IFRIS Doctoral School


The Doctoral College at IFRIS was founded to provide an integrated, visible and attractive system at national level. It articulates all of the activities set up by IFRIS for the advanced training of a new generation of researchers and practitioners interested in exploring the relationship between science, technology and society from a multi-disciplinary perspective (e.g. sociology, history, economics, anthropology, management science, etc.).

The general objectives are:

  1. to allow candidates to familiarize themselves with research traditions and contemporary approaches which explore the relationship between science, technology and society
  2. to learn to mobilize these conceptual and methodological resources within the framework of an investigative approach and of one’s own line of questioning
  3. to develop the necessary skills to communicate and present one’s work before the international scientific community
  4. to allow doctoral students to socialize professionally by regularly meeting and interacting with fellow doctoral and post-doctoral students and researchers (not only those of their own laboratory)
  5. to prepare candidates for careers in which sound knowledge of the relations between science, innovation, technology and society are essential.

The Doctoral College is coordinated by the IFRIS “Training” group which is supervised by Ashveen Peerbays, Christophe Bonneuil and David Flacher.

Targeted Audience 

This system concerns all of the doctoral students in the social sciences whose research includes the themes covered by IFRIS. It is not, therefore, intended only for the doctoral students belonging to the institutions that are part of IFRIS, even though most of the participants will probably come from them.

Participating doctoral students must individually commit to taking part in all of the activities necessary to validate their completion of the Doctoral College course.

Units and Activities

The Doctoral College system revolves around the following:

  1. A Thematic Spring School: organized over a period of 5 days, the IFRIS École Thématique offers doctoral students an opportunity to present their work (both in writing and orally) and to discuss their results in front of their colleagues and the international academic community. This is also an important space for thematizing central research questions relating to the concerns of the IFRIS community, and for guest researchers and doctoral students to interact. Click here to view the announcement for the 2018 Thematic Spring School.
  2. An Autumn Thematic Workshop: a three-day workshop is being set up by the IFRIS Doctoral College in order to familiarize doctoral students with the different dimensions of the field of study covering the relationship between science, technology, innovation and society, and to prepare for the Thematic Spring School. The thematic workshop is meant to be an opportunity for working on core texts, for presenting research fronts on particular issues, and for discussing key concepts and survey methods. It encourages doctoral students to take a step back from the subject of their thesis, or at least to view it from a different perspective by placing it in a wider context.
  3. A CorText Training Workshop: the IFRIS digital platform is offering doctoral students a 2-day training workshop to familiarize them with the techniques of natural language processing, the constitution and processing of large corpuses of text, the analysis of heterogeneous networks, scientometrics, and the representation/visualization of large sets of data (e.g. scientific publications, patents, research projects, digital archives, specific databases, etc.).
  4. A Doctoral Writing Workshop (optional): a writing workshop has been put in place to help doctoral students develop their writing skills. The themes covered will include: how to design and structure a thesis, how to write a conference proposal, how to write a research project, how to write/edit a scientific research paper or a thesis chapter, etc. Attending this workshop is not mandatory for doctoral students who already benefit from similar training within their own institution.
  5. A Thesis Committee: all doctoral students registered at the Doctoral College will benefit from a thesis committee which includes, besides their own thesis supervisor, another supervisor (a member of IFRIS) and an “expert” (who may change over time). This committee will help monitor the students’ work on their thesis and will make an annual evaluation of their progress.
  6. A Thesis Presentation Day: third-year doctoral students will present their work as it stands in the form of a “mini viva”, with national and international researchers invited to be part of the “jury”.

Moreover, the Doctoral College integrates activities put in place by IFRIS to promote the movement of young researchers, for instance by helping them to find placements abroad.

Course Validation

To validate their completion of the course at the Doctoral College, all doctoral students must, by the end of their third year, at least have taken part in:

  • 2 Thematic Workshops
  • 2 Spring Thematic Schools
  • 1 CorText Training Workshop
  • 1 Thesis Presentation Day