Summer School 2023: Feature your Future

The three-day digital, international Summer School is a learning, reflecting and networking event for advanced master's students and doctoral candidates from three higher education institutions: University of Glasgow, KU Leuven and Leuphana University Lüneburg. The Summer School is dedicated to the topic of academic career development, with a focus on futures thinking. We aim at: addressing the importance of futures thinking, introducing the idea of strategic career planning at an early stage and developing interdisciplinary competences—regardless of whether you want to work in the academic or non-academic field.

The picture shows for students in the foyer of the central buildung. They are  looking at a laptop and are laughing. ©Leuphana Universität Lüneburg/Alfred Brandl
Feature Your Future 2023: International Career Perspectives for Master's Students and Doctoral Candidates


Host                                                  Leuphana University Lüneburg
LocationOnline (Zoom Webinar)
FieldAcademic career development; futures thinking; applied strategic foresight

24 May 2023 (ice-breaking event) and

12 July 2023 – 14 July 2023 (main event)

Duration3 days
ParticipantsAdvanced master's students and doctoral candidates
Workload5 CP (150 hours workload)
ApplicationThe registration deadline has expired
Application deadlineApplication Deadline Friday, 21/04/2023, 10:59 pm BST/11:59 CEST (extended)
Assignment submission deadlines15 September 2023; 30 November 2023


What is the Summer School about?

Future thinking competence, or why we all need to think like entrepreneurs in the future.

The socio-ecological challenges of the 21st century, such as climate change, make socio-economic change indispensable. We are all facing a future where uncertainties, ambiguity, complexity, and constant change will shape our everyday work. Thus, an effective academic career (inside or outside academia) does not only require expertise in a research field, but also transversal key competences. These competences support us in coping with trends such as digitalisation, new work or security issues. Therefore, it is important that (future) professionals, like you, can identify and reflect on these trends, understand future uncertainties, and can create future scenarios. We want to empower you, as graduates, to connect applied strategic foresight to your academic and professional career perspectives to engage in societal transformations.
In this digital, international Summer School, we will give you the chance to work on your future thinking competences by reflecting across disciplines, educational levels, and institutions on your career perspectives. Together, we will illustrate current trends in international academic career paths, explore your qualifications, learn about the informal challenges of international academic careers and future academic workplaces, expand transversal competencies and close with noting down concrete individual action plans.

The three-day programme includes keynotes by experts from researcher development and graduate education, interactive workshops on futures thinking and other transversal competences, ignite talks by participants as well as social events for networking and leisure time.

Learning Outcomes

The Feature Your Future Summer School programme will support you to develop:

  • Knowledge of megatrends and challenges
  • Ability to use applied strategic foresight and futures thinking to solve complex problems
  • Awareness of and strategies to deal with informal challenges of international academic careers
  • An updated academic career idea for applications, grants, and fellowships
  • Professional confidence
  • A network of lecturers, master's students and doctoral candidates at partner institutions
  • Interculturally sensitive digital collaboration skills


Ice-Breaking Event (24 May 2023)

To get to know each other, you and the other participants will meet digitally in advance, on Wednesday, 24 May 2023, for a mandatory ice-breaking event. The event lasts four hours in the afternoon  (from 3 to 7 pm CEST | 2 to 6 pm BST)  and will take place online.

Summer School (12 July  – 14 July 2023)

The Summer School itself will take place from Wednesday, 12 July to Friday, 14 July 2023.            

The Summer School programme consists of keynotes, workshops, ignite talks, reflection sessions and social events all dedicated to academic career development and futures thinking.

The extended programme gives you an overview of content, lecturers and learning outcomes. The highlight of this year's Summer School is an eight-hour workshop by the Copenhagen Institute for Futures Studies on applied strategic foresight in the context of the future of universities.

Summer School Schedule

Schedule of the Summer School ©Schedule Summer School by Susanne Laudien is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 4.0.
Schedule of the Summer School (23 Jan 23)

Workload and Examination

Credit points and workload

The Summer School is credited with 5 CP (CP = credit points; 150 hours of workload). You are expected to engage actively in all planned activities and help make the Summer School a non-judging, welcoming and great experience for everyone.

Workload per activity

ActivitiesWorkload (hours)1,2
Ice-Breaking Event4
Summer School Programme24


1Participants from KU Leuven or University of Glasgow: Your achievements will be recognised in consultation with your home institutions. Grading of the assignment and the final examination will be specified individually by the partner institutions (see table assignments). 2 Leuphana doctoral candidates: The 5 CP can be credited for the module “Scientific Practice/Ethics”.

Performance assessment

Your performance will be assessed according to learning objectives of the Summer School. The performance examination consists of three assignments. All information regarding format and examination period will be given and explained to the participants at the ice-breaking event. 

