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Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Faculty of Life Sciences

Topic clusters

One of the objectives of the Graduate Centre is to facilitate networking between doctoral students who are not enrolled in a structured doctoral degree programme. In order to promote academic exchange between these ‘individual doctoral candidates’ and other doctoral students – also outside the student’s research group – topic clusters may be established. 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.


The 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, within the context of seminars held on a regular basis, to invite guest speakers.

are supervised by experienced senior scientist 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 their topic cluster should look like.


The following topic clusters exist:

Food & Democracy (in collaboration with Food Berlin)


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