—the Managing Director.

The admission board is responsible for choosing the new doctoral scholars from those who have applied to our doctoral programme.

An international academic Advisory Board provides guidance on the development of teaching and research.

Members’ Assembly

The highest body of the GS OSESUR is its Members’ Assembly, which meets annually. The responsibilities of the assembly include the election of the Executive Board members, the Admission Board and the Equal Opportunity Officer, decisions regarding the appointment of new Principal Investigators, the annual budget and the general outline of the Graduate School’s programme. The bylaws of the GS can also be revised at the Members’ Assembly with a qualified majority.

The Members’ Assembly consists of the founding members (Principal Investigators) as well as co-opted members of the Graduate School, provided they are employed by one of the involved partner institutions. Moreover, there is an elected representative of the doctoral researchers and the heads of the involved extramural institutions (or their representatives). The managing director of the Graduate School participates with a consultative role.

Executive Board

The main steering body of the GS OSESUR is its Executive Board. The board takes responsibility for the planning and execution of the school’s academic programme, for the organisation of the supervision and training provided for the doctoral researchers, for networking and communication. The Board produces an annual report.

The executive board consists of the Speaker, a second member of the school’s faculty, the Equal Opportunity Officer, the doctoral researchers’ representative, and, as a consultative member, the Managing Director.

Current members of the Executive Board:

Admission Board

The Admission Board is responsible for choosing the new doctoral candidates for our doctoral programme. The board consists of the Graduate School’s Speaker, his/her deputy from the Executive Board, one more teaching member of faculty and the Equal Opportunity Officer. The school’s managing director and the proposed supervisors also take part in these meetings but do not have a vote.

Current members of the Admission Board:

Advisory Board

The International Academic Advisory Board provides the Graduate School with feedback on its activities and guidance on the development of teaching and research. The members of the Advisory Board are elected by the Members’ Assembly.

Current board members of the Academic Advisory Board:

Equal Opportunity Officer

The GS OSESUR is committed to equal opportunities and enhancing diversity. In addition to the measures in place at the UR, we facilitate equal opportunities and offer specific chances for our members to overcome discrimination. The Equal Opportunity Officer supervises these measures, acts as an ombudsperson for equal opportunity, and makes recommendations. She/he is elected by the Members’ Assembly and is a member of both the Executive Board and the Admission Board.

Doctoral Researchers’ Representative

The Doctoral Researchers’ Representative plays an important role in the governance of the Graduate School. She/he represents the interests of the graduate members of the school on its Executive Board and at the Members’ Assembly. She/he holds regular meetings with the school’s speaker and communicates problems, concerns and suggestions raised by the PhD fellows. The doctoral researchers elect their representative (and her/his deputy) once a year. Re-election is possible.

Ombudsperson UR

Additionally, Graduate School members can address the Ombudsperson of the Graduate School in order to settle matters of conflict. The Ombudsperson acts as a neutral arbiter and mediator in such cases. The Ombudsperson is appointed by the Members’ Assembly.


Institutional Partners