phd european cooperation

European Network of Higher Education Institutions for Religious Studies

The “Giuseppe Alberigo”
 Studies, “John XXIII” Foundation for Religious Studies (Bologna), the Fachbereich Katholische Theologie of the “Goethe-Universität” (Frankfurt am Main), the Fakultät Theologie, K.U.Leuven (Leuven), the École Pratique des Hautes Études (Paris) agree upon the creation of an European Network of Higher Education Institutions promoting doctoral programmes in the research areas of Religious Studies, namely History, Exegesis and Theology.


The European Network of Higher Education Institutions for Religious Studies is committed to creating special academic and cultural ties in order to promote internationalisation, to increase the exchange of expertise, and to provide better learning and research opportunities for graduate students participating in high-quality doctoral programmes in the fields of History, Exegesis and Theology.


In pursuit of its mission, the European Network of Higher Education Institutions for Religious Studies aims to:
– encourage all forms of possible academic collaboration, particularly the facilitation of student interchange and invitation of academics and researchers;
– foster a regular exchange through jointly sponsored learning and research activities (e.g. seminars, workshops, lectures, colloquia, possible launching of joint research projects),
– enhance the quality of the PhD programmes by providing them with a specific “European added value”.


These aims will be achieved in the following ways:
– sharing the agenda of seminars and other research-training activities planned by each institution for the students enrolled in the PhD programme;
– fostering synergies in the planning of seminars and research-training activities; possibly providing common seminars and workshops on specific research topics jointly organized by two or more institutions of the Network in order to promote or implement research projects of common interest;
– providing the possibility to establish jointly developed PhD study programmes which could guarantee the award of double PhD degrees between two or more institutions within the Network;
– fostering the institutions participating to the Network to fulfill the conditions required for the attribution of the “European PhD Label” attachable to the PhD degrees conferred by European Higher Education Institutions, namely: the PhD thesis will be accorded if at least two professors from two higher education institutions of two European countries, other than the one in which the PhD thesis will be defended, have given their judgment concerning the manuscript;
⋅ at least one member of the jury should come from a higher education institution in a European country other than the one in which the PhD thesis will be defended;
⋅ part of the defense must take place in one of the official languages of the European Union other than those of the country where the PhD thesis will be defended;
⋅ the PhD thesis must have been partly prepared as a result of a period of research lasting at least one trimester spent in another European country.


Each institution of the Network will be completely independent both in teaching and in budgetary planning. Each institution of the Network will maintain full independence with regard to the planning of the doctoral programmes, the choice of the research projects, the final evaluation of the PhD thesis and the awarding of the PhD degree.
Each institution of the Network shall be committed to providing funds for students’ mobility. Fees will not be paid to the host institution, where guest students shall have access to the same facilities as regular students (in particular library resources and research supervision). If possible, the host institution will assist exchange students in securing suitable housing for a few days or for a longer stays.
Each institution shall nominate a person in charge of improving information to all member institutions of the Network about the planned activities (seminars, workshops, lectures, etc.) and encouraging student interchange so that they can benefit from membership to the network.
In turn, in agreed form, all member institutions shall nominate a General Coordinator of the Network who will function as representative and as spokesperson and will be responsible for monitoring progress towards achieving the aims of the Network.
The number of member institutions of the Network is not limited but it cannot be lower than three.
The Network shall be effective after written approval of the membership by the European Higher Institutions wishing to participate in the Network and shall remain in effect with no date of expiration