International Doctoral School in Tbilisi launched

Forerunner in doctoral education in Georgia – Joint Program of Ilia State University and University of Göttingen

Presentation of doctoral projects at the launching event of the International Doctoral School at Ilia State University Photo: Ilia State University

The International Doctoral School (IDS) is being developed in cooperation with the University of Göttingen at Ilia State University in Tbilisi. Motivated by existing close cooperation, the partners want to enable a long-term, internationally oriented, structured education for Georgian doctoral students in Tbilisi. The pro-gram is supported by funds from the Volkswagen Foundation in Germany and Shota Rustaveli National Science Foundation of Georgia. On the 23rd of July, the IDS was launched with a ceremony followed by a panel discussion. The event was attended by high-ranking people, such as Prof Giga Zedania, the Rector of Ilia State University, Prof Zviad Gabisonia, Director General of the Rustaveli Foundation, and H.E. Hubert Knirsch, German Ambassador to Georgia.

The two universities have already been cooperating in the field of structured doctoral training within the framework of the Carl Friedrich Lehmann-Haupt International Doctoral Program for one and a half years. Eleven doctoral candidates of various specialist fields have already started their research. Thanks to the existing funding, they will study and research within a structured framework with double supervision and will thereby acquire a degree from both universities within four years.

The IDS is designed as a service center at Ilia State University, as well as a point of contact, information center and institution for quality assurance, but also it will be intensively involved in the development of international academic cooperation. The International Doctoral School is envisioned to bring about reforms in the PhD education in Georgia and the whole South Caucasus Region, as well as develop and establish a scientific culture in the field of doctoral studies that is aligned with international standards. The IDS is a permanent institution. When the Lehmann-Haupt Program has ended, it shall serve the purpose to ensure the continuation of joint PhDs from the University of Göttingen and the Ilia State University.

“The newly founded International Doctoral School is an institution designed to ensure PhD students will have an enhanced experience of their study and research at Ilia State University”, emphasizes Prof. Giga Zedania. “Our cooperation with the University of Göttingen has been of decisive importance for setting up its struc-tures and developing joint supervision of the students; we appreciate very much the cooperative spirit and effective support coming from Göttingen, from academic and administrative staff alike.”

Professor Hiltraud Casper-Hehne, Vice-President of the University of Göttingen, underlines: “Ilia State Uni-versity is a valued partner university. It is our privilege not only to accompany the establishment of the graduate school, but to welcome a group of highly capable and motivated doctoral students in Göttingen and to establish long-term scientific contacts in Tbilisi.”

Dr. Esther von Richthofen
Georg-August-Universität Göttingen
Göttingen International
Phone: +49 (0)551 39-21322
Mail: esther.vonRichthofen(at)