Doctoral Symposium

One of the features of the 14th ESSE Conference is the Doctoral Symposium, which continues an ESSE tradition dating from 2012 and is designed to provide a platform for young scholars to present and receive feedback on their work. The Symposium is open to PhD students who are writing their theses in English Studies and are at least in the second year of work on their doctorate at the time of the Symposium. To be eligible, either their supervisor or they themselves must be known to the Treasurer of ESSE as a member of an ESSE-affiliated Association (or, in relevant countries, of a Department that belongs to an ESSE-affiliated Association) at the moment of application.

Participants will have an opportunity to make a brief presentation of their work in progress in one of three strands: English Language & Linguistics, Literatures in English, and Cultural & Area Studies. Their presentation should deal with the issues addressed or hypotheses tested in their doctoral research, the results so far obtained, and above all the methodology applied, with the purpose of gaining feedback from established scholars in the field and from their peers. Each presentation will last no longer than 10 minutes, followed by 15 minutes’ discussion. Participants are expected to attend all the presentations in their own strand and to take part in the discussions. There will also be extensive opportunities for informal contact with other participants and with the academics present at the conference. The Symposium will be opened by the President of ESSE.

Note that each PhD student can submit an application to only one strand of the Doctoral Symposium and should specify in the application which strand they wish to be placed in. Applications must include a letter from the student’s PhD supervisor giving the (provisional) title of the dissertation and confirming that the student is working under his/her supervision and has completed at least his/her first year of PhD studies. The Treasurer of ESSE will check the eligibility of all applicants and their supervisors. Participants in the Doctoral Symposium can participate fully in the ESSE Conference and can, if they so wish and their abstract is accepted, present a paper in one of the seminars.

The application should take the form of a summary of the project of no more than 300 words, indicating:

  • The main topic and issues, including the thesis proposed/hypothesis defended;
  • The methodology (theoretical tools and standpoints);
  • Where relevant, the corpus under consideration;
  • The results obtained so far.

Each strand of the Symposium will be coordinated by two experts (to be known as Convenors). They will make a selection from the applications received, chair the discussions and respond to the presentations.

Applying to participate

Applications (including the letter from the applicant’s supervisor) should be sent, no later than 31 January 2018, to the Coordinator of the ESSE Doctoral Symposium, Professor J. Lachlan Mackenzie (VU Amsterdam, Netherlands) at lachlan_mackenzie@hotmail.com, to whom general enquiries can also be addressed. The eligibility check and the selection of submissions by the Convenors will be completed and announced by 15 February 2018.

Applying for financial support

Those applicants who have been selected for participation can apply to ESSE between 15 and 28 February 2018 for financial support, to a maximum of €500 per applicant. Eligible expenses are airfares, ground transportation costs and accommodation. Applicants for financial support must themselves be members of their national associations affiliated to ESSE, except for those whose associations do not consider PhD students eligible as members; in this case, their supervisors or the department to which they are affiliated must be members of an association affiliated to ESSE. Applications for financial support will be considered during March by a Committee consisting of the Coordinator of the ESSE Doctoral Symposium and the three Convenors from the ESSE Board; the Committee's definitive decision will be communicated to all applicants by 30 March 2018.

Applications for financial support should be sent, no later than 28 February 2018, to the Coordinator of the ESSE Doctoral Symposium, Professor J. Lachlan Mackenzie (VU University Amsterdam, Netherlands) at lachlan_mackenzie@hotmail.com. Each application for financial support should include three documents (in attachment to the e-mail of application):

  • the applicant’s CV;
  • a letter detailing the applicant’s eligibility clearly and fully explaining the need for financial support, including a provisional budget for travel costs and/or accommodation expenses;
  • a signed statement from the applicant’s supervisor, including a declaration that it is impossible for the applicant to draw on private means or any other sources of funding, including funding earmarked for the ongoing doctoral project, for the purpose of participating in the ESSE Doctoral Symposium.

Please note that ESSE's decisions about selection for participation and about financial support are final and not subject to appeal.

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