Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Faculty of Life Sciences

Topic clusters

One major objective of the Graduate Centre is to facilitate networking between doctoral students. In order to promote academic exchange – especially for 'individual doctoral candidates' who are not enrolled in a structured doctoral degree programme – topic clusters may be established with other doctoral students beyond one's own research group. In these topic clusters, a topic may be discussed and considered from various academic perspectives through talks given by the doctoral candidates as well as by guest speakers.


Topic clusters

focus for a limited time (or on an ongoing basis) on an interdisciplinary topic, which is discussed from a variety of perspectives.

are interdisciplinary meetings of up to 25 doctoral students (and advanced master’s students), who present their work in seminars held on a regular basis.

offer the opportunity to invite guest speakers (within the context of seminars)

are supervised by experienced senior scientists from different disciplines

may organise annual retreats (with support in applying for external funding and in organising these events provided by the Graduate Centre).


Of course, the participants of a topic cluster shall decide independently on how to structure and frame their topic cluster.


The Graduate Centre encourages and supports doctoral students and supervisors wishing to set up a new topic cluster. Please contact the Graduate Centre coordinator.


The following topic cluster(s) currently exist:

Life in Transformation: Food, Resources and Minds (04/2022 – ongoing)


Former topic cluster(s):

Food & Democracy (02/2018 – 2021)