The CASTL Graduate School
Graduate school coordinator: Gillian Ramchand
Since 2005, CASTL has run one of UiTs special graduate schools (forskerskoler). The CASTL graduate school is a 4-year PhD programme, in which students participate in an active and lively research environment. In the first three years, students participate in several research seminars and classes (typically two advanced research seminars every semester). During this time, students write papers and collaborate on research, and gradually discover their favored topic for the dissertation. The last year is devoted to writing the dissertation.
The strategy of the CASTL graduate school is that new students work closely with a supervisor from day one to identify the courses, seminars or research teams they will participate in. We also run a Professional skills course in which students are trained in writing abstracts for conferences, making presentations, developing arguments, etc. Students also begin writing already in the first semester – not framed as the daunting task of writing a chapter of their dissertation, but rather as writing a term paper as a contribution to a research group. Participation in research teams is not a passive exercise; on the contrary, students are immediately engaged in hands-on research, they make presentations, begin working with language consultants, and begin actively contributing to the research.
With this strategy, students are guided towards thinking about research questions, rather than thinking about a plan for producing a dissertation. Obviously, the dissertation plan does emerge, and it is inevitably a better one than what a young student would have developed alone. As the project for the dissertation emerges, the student is already in a rich research environment focusing on closely related issues.
In addition to the formal requirements that all PhD students at UiT have to fulfill, the CASTL graduate school requires a number of additional activities before students submit the dissertation.You may find further information about these requirements and other important information about the CASTL graduate school here.