Spotlight on... | 17/08/2023

"Spotlight on..." Alina Ripplinger on Summer Schools

GIGA Doctoral Researcher Alina Ripplinger attended the summer school of the European Consortium for Political Research. Learn more about her experience in this interview.


  • Which Summer School did you participate in? And what courses did you take?

    I participated in the ECPR Summer School in Research Methods and Techniques attending the course “Qualitative Data Analysis” led by Marie-Hélène Paré. The course offered a very well-tailored and coherent accompaniment for qualitative researchers at any stage, embedding data analysis within the overall research process.

    What did and didn’t you like about the Summer School?

    I very much liked the dynamic and interactive learning experience: The virtual courses were complemented by different teaching videos and lessons, a syllabus, after class assignments and the possibility to book troubleshooting sessions with an assistant. During the course, many hands-on examples helped to directly apply or discuss the acquired knowledge; individual questions could be addressed at any time. I dis-liked to some extent the unequilibrated distribution of content in the run of the course, with a very dense presentation of core elements. Still, these elements were meant as mental food, giving many ideas on following-up on certain topics.

    What did you take away? Any particular lessons learned for the next steps of your research project?

    The summer school was an excellent opportunity to visualize where I want to head with my research from early on. As the course provided a solid foundation on qualitative analysis, and henceforth, applied knowledge and exercises of coding data, seeking patterns deductively and inductively, and transforming them into findings, I was able to both precise my research design and to work with NVivo on one exemplary source for my research, in ways doing a pilot QDA. The simple but main take away is to know well the purpose of your (qualitative) research, the epistemology it rests on, and the principles or guidelines you want to follow to achieve it coherently.

    GIGA Doctoral Programme

    The GIGA has a long tradition of integrating young researchers into its research structure. This tradition culminated in the establishment of the GIGA Doctoral Programme. This programme seeks to provide a platform for young, international, and German academics, from which they can pursue their research and professional development, particularly in the field of comparative area studies (CAS).

    Doctoral Programme

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