German Research Foundation approves Research Training Group on Transnational Social Support at the Institute of Education at Mainz University

Research training group looks at increasingly important cross-border social support structures


The German Research Foundation (DFG) has approved the formation of the Research Training Group 1474: Transnational Social Support at the Institute of Education at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU). With the topic of transnational social support, the research training group addresses a very young field of research, which to date has not attracted much attention at the international level. Its starting point are global developments that represent a number of challenges to the provision of social assistance because existing national and domestic support networks and structures will be unable to cope with these. The DFG-funded Research Training Group 1474 will thus be focusing on three main areas of the increasingly important cross-border social support structures: "Transnational Family Care," "Transnational Networks," and "Transnational Professional Support." In the process, transnational support processes and forms will be investigated from the point of view of transmigration and how they function within international organizations. The research into social support aspects in these areas will be complimented in particular by an analysis of what strategies are used to enhance the effective power of those involved. The research training group will be collaborating with the Institute of Social and Organizational Pedagogy at the University of Hildesheim.

The research training group will have an international orientation. Students will be recruited internationally; research stays abroad will be a mandatory part of the program. A particular feature is the fact that leading authorities in the field will be directly involved in the research and study program as visiting scholars.

"The research training group will satisfy a growing need of universities, academic institutions, and transnational organizations active in the social, developmental assistance, and health policy spheres to employ internationally-oriented young researchers with a background in the educational and social sciences," said Professor Dr. Cornelia Schweppe, coordinator of the DFG Research Training Group 1474. Already apparent in the educational and social sciences is a growing trend towards offering degree programs with an international focus. At the same time, international and transnational organizations focusing on social, developmental assistance, and health policies are becoming increasingly keen to recruit individuals with globally-oriented qualification profiles.

Research Training Groups funded by the German Research Foundation shall give outstanding doctoral candidates at German universities the prospect of obtaining a top-quality doctorate through a structured research program. Thanks to the approval of Research Training Group 1474, educational scientists at Mainz now have the opportunity to make significant contributions at the cutting-edge of international research.