Nederlandse Onderzoekschool voor Theologie en Religiewetenschap
Netherlands School for Advanced Studies in Theology and Religion

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NOSTER Kick-Off 2020

NOSTER hopes to welcome ReMA students and PhD candidates in Nijmegen for the Kick-Off 2020, provided of course circumstances allow it. This meeting at the start of the academic years aims to broaden your horizon with regard to research methods used in the fields of theology and religion, and to foster the community of starting scholars. Anticipating the possibility of new travel restrictions, starting and closing times are based on avoiding public transport peak hours. Social distancing measures will be applied at all times. In contrast to previous years and due to rescheduling the workshops planned for the Spring Conference, Research Seminars will not gather on this day.

Provisional programme
13.00 – Coffee/tea and welcome
13.30 – Plenary panel session part 1 (see below)
15.00 – Break
15.15 – Plenary panel session part 2 (see below)
16.30 – Workshops (see below)
18.30 – Supper
19.30 – Closing session

Plenary panel session
The COVID-19 pandemic affects all of us. At this Kick-Off, we will explore how researches can address such a topical issue by taking the impact of this crisis on religion as a case study. In a panel session, several researchers will pitch how they would, or indeed do, study current developments and how they would relate that to their previous research. Which questions emerge in their fields? How would they address these questions? Which methods do they have at their disposal? ReMA students and PhD candidates, assisted by the other panel members, will reflect on their ideas, exploring the wide variety of research methods available in the fields of theology and religious studies.
Learning goals: Participants are able to
– give examples of research methods available to study topical issues
– discuss the possibilities and limitations of these methods
Required reading: To be announced.

We are delighted to offer on this day the workshops that were originally scheduled for the Spring Conference 2020! You can register for one of the following items:

/ Professor Dr. Anne-Marie Korte, Dr. Marco Derks
In deze workshop staat het academisch ritueel van de verdediging van het proefschrift centraal. We bereiden je voor door informatie te geven over de regels en mores tijdens de verdediging. Daarnaast oefen je met het beantwoorden van een kritische vraag volgens het format dat gehandhaafd wordt tijdens verdedigingen. Deze workshop is bedoeld voor promovendi die in de laatste fase van hun onderzoek zitten. Voorafgaand aan deze workshop wordt gevraagd enkele pagina’s van je proefschrift toe te sturen op basis waarvan een vraag zal worden voorbereid.
Learning goals: De deelnemer is in staat om mondeling het eigen onderzoek te verdedigen op een manier die past binnen de ceremoniële academische setting van de verdediging van een proefschrift aan een Nederlandse universiteit (o.a. zelfverzekerd, eerlijk, (zelf)kritisch, respectvol).
Preparation: Stuur uiterlijk 1 september 2020 een fragment van je proefschrift (max. 20 pagina’s) naar Dit kan bijvoorbeeld de tekst zijn die je gepresenteerd hebt op de Spring Conference. De trainers baseren hun oppositie tijdens de workshop op deze tekst.

/ Professor Dr. Koert van Bekkum
A good abstract is a ticket to delivering a paper, receiving feedback from peers/seniors and developing valuable contacts. But how do you write such an abstract? This workshop deals with the abstract as a form of communication. The workshop will help you to clearly summarise your research and to find a good balance between the various elements required or involved. It also practices choosing the right language register and shortening an abstract that is too long.
Preparation: Submit in advance a Call for Papers and an abstract in response to that call (preferably by yourself). Please send this to before 17 September 2020.

/ Dr. Anna Tijsseling (Academic Authenticity)
When working on a large research project (such as a or PhD or research master thesis) most of us encounter periods of struggle and stress. Though we could choose for supporting thoughts and self-empathy during these times, somehow most people simply deal with a negativity bias. My working hypothesis is that when we suffer a highly intelligent and sensitive human beings, we suffer most from self-criticism, our internal dialogue.
If self-defeating dynamics go undetected and uncared for, chances are that you are to a certain extent at war with yourself. Instead of enjoying your (work) life, those thoughts easily help you spiral into negative thinking: “Why bother? You’ll mess up anyway,” or, “Who do you think you are to do this (project)?” In this workshop, we’ll address our internal landscape both creatively and with a sense of humor. You’ll leave the workshop with a map of your internal landscape and enhanced skills for practicing self-empathy. By participating in this workshop, you will be invited to step off the battleground for a couple of hours, and really value all of the voices speaking to you internally, even the most judgmental ones. What do they have to say? And what can you do to start nurturing a more empathic internal dialogue immediately?
Learning goals:
– Raising awareness to repetitive self-defeating internal dynamics
– Enhancing your skills in nurturing self-empathy
– Transitioning from re-actions (automatic responses) to actions
Preparation (light assignment, apr. 1 hour):
– Take note of your internal dialogue for a couple of days before coming to this training by keeping a journal.
– What are the things you say to yourself when you are feeling high emotions like sadness, anger, frustration or stress?

Place: To be announced, presumably in Nijmegen. We will resort to e-conferencing again, should meeting on-site prove impossible.
Credits and workload: 0.5 EC / 14 hours
Participation and registration: If you wish to participate in this event, you will need to register before 18 September 2020. Once you have created a personal account on this website and have logged in, you can register for this event by clicking the green ‘Register for this item’ button on the right. Please note that if due to unforeseen circumstances you are unable to attend, please inform the NOSTER office as soon as possible and before 18 September 2020 at the latest. If you fail to notify the NOSTER office of a cancellation you will be charged €70.
Costs: Participation is free for ReMA students and PhD candidates registered at NOSTER or any other research school in the Humanities. The cost to other ReMA students and PhD candidates is €70. For more information about membership and costs, click here (for ReMA students) or here (for PhD candidates).


  • 25 Sep 2020 13:00 19:30
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