Julia Zilles

In June 2018 I was re-elected GGG PhD students’ representative and I am looking forward to continuing the work at GGG’s executive board.

Since September 2014 I have been working at the Göttingen Institute for Democracy Research. There, I have conducted re­search on local conflicts that came up within the context of the “Energiewende” (‘energy transition’). In my thesis I focus on the local dynamics and effects on political culture that are caused by local conflicts about the construction of windmills. Since October 2016, my doctorate has been funded by the Heinrich Böll Foundation. There, I am member of the cluster „Transformation Research“.

I studied politics, German philology and philosophy at the Uni­versity of Koblenz and Landau. In my master thesis I already fo­cused on the area of protest research by writing about the pro­test against the Stuttgart 21 project. In Landau I continuously worked as student assistant and tutor at the Institute for Social Sciences and as vacation substitute at the office of the vice-chancellor, which provided me with valuable experience in higher education policies. During my studies, I was repeatedly deputy at the student parliament and also worked as student council (AStA) expert for higher education policies.

Since May 2017 I have been PhD students’ representative at the Faculty of Social Sciences and since September 2017, I have been vice-speaker of the newly founded university-wide committee of PhD students’ representatives (‘Promovierendenvertretung‘, PromV). Furthermore, at the Institute for Democracy Research I have been equal opportunities officer since 2015.

From my point of view it is wise to channel the efforts of PhD students in the different committees. I have thus managed to establish quite a few contacts during the last year.

I want to stand up for further improvement of both the visibility and status of PhD students. To achieve this, I think the following three aspects are paramount at the moment:

  1. I want to ensure that PhD students with a scholarship can again be employed as scientific staff (‘wissenschaftliche*r Mitarbeiter*in’) instead of being punished for external financing by downgrading them to graduate assistants (‘wissenschaftliche Hilfskraft’).

  2. I want to stand up for improving the situation of PhD students who are not employed at the university, e.g. concerning the loan period at the library. In my opinion, this group with its specific needs is ignored too often.

  3. With regard to the university boards, I think, it is important that PhD students become fully acknowledged as a specific status group and therefore get voting rights in the faculty councils and senate, too.

In my (higher educations) political work I would like to put further emphasis on equal opportunities, especially regarding parents. As GGG PhD students’ representative I want to stand up for (further) improving the conditions of PhD students with children, both within GGG and the faculty. To achieve this, I can make use of my experience from working as equal opportunities officer at the Institute for Democracy Research.

Please feel free to contact me:
Julia Zilles
Faculty of Social Sciences
Göttingen Institute for Democracy Research
Weender Landstraße 14, 37073 Göttingen
Julia Zilles