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EducationUniversity of Groningen Summer SchoolsWhat About the Family?

Course information

Target Audience

This summer school is designed for PhD students and Postdocs working in the field of ethics. We also welcome those working in health care (public health) more broadly, communication, sociology and medical anthropology.

It is expected that the participants have a sufficient command of the English language to actively participate in the discussions and to present their own work in English.


The summer school will start on Sunday 11 August with a city tour and welcoming drinks. The educational programme will start on Monday 12 August and end on Friday 16 August, and will include lectures on family ethics; embodiment, thechnology and family; decision making in health care and genetics and many other topics.

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The workload is estimated at 84 hours.

Prior to the summer school:

  • Preparatory readings: 20 hours (120 pages; 6 pages per hour)
  • Preparation of a topic for a research paper; to present via a short oral description to Faculty and other Summer School students: 6 hours
  • Preparation of a case for discussion: 2 x 5 hours
  • 1 critical assessment of an article: 8 hours

During the summer school

  • Lectures and seminar-based discussion: 40 hours
Preparatory work

1. Preparatory readings. A reading list will be available by the 11 June, with papers divided into groups corresponding to each session. Each participant is expected to prepare questions for discussion arising from each set of papers. For each session, one of those questions should be send to the lecturer in charge of that session before 1 August 2019.

2. Prepare a topic for research paper (optional). You will present your research paper idea to your fellow students and the summer school Faculty via a short oral presentation (5-10 minutes) on the first day of the summer school. Your presentation can use slides (e.g. PowerPoint) if you wish; but this not required.

3. Prepare two cases for discussion related to one of the summer school questions or themes. You are expected to select and prepare a case for discussion on days 3 and 4. This case can come from your own research project, your own professional practice or personal experience, or from research or public reporting/debate. It should be about ethical issues, complications or challenges for decision-making in health care that connect to the reality of patients to be embedded in close social relationships and real or imagined responsibilities. The preparation should include that you assemble sufficient detail and related information (e.g., links to news items or discussions, literature that you bring with you, etc.) to inform a small group discussion, to then be presented to the whole group. At least one case should be related to the impact of genetics/genomics on families.

Housing information

Housing (7 nights, from Saturday 10 August to Saturday 17 August), in Upsilon international student house is available upon request for €245. For more information about accommodation, please see the central housing page.

Application procedure

To apply, kindly fill out the online application form. Please upload the following documents with your application:

  • CV (max 2 pages)
  • Motivation letter (max 1 page)

Last modified:25 June 2019 2.44 p.m.