Summer School



The Department of Political and Social Sciences at the University of Bologna invites applications for the upcoming Summer School on “Research Ethics and Safety in Political and Social Sciences” held in Bologna (Italy) in June 2022, from Monday 20th to Friday 24th included. The Summer School aims to provide participants with an inside view on the practice of conducting fieldwork related to a wide range of topics ethically and safely.

It will gather a group of experienced researchers from a number of universities and institutions who carry out fieldwork in challenging environments because of the subject of their research and/or of the regions in which they conduct their fieldwork.

Training methods will be based on lectures and hands-on sessions during the morning. In the afternoon sessions, the participants will have the chance to present and discuss the ethics and safety dilemmas related to their research projects with their colleagues and academic trainers.



Confirmed instructors


  • Benoit Challand, New School for Social Research
  • Virginie Collombier, European University Institute
  • Jannis Grimm, Freie University Berlin
  • Kevin Kohler, Leiden University
  • Stefan Malthaner, Hamburg Institute for Social Research
  • Alice Mattoni, University of Bologna
  • Stefania Milan, University of Amsterdam
  • Ilyas Saliba, Global Public Policy Institute
  • Ester Sigillò, University of Bologna
  • Francesco Strazzari, Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna


Morning lectures and hands-on sessions


Day 1

Lecture: Before fieldwork

Hands-on session:  How to prepare and use risk assessments

Day 2

Lecture: Ethical and safety dilemmas in challenging environments

Hands-on session: Mitigation strategies during fieldwork

Day 3

Lecture: Ethics and safety in the digital environment

Hands-on session: Communicating and sharing data safely and ethically

Day 4

Lecture: Secure data storage in different types of challenging environments

Hands-on sessions: Encryption strategies and services

Day 5

Lecture: Ethics and safety in restitution and dissemination

Hands-on sessions: Mitigation strategies after fieldwork



The Summer School will last 5 days, from the 20th to the 24th of June 2022. It will take place at the Department of Political and Social Sciences at the University of Bologna, in Italy.

If the Covid-19 pandemic makes it impossible to hold the Summer School face-to-face, the whole Summer School will occur online.



The Summer School is open to early career researchers (Master students, PhD students, Post-Doctoral Researchers). The Summer School adopts a pluralist view on methodology and methods. Despite it originating from reflections on ethics and safety in the framework of qualitative and ethnographic approaches to the study of politics, researchers who employ other methods and cover other topics in political and social sciences are also welcome to apply.



Before the start of the Summer School, students will be required to write and submit a 1000-2500 words paper highlighting the ethical and safety challenges related to their research project and envisaged fieldwork. The paper will be then presented and discussed during one of the afternoon sessions.

Students will also be required to complete the mandatory readings for morning lectures and actively participate in discussion during morning and afternoon sessions.

Successful participation in the Summer School will be accredited with a certificate of participation.

English will be the working language of the Summer School. Therefore students are expected to have a good command of written and spoken English.



Fees for the Summer School are 360 Euro and cover tuition costs, academic materials, lunches, welcome aperitivo & farewell dinner, and internet facilities.

Fees will not cover travel and accommodation costs.

Details of how to pay the fees will be emailed to all selected participants. Once paid, fees are not reimbursable with the following two exceptions:

If a confirmed participant cannot travel due to the Covid-19 pandemic, she/he/they will be able to participate online with a reduced fee of 250 Euro. However, this will be only possible in specific and certified circumstances that will be evaluated case by case. The difference between the full fee and the reduced fee will be hence reimbursed to students.

In case of the impossibility to hold the Summer School face-to-face due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the event will occur entirely online, and fees will be decreased to 100 Euro. The difference between the full fee and the reduced fee will be hence reimbursed to students.



Professor Alice Mattoni and Dr. Ester Sigillò, Department of Political and Social Sciences, University of Bologna.



Email contact for application, questions and clarifications about the Summer School:



The Summer School is supported by the Department of Political and Social Sciences at the University of Bologna

Photo Credits: Photo by Teemu Paananen on Unsplash