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3rd International Doing Transitions Conference – Call for abstracts is now open! (Deadline: November, 1rst 2022)

The 3rd International Conference of the research training group “Doing Transitions” will be held from May, 10-12, 2023 in Frankfurt/Germany and focusses on “Relational Perspectives on the Life Course”. Interested applicants are now asked to submit abstracts until November 1rst, 2022.

The detailed call as well as the details for submitting the abstract can be found here!

We are looking forward to exciting submissions!

‘Doing Transitions’ is inviting applications for 12 doctoral student positions

Goethe University Frankfurt and Eberhard-Karls-University Tübingen are inviting applications for

12 doctoral student positions

(TV-L E13, 65% part-time)

in the DFG Research Training Group „Doing Transitions“ starting on 1st of January 2023 for a fixed term of 3 years, located in Frankfurt and in Tübingen respectively.

The Research Training Group„Doing Transitions“  investigates how transitions are constituted on different individual and societal levels across the life course. It combines the disciplinary perspectives of educational science, sociology, psychology and related social sciences. You can find more information on our research programme as well as our training programme – please read these documents carefully before application.

The universities are committed to equal opportunities of men and women and therefore invite and encourage women to apply. The centre offers a variety of support for reconciling work and family. Applicants with impairments are prioritised in case of equal qualification.

The limitation of contracts are in line with the Wissenschaftszeitvertragsgesetz which regulates the employment of junior researchers in science and research.

The selection interviews are scheduled for October, 12th and 13th, 2022 in Frankfurt/Main. Unfortunately, travel expenses cannot be reimbursed.

The exact instructions for an application can be found in the following documents:

Information for applicants

Application form (please submit this with you application)

Please, send your applications by email (possibly in a single PDF file) to doingtransitions@uni-frankfurt.de until September 15th 2022.

Please note: Only the German version of this document is legally binding; this translation is only intended to assist your understanding.

‘Doing Transitions’ is inviting applications for 2 postdoctoral fellow positions

The DFG-funded Research Training Group ‘Doing Transitions’ at Goethe University Frankfurt and Eberhard Karl University of Tübingen is inviting applications for

2 postdoctoral fellows (f/m/d)
(Full-time position at the level of E13 on the German Public Service pay scale)

for fixed four-year term beginning October 1, 2021.

The Research Training Group ‘Doing Transitions’ investigates how transitions are constituted across the life course. You can find more information on our research programme as well as our training programme at doingtransitions.org/research-training. Detailed guidelines for applicants can be found here.

The postdoctoral fellows are responsible for completing their own postdoctoral research project within the thematic framework outlined in the Research Training Group’s research programme along with participating in the associated training programme. Qualified candidates will have completed an above-average doctorate in education, sociology or psychology.

Both universities are committed to equal opportunities and therefore invite and encourage qualified women and gender-diverse applicants to apply. The Research Training Group offers a variety of support for reconciling work and family demands. People with disabilities are prioritised in cases of equal qualifications.

Selected candidates will be invited to an interview that will be scheduled in the first two weeks of July subject to Covid-19 pandemic protocols.

Please send your application documents according to the instructions, outlined here, per e-mail in a single PDF document by June 15, 2021 to: doingtransitions@uni-frankfurt.de.

Doing Transitions in the Life Course – Discourses, Practices, Institutions, Subjects

From February 17th to February 19th, 2020, the second international conference of the research training group, Doing Transitions, was held in Tübingen. This conference was an “in-between” event: It documented the passage from the first cohort of PhD-students, presenting findings from their PhD projects, and the second cohort, who had started the programme only six weeks prior to the event and who presented their projects in a poster session. Thereby, it also represented an intermediate resume of the process of developing and applying a reflexive perspective to research on transitions in the life course. Inspired by keynote speakers and discussants comments, these considerations will be developed further. The conference was characterized by a highly productive atmosphere among early career researchers and senior researchers and was regarded as a resounding success by all participants and guests.

Key findings of Doing Transitions were presented and discussed in six thematic panels:

  • Doing transitions differently – everyday life and extraordinary transition practices: this panel included the works of Julia Prescher, Kerstin Rinnert and Anna Wanka and a commentary by Tobias Boll from the University of Mainz focusing on the subtle processes of doing difference in research practice.
  • Biographical articulation in transition: under this title, Jessica Lütgens and Andrea Pohling’s research was discussed by Tina Spies (Protestant University of Applied Sciences, Darmstadt) who stressed the relationship between transitions, biographies, and processes of articulation (following Stuart Hall).
  • Doing transitions through welfare organisations thematically linked Bianca Lenz, Heidi Hirschfeld, and Noreen Eberle’s projects on how being addressed by and using measures of youth welfare, labor market policies, or adult education is interrelated with individual biographies. These contributions were discussed by Eva Nadai (University of Applied Sciences of North Western Switzerland, Basel).
  • Embodied transitions and bodies in transitions: under this heading Janne Krumbügel and Deborah Nägler presented some findings of their studies. In her discussant note, Imke Schmincke from the University of Munich emphasised the relation between bodies, interaction, and social change.
  • Doing transitions in, through and of space was the title of the panel including presentations by Tabea Freutel and Helena Müller and a discussant note by Anamaria Depner (University of Heidelberg). One key aspect of the discussions was how transition practices shape and structure the social spaces in which they evolve.
  • The role of organisations as collective subjects in doing transitions assembled contributions by Eva Heinrich and Nils Klevermann and a commentary by Inga Truschkat from the University of Hildesheim. The panel discussed how organizations both contribute to and at the same time are subjectivated in processes of doing transitions.

