Graduate Opportunities

The Duke University Center for International & Global Studies (DUCIGS) offers study abroad and professional development opportunities for Duke students as part of its consortium with Venice International University (VIU). Opportunities include Summer/Autumn/Winter Schools, International Ph.D. Academies and Graduate Seminars. Potential funding, such as fee waivers, may be available via DUCIGS or VIU. Event and application dates vary.

Contact information:
Amanda Frederick
Assistant Director, DUCIGS
p: 919-668-1663


VIU Summer School

During the Summer Term, VIU organizes and hosts a series of summer schools in cooperation with the member institutions. These intensive taught programs focus on specific themes which are of common interest to the members involved and which have been identified as strategic for the VIU consortium, for example: sustainable development, preservation of cultural heritage, and the challenges that society faces today due to ageing populations.

World-renowned academics come together in the unique setting of VIU’s campus on the island of San Servolo, where they engage with students of various levels.

The goal of these interdisciplinary summer schools is to disseminate knowledge among students (undergrad, master’s, PhD, post-doc) and young academics, and to establish and reinforce research networks among the VIU community.The Schools are also open to applicants outside of the VIU membership.


Films in Venice and Filming Venice
Program Dates: August 30 – September 8, 2021

The Summer School Films in Venice and Filming Venice is an initiative of Venice International University, in partnership with its member universities Ca' Foscari, Iuav, Tel Aviv, Waseda, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, and Exeter, organized to coincide with the 78th International Venice Film Festival.

The aim is to combine film theory and practice, applying them to representations of Venice, through a multidisciplinary and multicultural approach, reflected both in the composition of the faculty and the student body. The first week, students will be introduced to the history, culture and anthropology of Venice and its relation to visual media. They will be offered basic notions of film analysis and film-making theory. The second week, will be devoted to film-making practice. Students will be encouraged to develop a team project on Venice: a film, which will be screened and collectively discussed and analyzed at the end of the Summer School. Deserving projects will be shown at the Ca' Foscari Short Film Festival in 2022.

Suitable for: Graduate and undergraduate students from various disciplines: film studies, film-making, art history, visual art, history, cultural anthropology, sociology; and anyone who would like to learn the basics of film-making in various forms - fiction, docudrama, documentary, visual arts, etc.

Applications: Applications December 5, 2020 – April 30, 2021

VIU Flyer

Critical Infrastructure Resilience Summer School
Program Dates: September 13-17, 2021 

The Covid-19 pandemic is the most recent shock that has affected our societies, and there are still significant uncertainties remaining for 2020 and 2021. Decision-making is the single most effective factor in conditioning a successful recovery and building resilience for the crises to come. In its fifth edition, the Summer School offers a pragmatic framework and a tactical decision-making tool for resilience. The tool is actively used by professionals, public authorities, and academics. The course has a scientific approach combined with a hands-on interactive format designed for a multi-disciplinary audience.

Suitable for: Professionals, officials, and graduate students already working on the topic or thinking their work may benefit from it.

Applications: Rolling admissions until June 30.

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Migration and Gender: a Legal and Literary Perspective
Program Dates: May 16-21, 2022

The summer school offers a legal-literary approach to the ways in which migration influences gender. The course will discuss both this idea, and reversing the formula, it will examine the role of migration in shaping gender, understood as relational and performative. A particular focus will be on identity in relation to human rights and law, labor, and culture. The course will model the ways in which the humanities and the imagination might inform legal processes or contour legal decisions. this course will educate a young generation of lawyers, academics and activists by raising awareness of many issues at the intersection of gender, migration, and law.

Suitable for: MA and PhD Students in Sociology, Gender Studies, Literature, Human rights, Law, Labor, and Cultural Studies.

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Advanced Transportation, Logistics, and Supply Chain Management
Program Dates: June 27 – July 2, 2022

The program develops an original comprehensive approach, bringing into focus the need for synergic engagement among policy-makers, planners, and private and public actors in transport, logistics, and supply chain management. The participants will explore the latest innovations in technology, business models, and policy-making. Through rigorous and non-conventional empirical and theoretical approaches we will explore emerging trends, strategic scenarios, IT and modeling tools, methods, and case studies, and discuss how these can support business and policy-makers, achieve environmental sustainability, and socio-economic efficiency. 

Suitable for: Graduates who have completed an undergraduate degree in Planning, Engineering, Geography, Economics, IT, Design, Political Science, or Public Policy. Applications are also welcome from professionals working in related fields.

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Global Shakespeare: Othello’s Venice in the World
Program Dates: July 4-9, 2022

“Shakespeare” is now a global vernacular—a resonant language available throughout the world as a form of self-expression and enquiry. The Summer School aims to gather an international cohort of graduate students for a week-long, multi-faceted exploration of one of the most timely topics in the interdisciplinary humanities: Shakespeare’s global contexts and futures. In order to provide focus and coherence, the play Othello, set in multicultural Venice, will be taken as a case study throughout the summer school. Using Shakespeare’s poetry and dramaturgy as a resource, it asks participants to consider how connections can be made across languages, religions, and nation-states.

