MZAW Distant Worlds: Munich Graduate School for Ancient Studies (MZAW)
In the Graduate School "Distant Worlds" important areas in the field of Ancient Studies at the Ludwig-Maximilians-University in Munich join together with the Bayerische Akademie der Wissenschaften along with five Munich museums and collections to promote junior research in Ancient Studies. The central aim of this institute is to promote innovative research and early scholarly independence.
The unique feature of the School is the two-fold structure, which links the taught programme of Research Training Groups to organised research groups.
The taught programme will unite University and non-University teaching capacities. Accordingly, these workshops, which will deal with the specific research topics of the various museums and the Academy, are a significant supplement to the course offering. The taught programme is consciously developed to increase the competence of the doctoral students in Ancient Studies and, at the same time, to strengthen their ability to reflect upon the relevant theories in Cultural and Literary Historical Studies. Further, the programme intends to address the topic of job prospects after graduation. Members of the School will be assigned to one of the seven research groups; in each group, up to eight doctoral students will work together with one post-doctoral researcher. The groups are to include students from different admission years, in order to facilitate a fruitful exchange of ideas and knowledge. The groups will be aligned with seven umbrella topics, which will dictate their research. These seven focus areas converge in the goal of studying "cultural axioms", i.e. comparative research into the fundamental conceptions of ancient civilizations.
This concept behind "Distant Worlds" will produce four results. Firstly, dissertations of the highest quality in the field of Ancient Studies will be completed and submitted to the Graduate School. These achievements will open career opportunities for the junior researchers involved. Secondly, cooperation between the LMU and the non-university institutions will be structurally stabilised. Thirdly, a new model of doctoral training will be implemented at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität. And lastly, the seven research groups, acting in the capacity of a "research laboratory", will provide impetus for further research in the areas represented by the Münchner Zentrum für Antike Welten (Munich Centre for Ancient Worlds, MZAW).