Michelle Graabek

New forms of academic mobility: Students reap the benefit of CIVICA’s online course catalogue


CIVICA’s Early Stage Researcher Course Catalogue is a gateway to courses and training across the alliance.

A course in economics at Bocconi. Research methods at CEU. EU law at the EUI. These are just a few of the seminars, workshops and courses found in CIVICA’s Early Stage Researcher Course Catalogue.

As member of the CIVICA alliance, the European University Institute (EUI) is responsible for promoting the mobility of early stage researchers across the eight member institutions. The online Catalogue, launched in January 2021, allows (post)doctoral students to attend courses at other institutions in the network, sometimes simultaneously, without having to travel or leave home.

Nine months on, around 290 students have participated in more than 168 partner courses. The opportunity has been especially welcome during the pandemic, which curbed all other forms of mobility.

Michelle Graabek, a 2020-2021 CIVICA ambassador and doctoral candidate in the Department of History and Civilisation at the EUI, was one of the researchers who took advantage of the Catalogue. She enrolled in two courses: one at LSE and one at CEU.

“For me it was an amazing opportunity to make use of expertise at other universities, which was relevant to my research. […] The professors I engaged with at other CIVICA institutions were happy to give me feedback and discuss my work,” she explained.

Michelle also enjoyed transcending the borders of her home institution to interact with her peers across the alliance. “It gave me a great opportunity to engage and learn with students from many other countries and academic backgrounds. While the EUI is a very international community, I found that the international communities at other CIVICA institutions were different from the EUI in interesting and engaging ways,” she said.

While it is hoped that the future will bring more chances for physical mobility across the alliance, the online offer remains rich with constant updates from the partner universities.

Written by Jackie Gordon (EUI)