International Summer School for Young Researchers

Call for Applications

The University of Rzeszów, Universität Leipzig and the Warsaw Office of the Heinrich Böll Foundation are pleased to invite young researchers interested in the broadly understood issue of citizenship to participate in this year's edition of the Young Researchers Summer School, which will take place on July 3-9, 2022 in Rzeszów. Applications will be accepted until May 30, 2022.

Summer school_call

Citizenship is a “contested concept”, as it entails a variety of meanings and its conceptual contours are frequently fuzzy. Traditionally, the concept of citizenship shifts between a rights-accentuated and obligation-accentuated understanding, the former being associated with liberal models of citizenship, the latter with republican ones. This International Summer School, however, does not subscribe to any narrow normative perspective but rather intends to discuss specific citizenship practices. What is particularly relevant today is the current time of conflict, destruction of people’s lives and attack on internationally acknowledged norms, as Russia’s brutal invasion on and in Ukraine brings about new and old meanings of citizenship to the fore. Citizenship is not only about political participation or a legal status of being a citizen (even though they remain relevant), but also about self-determination, freedom and oftentimes sheer survival — things we have apparently forgotten.

Citizenship is often not what it seems at the first glance, as scholarly debates tend to invoke a variety of meanings in this regard, sometimes even contradictory ones. Following this rather pluralist understanding of citizenship, the Summer School invites applications interested in citizenship practices in Central and Eastern Europe (in the broader sense) or how the citizens in CEE put into action their identities, preferences and interests, with attention to (1) traditional political participation such as voting, (2) how citizens practice their citizenship within and through civil society, (3) spontaneous protests, non-formal and informal types of participation and happenings, and (4) liquid practices of citizenship that are associated with the so-called digital or cloud citizenship believed to transcend the boundaries of the nation-state.

This Summer School seeks to contribute to bringing together these various, and often diverse, aspects of citizenship in CEE by featuring both theoretical and empirical contributions that explore practices of citizenship at the micro-, meso-, or macro-level in various political landscapes. The Summer School invites young researchers from the field of social sciences, the EU studies as well as adjacent fields from various countries. We recognize the importance of incorporating different experiences, perspectives and voices, therefore the organizers welcome and encourage applications from all suitably qualified candidates, irrespective of gender, disability, marital or parental status, racial, ethnic or social origin, color, religion, belief, or sexual orientation. Organizers will therefore – among others - take necessary means to maintain gender parity among the participants of the Summer School.

Various research projects on citizenship in CEE will be discussed in several panels on practices of the citizenship in CEE (but also perceptions and potentials thereof), several workshops including the war in Ukraine a panel on the academia-public transfer training as well as open workshops organized by young researchers. The Summer School encompasses visits to the city of Rzeszow, talks with regional actors, public administration and civil society as well as a citizens’ budget workshop with school students from Rzeszow.

The organizers plan to publish an edited volume following the conference, which would include the best papers presented.

Panels, Workshops and Meetings (a selection)

  • The EU citizenship and national identity
  • Civil society and interest representation in the EU
  • Citizens’ budget workshop with students in Rzeszow and further participants
  • Russia’s war in Ukraine and the consequences for the citizens
  • What is active citizenship? Meeting with NGOs from Podkarpackie Voivodship
  • Active citizenship in the context of climate activism (workshop/discussion)
  • Workshop on research methods in social sciences


Prof. Krzysztof Żarna, University of Rzeszow, Institute of Political Science
Prof. Ireneusz P. Karolewski, Leipzig University, Institute of Political Science
The Heinrich Böll Foundation in Warsaw

Key information on the Summer School

• Presentations by young scholars of their own work

• Presentations by experienced researchers

• Guided city tour through Rzeszow

• Plenty of discussions and networking

• No fees

25 slots for young researchers as participants; we strongly encourage applications from female researchers

Full funding of 15 participants (travel, accommodation and subsistence) available (awarded depending on the quality of application and the funding needed)

Full funding of 5 young Ukrainian researchers; eligible are those affected by war and displacement

• Estimated accommodation costs (for participants without funding): 400, EUR plus travel



Please send the following documents:

• description of your PhD project (max. 800 words)

• letter of motivation (max. 500 words)

• indication of the funding needed



Deadline for applications: 30 May 2022

(Information on acceptance 10 June 2022)