Studentin in Bibliothek | ©-stokkete fotolia

Early Career Research

Topoi strongly supports young researchers at all stages of their careers: from the Master’s level to graduate studies and post-doctoral studies.

BA and MA students benefit not only from the cooperation between the universities and various partner institutions, but also from the fact that findings from toplevel interdisciplinary research are integrated into university teaching. Topoi is regularly offering between 50 and 80 positions for student researchers (studentische Hilfskräfte), introducing students to many aspects of research, from fieldwork to international exchange, knowledge transfer and editorial work. The Cluster also offers BA/MA seminars in the field of science communication.

For its (up to 2017) more than 130 PhD students, Topoi in 2011 introduced a structured graduate education. The Berlin Graduate school of Ancient studies (BerGSAS) of the Berliner Antike-Kolleg was originally initiated by Topoi and serves as a graduate school for the Cluster. BerGSAS is supported by all Topoi partner institutions and a total of four faculties from the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin and three departments from the Freie Universität Berlin. All PhD students conduct their research as members of one of the Cluster research groups. At the same time, they are inscribed in one of a current total of five doctoral study programs of BerGSAS:


The interdisciplinary programs break new ground. In addition to being thematically oriented, they also impart core competencies, fundamental theories and methodological skills. This allows the programs to cover all of the subjects falling within the purview of ancient studies, as well as the geosciences and other natural sciences.

International networking is an essential element of all doctoral programs. Exchange agreements with partner universities and research institutions such as LMU München, University College London and the institute for the study of the Ancient World in New York, combined with international doctoral colloquia, conferences and workshops, foster the international experience of doctoral candidates.

For young researchers at post-doctoral level, Topoi offers more than 100 positions in one of the research groups, ranging from two-years positions for shorter projects to five-year positions for long-term projects or in the Topoi Lab.

Topoi is a partner of the COFUND/POINT program of Freie Universität, funded by the Marie Curie program of the European Commission, and of the Dahlem Postdoc Fellowship program of FU. Twenty international researchers from various fields of ancient studies joined the Cluster so far.