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DFG Graduate Programs 2005-7 and 2008-10

“Taking strides into the future of research”: The Transatlantic Graduate Research Program Berlin-New York – “History and Culture of Metropolises in the 20th Century”


The Transatlantic Graduate Research Program Berlin – New York was an interdisciplinary cooperation of the Technische Universität Berlin, the Freie Universität, and the Humboldt Universität zu Berlin, as well as Columbia University, Fordham University, City University New York (CUNY) and New York University. The program was funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft. Each program cycle lasted 3 years and offered 14 graduate students, 2 postdoctoral fellows, 3 qualifying fellows, and 3 associate fellows of various disciplines an intensive framework and advising program. The graduate students and fellows received support in developing and completing their research projects. Also, they were supported in their research stay at one of the partner universities. Graduate students from the New York universities regularly visited their Berlin counterparts.

The goals of the Graduate Research Program were the following:

1. To encourage interdisciplinary and comparative research on European and North American metropolises of the 20th century and to study questions regarding today’s metropolises. 

2. To promote the work of outcome-oriented, interdisciplinary and international young researchers in the field of metropolitan studies.

 3. To develop enduring cooperation between universities, to ease collaboration with neighboring research areas, and to support a transatlantic dialogue that allows for the development of strong cooperation and research connections on the basis of common findings and interests.   

Following the initial phase of the graduate program, which served a broad exploration of the research field, three thematic areas emerged: “Resources of Metropolises: Culture-Science-Economy”, “Metropolitan Infrastructures,” and “Management, Government, Governance.” In addition to the foundational theoretical research and studies in Berlin and New York, phenomena were studied in Budapest, Hamburg, London, St. Louis, Shanghai and Detroit.

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