Five European universities with solid experience in advanced doctoral and post-doctoral studies have established a European Doctoral Programme for the Human and Social Sciences. The partner institutions are the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) and the École Pratique des Hautes Études (EPHE) in Paris, the Humboldt-Universität (HU) in Berlin, the Central European University (CEU) in Budapest, and the Istituto Italiano di Scienze Umane (SUM) in Florence.
The aim of the programme is to enable its doctoral students to broaden their intellectual horizons, moving from one academic institution to another and experiencing first hand a multi-focal doctoral training. The doctoral students are enrolled in one of the partner institutions, but also work in the other institutions, each of which contributes a specific seminar module. Thus, the European Doctoral Programme is not only a simple exchange programme: the goal is instead to provide PhD students with a coherent doctoral training, so that they can exploit the intellectual resources of all the partner institutions.
A peculiarity of this doctorate is its specific teaching agenda. Four times six intensive weeks - rotating between the various partners institutions - are organized during the first two years on methodological and thematic issues.

Students can spend the rest of the time where it is most convenient for their work, while the third year is mainly devoted to writing the doctoral thesis.
This model is unique in the European context and has the potential to bring together resources and experiences of an exceptional range, which a single institution is unlikely to reach on its own. This doctoral programme has an open, dynamic structure so as to ensure the maximum degree of exchange and collaboration.
The European Doctoral Programme for the Human and Social Sciences is currently organized into three different curricula, each with its own course of study: Europe and the Invention of Modernity; Europe and Religion: Social Dynamics and Transnational Perspectives; Europe in the Context of Globalization. The curriculum in Europe and the Invention of Modernity (coordinated by the SUM, Florence) started its activities on February 2010. A second group of doctoral candidates will join the programme on November 2011. The curriculum in Europe and Religion: Social Dynamics and Transnational Perspectives (coordinated by the EPHE, Paris, and the CEU, Budapest) will start its activities in early 2012. Currently, a working group designs the curriculum in Europe and its Global Context (to be coordinated by the HU, Berlin) which will be the next programme to be activated. The development of other curricula is foreseen for the future.

24 February 2010: Official Inauguration of the European Doctoral Programme