The Carl Friedrich Lehmann-Haupt International Doctoral Program is the first international structured doctoral program at Ilia State University (ISU) and at the same time a cooperation project with the Georg-August-University of Göttingen (UGOE). In this program twelve doctoral students are working on their dissertations under the specific conditions of a Cotutelle procedure. In addition to the research stays at both universities, the Cotutelle model is based on the co-supervision by professors from both partner institutions and the opportunity to be awarded a doctoral degree from both ISU and UGOE.

Since the participants had already commenced their doctoral studies in April 2018 and some of them had even completed their first research stays at UGOE, the successful launch of the Carl Friedrich Lehmann-Haupt International Doctoral Program was celebrated with an opening event on September 27, 2018. On the occasion of this event, the doctoral candidates and professors involved in the program but also many members of the university came together in the "Ligamus", the book house and event venue of ISU. Moreover, representatives of the Shota Rustaveli National Science Foundation of Georgia, the German Embassy, the German Academic Exchange Service, the Goethe-Institute and several German foundations attended as well.

In his welcome note, the Rector of ISU, Prof. Dr. Giga Zedania, emphasized the special significance of the program for the university and the associated future prospects for doctoral education in Georgia in general. In her speech, the Vice-Rector of ISU, Prof. Dr. Nino Doborjginidze, expressed her appreciation for the long-standing good cooperation with UGOE and the German foundations and organizations represented on site, and also referred to the program's eponym, Carl Friedrich Lehmann-Haupt, and his work. UGOE itself was represented by Aleksandra Bovt, the program coordinator in Göttingen, who pointed out in her welcoming address that the doctoral students will make an important contribution to German-Georgian scientific exchange with their theses. As the Vice-President of UGOE, Prof. Dr. Hiltraud Casper-Hehne, was unable to attend the event in person, her best wishes for the success of the program were sent from Göttingen by way of a video message in which she underlined the great importance of a modern and transparent doctoral education.

In order to show the audience that the Carl Friedrich Lehmann-Haupt International Doctoral Program not only brings together the German and Georgian scientific culture, but also unites various scientific disciplines under one roof, three participating doctoral students from the fields of political science, astrophysics and linguistics presented interesting insights in their respective research project.

The German-Georgian cooperation project is jointly funded by the Volkswagen Foundation and the Shota Rustaveli National Science Foundation of Georgia with approximately one million euros.

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