Suitable for:  MA and PhD students from various disciplines including Literary Studies, Shakespeare Studies, Theater and Performance Studies, History, Politics, Philosophy, Anthropology, Media and Film Studies, Cultural Studies, Art, Gender Studies, Queer Studies.

Applications: The application form will be available from late Fall 2021 via the VIU website.

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Science Diplomacy: Improving Capacity of Science to Inform Policy
Program Dates: Summer 2022 (Dates TBD)

Science Diplomacy is a tool that recognizes science as a process for pursuing evidence and diplomacy as a process for dialogue and cooperation between different stakeholders. In our increasingly interconnected world, there is a growing need for science diplomacy as we are confronted by issues concerning agriculture or trade, automation or cryptocurrencies, peace & security, global health pandemics, and climate change, among many other complex challenges. Our decision-making power is strengthened or weakened by the relevance, timeliness, reliability, and communication of information in a fast-paced changing environment. While academia includes specialties in translational science, public policy, health policy and other policy-related fields, these programs do not address the needs of the vast matrix of other scientific disciplines to provide students with training and tools to effectively partner and communicate with non-scientists, whether they are policy-makers, community leaders or the general public. This is Science Diplomacy at its core—partnerships to eliminate cultural, sectoral, and knowledge barriers. 

Suitable for: Master’s and PhD students from various disciplines including Global Health, Public Health, Environmental Science, Economics, Political Science, Anthropology, Sociology & Demography, Biology, Engineering, Clinical Medicine.

VIU students

VIU International PhD Academy

This PhD Academy is among the Global Challenges Initiatives of VIU. It is an intensive training program for PhD candidates from the member universities of VIU. The Academy is a 7-10 day event, which includes a scientific program and a parallel program of training and workshops that provides PhD candidates with training in a range of skills that will be useful in developing their research and academic careers.

Each Academy will focus  on a major societal challenge faced by humankind today, which will be addressed via multidisciplinary approaches, involving high-level speakers selected among the VIU member institutions but whose remarks will be adapted to a broad cohort of the VIU community. Financial support is available to candidates from the Member Universities, including Duke, to support international travel, and accommodation costs.

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Everything you always wanted to know about becoming a researcher (but were afraid to ask) - Transversal Skills for Young Scholars
Program Dates: September 20-24, 2021

The academic community is becoming more and more competitive and besides the content specific to each discipline, there are some common general procedures. How should a research project be presented? What happens when a paper is submitted to a journal? The aim of this PhD Academy is to familiarize young researchers with practice in research activities, as well as to introduce them to their peers from other disciplines and to the challenges of the world outside academia. The PhD Academy will be highly interactive: participants will carry out several practical exercises. 

Suitable for: PhD students, Post-docs, and young researchers from all disciplinary backgrounds.

Applications: Deadline extended until May 30, 2021

VIU Flyer on Plastic Pollution

Plastic Pollution and Bioplastic Materials
Program Dates: September 27 – October 1, 2021

The production of new plastic products since the Second World War revolutionized in a positive way all fields of human activities: medicine, aerospace, transport, health, and everyday life. However, single-use plastics account for 40 percent of the plastic produced every year. Every year, about 8 million tons of plastic waste escapes into the oceans from coastal nations. Plastic materials can have serious downsides for the environment and health. The goal of this PhD Academy is to facilitate learning, discussion, and the exchange of ideas to address the challenging issues in Plastic Pollution and how science is working to solve this problem.

Suitable for: PhD students, post-doc, and young researchers in Natural sciences & Technology, or any other discipline related to Material Science.

Applications: This PhD Academy is a postponed Spring 2021 activity. Applications are currently closed, however, should any places become available, a new call for applications will be opened. 

VIU Webinar Quantitative methods

Quantitative Methods in Legal Studies
Program Dates: October 4-9, 2021 

Quantitative empirical legal studies represent a new growing sub-discipline of social sciences that benefits from the data revolution. Clusters of quantitative legal scholarship exist in the USA, the Netherlands, Russia, Israel, UK, Czech Republic and Brazil. The Academy will be focused on the use of quantitative methods in legal studies. Participants will represent various countries with different legal traditions and jurisdictions, but all of them can benefit from the application of empirical methods to discover the legal reality.

Suitable for: PhD students, post-docs and young researchers in Law and Social Sciences.

Applications: This PhD Academy is a postponed 2020 activity. Applications are currently closed, however, should any places become available, a new call for applications will be opened. 

