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Birth of the GEM-DIAMOND Fellowship of the Ph.D.

1 October 2022 | Back to news list

16 MSCA Fellows successfully selected following a gruelling selection process.

The newly constituted GEM-DIAMOND Fellowship of the Ph.D. is the lifeblood of the project. Its' members are: Edouard, Anna, Debora, Sofie, Pedro, Vlad, Larissa, Guillaume, Katharina, Samir, Benedetta, Marija, Giulia, Seraphine, Jing-syuan, and Luigi. Collectively they will be the main driver behind the project’s efforts to meet its three stated objectives:

  1. Conceptualising the seemingly mounting dissensus surrounding liberal democracy.
  2. Unpacking the ambiguous role different actors can play as both champions and challengers of liberal democratic norms, values and practices.
  3. Assessing the impact of increased dissensus regarding liberal democracy on the policy instruments of the EU and its capacity to act in its internal and external policies.

These 16 promising Doctoral Candidates were identified following a highly competitive and centrally coordinated selection process. These 16 MSCA Ph.D. fellows were selected among 224 eligible applications. So, they are to be commended for successfully emerging from a crowded field of candidates. 

The entire evaluation and selection process - from drafting the call for applications to the ultimate confirmation of the 16 selected fellows - was successfully organized between May and August 2022. During said three months, the GEM-DIAMOND partners: (1) produced and widely circulated a set of harmonized calls, (2) secured over 200 eligible applications, (3) submitted all eligible applications to two anonymous academic assessments by established scholars from across the consortium and beyond, each graded according to a common evaluation grid, (4) host individual interviews for the over 50 short-listed applicants across all 16 positions, and ultimately (5) identify 16 promising profiles as well as secure their commitment to the program.

The quality and speed of the selection process are a testament to the investment and dedication of the academics involved across the consortium. Similarly, a shared concern for inclusivity and accessibility resulted in a consistent and conscious effort by all parties, at each step of the process, to see a balanced cross-section of genders and backgrounds represented. Overall, the fruits of these individual and collective efforts are already visible in the contours of the nascent GEM-DIAMOND Ph.D. community.

As an interdisciplinary community of promising young scholars, GEM-DIAMOND is 62% female and 48% male. As such, it actively contributes towards ever greater gender inclusion among researchers in Europe. The 16 GEM-DIAMOND fellows will also further the internationalisation of the European Researcher Area's human capital, be it in terms of previously held degrees or nationalities. With regards to the latter, 25% of the selected fellows hold a non-EU passport, while the former speaks to the 38% of the selected fellows who hold a higher education degree from a non-EU institution.

These 16 MSCA doctoral fellows started their shared Ph.D. adventure on the 19th of October 2022 as they gather in Brussels to attend the GEM-DIAMOND Kick-off event hosted at the Institut d’études européennes (IEE). Over the next four years, they will form a GEM-DIAMOND Fellowship of the Ph.D. of sorts, as they both individually and collectively seek to elucidate the implication of the mounting dissensus surrounding liberal democracy and the rule of law.

As the GEM-DIAMOND Fellowship of the Ph.D. embarks on its doctoral journey, the academics and institutions involved in the program stand ready to provide the necessary training and support, while several audiences are eager to see what they will find.

Make sure to keep an eye on this blog as it will offer regular insights, not only into their travels but also their findings.