Overview of the assignments


5 CP  

Ignite talkpass / failpass / failpass / fail
Essay (3 pages)-pass / failpass / fail
Reflection report (2 pages)pass / failpass / failpass / fail

1 Master's students and doctoral candidates of the University of Glasgow are exempt from writing the essay.

Assessment criteria



Content adequacy (50%)
  • Clear problem definition and questions
  • Originality of ideas and arguments
  • Relevance for the topics and learning outcomes of the Summer School
Scientific rigor (30%)
  • Well-founded priority setting
  • Coherent reasoning
  • Evidence-based reasoning
  • Comprehensibility
  • Convincing structure
  • Scientific, objective style
Formal quality (20%)
  • Consistent use of terms
  • Uniform matter of quoting
  • Readability
  • Formal correctness



The deadline for submitting the final report at Leuphana is 15 September 2023 not later than 11.59 pm CEST | 10.59 pm BST. The second submission date is 30 November 2023 not later than 11.59 pm CET | 10.59 pm GMT. Submission dates for partner institutions will be announced in the ice breaking event.

„A student is working in a wooden chair on campus.“
Working outside
A student is working in a wooden chair on campus. ©Leuphana Universität/Jannis Muser
„Students working as a group in a seminar room.“
Group work in class
Students working as a group in a seminar room. ©Leuphana/Kersten Benecke
„A student is sitting in the cafeteria with her laptop.“
Views of the Cafeteria
A student is sitting in the cafeteria with her laptop. ©Leuphana Universität/Jannis Muser

Application and Selection

The application deadline has expired

(Deadline: 21 April 2023, 11:59 pm CEST / 10:59 pm BST).

The following section will give you the details on the application process and the required documents.

Who can apply?

The Summer School aims at advanced master's students and doctoral candidates from three higher education institutions: University of Glasgow, KU Leuven, and Leuphana University Lüneburg. The enrolment is limited to 45 students.

Participation requirements

You need to be enrolled in study programmes at one of the participating institutions. Further requirements are the preparation of a 5 minute ignite talk consisting of 20 slides (each presented for 15 seconds) that will be presented at in the ignite talk sessions. The ignite talks should cover your career narrative (What did you study, where did you work? What are your primary interests), and if applicable your visions for the future (e.g., in a form of a mood board). Think of the talk as telling a story to your peers about what you have achieved and of what you want to explore. All questions regarding the ignite talks will be explained in a FAQ session during the ice breaking event. Participation at all events of the Summer School is required. The conference language is English. You must be able to present the ignite talk in English, actively participate in the workshops, and write your final report in English. In addition, you are expected to be able to be present at the ice breaking event as well as throughout the Summer School period.

Application requirements

A full application includes the following documents:

Application form: Completed digital application form.

Letter of admission: Your student status can be proven by a letter of admission from the respective university or, where this is not possible, by a letter from the supervising professor.

Letter of motivation: You need to apply with a letter of motivation (max. 1000 words) that explains your motivation for participating in the Summer School and your academic career ideas. The selection to the Summer School depends on an excellent motivation letter. You should answer the following questions: Who are you? Why do you want to engage in the Summer School? What are you expecting to learn? Why is the Summer School helpful for your career development and education? What qualities do you bring to the Summer School?

CV: The CV should tell us the highlights of your education (1 page). The highlights should be connected with the motivation letter and the Summer School. Please consider using the English CV format, do not add a picture of yourself, and keep the personal information to a minimum. You can best focus on these sections: contact information, work experience, education, and competences.

Language skills: You must confirm that you are fluent in the English language to follow and actively participate in the Summer School activities.

The application process starts 1 March 2023 at 10 am CET | 9 am GMT.

The application deadline has been extended to 21 April 2023 not later than 11.59 pm CEST | 10.59 pm BST.

Selection process

The selection is performed individually by each institution. Applications are managed centrally at Leuphana University. Not later than two weeks after the application deadline, the acceptances and further information will be sent out. Your participation will be confirmed by a letter of acceptance via mail.


Summer School Coordinator

Anna Sundermann 
Manager for Digital
Leuphana Graduate SchoolPhone  +49 4131 677-2404
Project Digital Transformation Lab (DigiTaL) 
Universitätsallee 1, C14.129 
21335 Lüneburg 


Partner institutions

Logo University of Glasgow ©extern
Logo KU Keuven ©extern
Logo Institute for the Future ©extern
Logo Copenhagen Institute for Futures Studies ©extern
Logo Leuphana University Lüneburg ©Leuphana

Funded by

Logo Stiftung Innovationen in der Hochschullehre ©Stiftung Innovationen in der Hochschullehre