The thematic panels were framed by four keynote papers: Rick Settersten (Oregon State University) opened the conference with an inspiring talk on the relatedness of lives and the role of relationships in life course transitions. This included not only the role of linkages but also of unlinking lives in cases of leaving and loss. Kathleen Riach (Monash University Melbourne) related to these reflections with a paper on the bodily politics of ageing transitions within organizational life, in which she pointed to interpellation as being inbuilt in our bodily experiences and the ways in which these are either acknowledged or ignored. Heinz-Hermann Krüger of the University of Halle reminded us in his talk of the challenges (but also the fruitfulness) of longitudinal approaches for transition research, presenting findings from a study on students from elite schools and their transitions into university and employment. Laura Bernardi from the University of Lausanne held the last keynote on relative time in life course research, in which she engaged with “multidirectional, elastic and telescopic understandings of time”.

The inspiring reflections and debates from these different formats have been extremely valuable for developing “Doing Transitions” further in terms of relational perspectives in analyzing transitions in the life course. In particular, a future challenge will be to study how transitions are constituted as intersected and interwoven with interpersonal relationships, temporalities and different materialities such as artefacts, welfare regulations, embodiment, and spacing. All in all, the conference confirmed the need and the fruitfulness of theorizing life course transitions through analyses of processes of constitution.

Panel Discussion with (from left to right): A. Wanka, I. Truschkat, R. Settersten and K. Riach

The thematic panels were framed by four keynote papers: Rick Settersten (Oregon State University) opened the conference with an inspiring talk on the relatedness of lives and the role of relationships in life course transitions. This included not only the role of linkages but also of unlinking lives in cases of leaving and loss. Kathleen Riach (Monash University Melbourne) related to these reflections with a paper on the bodily politics of ageing transitions within organizational life, in which she pointed to interpellation as inbuilt in our bodily experiences – and the ways in which these are either acknowledged or ignored. Heinz-Hermann Krüger, University of Halle, in his talk reminded of the challenges (but also the fruitfulness) of longitudinal approaches for transition research, presenting findings from a study on students from elite schools and their transitions into university and employment. Laura Bernardi from the University of Lausanne held the last keynote on Relative time in life course research, in which she engaged with “multidirectional, elastic and telescopic understandings of time”.

The inspiring reflections and debates from these different formats have been extremely valuable for developing “Doing Transitions” further in terms of relational perspectives in analysing transitions in the life course. In particular, a future challenge will be to study how transitions are constituted as intersected and interwoven with interpersonal relationships, temporalities and different materialities – like artefacts, welfare regulations, embodiment and spacing. All in all, the conference confirmed the need and the fruitfulness to theorise life course transitions through analysing processes of constitution.

Participants of the International Conference, Tübingen 2020

Presentations / Keynotes:

Presentations Panel 1 / Doing transitions differently – everyday life and extraordinary transition practice:

Presentations Panel 2 / Biographical articulation in transition:

Presentations Panel 3 / Doing transitions through welfare regulation:

Presentations Panel 4 / Embodied transitions – bodies in transition:

Presentations Panel 5 / Doing transitions in, through and of space:

Book series of the research training group

The book series „Reflexive Übergangsforschung – Doing Transitions“ (Reflexive Transition Research – Doing Transitions) published by Barbara Budrich Publishing aims to provide a platform for theoretical and methodological reflections of transitions in the life course. In a first phase, the publications of this series will come from the members of the research training group themselves and include both edited volumes and PhD theses (monographies). With increasing national and international visibility the series will also be open for publications from beyond the research training group that share a reflexive approach towards analysing transitions in the life course. The series starts in 2020 with an edited volume on theoretical and methodological foundations of reflexive transition research, as well as the first monographies of PhD theses. For 2021, two more edited volumes will be addressing the discursive, institutional and individual formation of transitions and the relationship between transitions and the different life stages across the life course.

2. cohort begins

On 1stof January 2020 the second PhD cohort, comprising 19 junior researchers, has  started its work in the research training group Doing Transitions. At the universities of Frankfurt and Tübingen each, six PhDs are employed as researchers, while four in Frankfurt and three in Tuebingen are associated researchers (see also team). The group is complemented by the associated postdoctoral researcher Anna Wanka. 

From 8th to 10th of January 2020 the involved professors and the new cohort met for a joint kick-off event in the Stift Bad Urach. The meeting served to get to know each other in terms of research as well as personally, and to introduce the research and training programme.

The official transition from cohort 1 to cohort 2 will be facilitated in the course of the international conference ‚Doing Transitions in the Life Course‘, February 17th to 19th  2020 at the University of Tübingen. In the future, several alumni events are planned to take place.