What is a People? Social, Political, and Legal Controversies VIU Flyer

What is a People? Social, Political, and Legal Controversies
Program Dates: March 28-April 1, 2022

The concept of ‘people’ has been a feeding ground for social sciences, public debates, and political processes since the 19th century and today has again emerged as the core of the discourse of recent populist movements. However, the outlines of its definition are not distinct but rather blurred and involve a broad semantic range that overlaps and intersects with the notions of state, country, nationalism, culture, ethnicity, group, language, minority, and identity. This International PhD Academy addresses this ambiguous concept, both in its (mis)uses in the political arena, and as a scientific label adopted to comprehend the riddle of collective identities.

Suitable for: PhD students, post-docs, and young researchers in Political Science, International Relations, Anthropology, Sociology, Political Philosophy, History, Peace and Conflict Studies, and International Human Rights Law.  

Applications: This PhD Academy is a postponed 2020 activity. Applications are currently closed, however, should any places become available, a new call for applications will be opened. 

VIU Flyer Light and ITS Nature

Light: Its Nature and Its Use
Program Dates: May 2-6, 2022
The 21st century is frequently termed the "century of light". Light sciences and technologies drive research in physics, chemistry, biology and engineering. This PhD Academy aims at giving a broad overview of modern optics and its applications (i.e. photonics) in various fields involving the exploration of matter, the design of original devices involving light (e.g. imaging and medical set-ups, optical communications) and their applications in analytical sciences (e.g. microscopy, spectroscopies), healthcare, manufacture and arts. The course will concentrate on the transversality of the issues addressed and emphasize how the various perspectives to use light have enhanced creativity and innovation of the design of new devices based on light-matter interaction and have contributed to a better understanding of the physical phenomena underlying these effects.

Suitable for: PhD students, post-docs and young researchers in sciences, physics, chemistry, biology, health sciences, art and architecture, archeology. 

Applications: This PhD Academy is a postponed 2020 activity. Applications are currently closed, however, should any places become available, a new call for applications will be opened. 

Cities and Water VIU FLYER

Cities and Water in a Time of Climate Change
Program Dates: February 14-18, 2022

Our planet is suffering dramatic urgencies, exacerbated by climate change. Excess and lack of water largely impact urban life in our cities and territories. Floodings and droughts are among the main causes of social tension, migrations among continents, desertification and hydrogeological risks, loss in food production, inadequate waste treatment. Cities use too much water and too quickly for nature to keep up, and there is an urgent need to radically rethink the role of water in cities. Reducing consumption and better use of water is not enough under the pressure of climate change. Water is largely mismanaged: the preservation of aquifers and the extension of the lifecycle of water for entire cities is necessary.

Suitable for: PhD students, post-docs and young researchers in Urban Design, Urban Studies, Urban planning, Geography, Sociology, Economics, History of cities and water, Environmental Science and Engineering.

Applications: This PhD Academy is a postponed 2020 activity. Applications are currently closed, however, should any places become available, a new call for applications will be opened. 


VIU Graduate Seminars

The Graduate Seminars are thematic intensive seminars, on a focused topic, approached from a multidisciplinary perspective. The seminars are driven by interdepartmental cooperation, and it is expected that they will give rise to medium- and long-term projects involving the participating departments.

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Activism and Social Movements
Program Dates: July 11-15, 2022

This Graduate Seminar will explore the complexities of protest and social movements and how the range of social activism reflects the profound polarization of politics and ideology in many countries. Understanding mobilization demands attention to the forces of history, economics, and emotion at work, as well as to the forms of expression and identity that develop in the course of mobilizing. Special attention will be paid towards how cultural forms like art, dance, video and film, and language itself may give voice to new visions.

Suitable for: Master and early PhD students in the Humanities and Social Sciences, with special relevance among others for Anthropology, History of Art, Visual Studies, Dance, Development Studies, Law, History, Political Science, Anthropology, Public Policy, Sociology, and Women's studies.

Applications: The application form will be available from late Fall 2021 via the VIU website.

VIU Flyer Climate change

Climate Change Mitigation: Carbon Capture and Utilization
Program Dates: November 15-19, 2021

The aim of this graduate seminar is to provide the students with a comprehensive overview of carbon capture and utilization strategies with regard to their current stage of development and implementation, focusing on scientific and technological aspects, but also environmental, social and economic sustainability issues. The aim is to encourage and stimulate discussions from students from different backgrounds to allow them to individually and collectively identify synergies and possible new approaches and strategies in the developing field of CCUS.

Suitable for: Master’s students and young researchers early in their PhD in the following fields: engineering – in particular chemical, civil, environmental, mechanical, materials; chemistry; biology; environmental science; earth science.

Applications: This graduate seminar is a postponed 2020 activity. Applications are currently closed, however, should any places become available, a new call for applications will be opened. 

Click here to get more information about the VIU Graduate Activities Archive.

Contact information:
Amanda Frederick
Assistant Director, DUCIGS
p: 919-668-1663