Summer School: “How to Make Theory Work in Higher Education Research and Science Studies”


September 7-11, 2020, Hannover, Germany
Deadline for applying: April 22, 2020

How do you do theory? While the craft of methods and empirical work more generally is often made explicit in higher education research and science studies, theory work usually remains implicit.

The aim of the summer school is to make explicit how we work with theories, and how we make them work. We would like to discuss the craft of theorizing, explore routines and strategies of doing theory, think about opportunities and blind spots of theory work, and uncover the positions and relations theories can have in our research.

The summer school will give early career researchers in higher education research and science studies the opportunity of a reflexive hands-on approach to theory. It will provide a context to reflect the theory work in one’s own research and discuss it with eminent scholars of theorizing in the fields of higher education research and science studies and beyond.

Topics include but are not limited to:

  • Different meanings of “theory”
  • Theory developments in higher education research and science studies
  • Theory orientation(s) in interdisciplinary fields
  • Doing theory and how to theorize
  • Falsifying and contextualizing theories
  • Relations between theories, methods, and empirical evidence
  • Updating the classics and arguments against theory/theories

Check the full programme here.

The summer school addresses particularly PhD students, early-career postdocs, and science policy experts/practitioners.

To apply, you need to fill in the application form on the website and send it together with your CV to

Deadline for applications is April 22, 2020. You will be informed about the result of the selection of participants on May 6, 2020.

For more information on the summer school, including application fees, travel grants, and the application procedure, visit

The text of the call has been taken from the summer school website with the permission of the organizers.

Image by falco from Pixabay

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