EU3D student grant

The international research project EU3D is looking for students who are interested in writing an MA thesis on a theme related to the increasingly differentiated European political order. 

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What are the democratic potentials and the dominance pitfalls of differentiation in today’s EU? EU Differentiation, Dominance and Democracy (EU3D) provides important knowledge of the conditions under which EU reforms may fail or succeed by analysing:

  • The EU system of economic governance
  • Asylum and immigration policy
  • Citizens’ perceptions of EU governance
  • Media and parliamentary debates
  • Regional and municipal actors
  • Future of Europe reform proposals
  • EU-UK relations post-Brexit
  • EU compared to other federations and regional organisations
  • EU’s affiliations with non-members
  • EU’s relations with applicant states

EU3D has ten European partner institutions and is coordinated by John Erik Fossum at ARENA. Students will be supervised by one of ARENA’s researchers affiliated to the project, most notably:


  • Prior enrolment in an MA programme and meet the academic progress requirements of that programme
  • Write an MA thesis in English on a project-related topic
  • Supervisor (or co-supervisor) from ARENA
  • Submit the thesis during the spring term 2022


We are particularly interested in MA theses addressing one of the below four topics. The choice of cases and method will be done in cooperation with the EU3D supervisor.

1. Norway and Brexit

EU3D invites applications for a master’s thesis that focuses on the possible effects of Brexit on Norway. Studies could focus on whether Brexit has set in motion forces to alter Norway’s EU relationship, and how significant these may be now that the EU–UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement has been signed (even if there are numerous outstanding issues that need to be settled). Or studies could compare and contrast Norway’s debate on Brexit with that of one or several EU member states (such as for instance Sweden and/or Denmark). Or studies could compare and contrast the Norwegian government’s handling of Brexit with that of one or several EU member states (such as for instance Sweden and/or Denmark).

2. The role of parliaments in fostering democratic reforms

EU3D invites applications for a master’s thesis that focuses on how parliaments debate and formulate proposals for democratic reforms. Studies could either compare countries; or focus on the European Parliament; or focus on specific issues such as the system of Eurozone governance, EU immigration and asylum policy, or more general underlying constitutional-democratic visions of the EU. The thesis could concentrate on parliamentary debates and/or documents from the European Parliament or from selected national parliaments.

3. The debate on the future of Europe

The EU has decided to set up a Conference on the Future of Europe to debate what kind of reforms the EU needs to embark on to be able to grapple with the many challenges that Europe currently confronts. The corona pandemic has if anything made the question of reforms even more pressing. EU3D invites a master’s thesis that contributes to the process of analyzing EU debates and reform proposals. EU3D builds a database on proposals, and selects proposals from government officials; institutions; civil society organizations on a wide range of topics including gender equality, environmental sustainability, Euroscepticism and populism; and from a select number of public intellectuals. These may be in EU-member states or in affiliated non-member states such as Norway. Masters theses may select any one or several of these categories for study.

4. Public opinion towards differentiation in the EU  

Public opinion is becoming increasingly relevant for the process of European integration. At EU3D, we investigate how citizens across Europe conceive of and evaluate different forms of differentiated integration and possible EU reforms. We therefore invite applications to address any aspect of public opinion towards differentiation in the EU. Here are some questions that could guide potential theses on this topic. Is there public support for differentiation in the EU? Under what conditions, and/or among which groups, does this support increase or decrease? How have all this been evolving over time?

How to apply

The application should include:

Letter of motivation, indicating which topic you wish to address – and briefly why and how (1-2 pages)

CV, including information on current studies and references

Copies of transcripts from BA and MA

A sample of your written work, such as a seminar paper or bachelor thesis 

Submit the application by email to EU3D Project Manager Geir Kværk.

Application deadline:
1 June 2021

Evaluation and selection criteria

We wish to attract students holding high academic standards. We will give preference to applicants with a combination of: good grades, a convincing letter of motivation, and proficiency in English writing.

Rights and duties

The following duties will apply to you as a student:

  • Finish your MA thesis within the outlined time frame
  • Contribute to relevant ARENA and EU3D activities during your time at ARENA, including ARENA’s regular Tuesday Seminars
  • Have an ARENA researcher as supervisor

Your rights as an EU3D student at ARENA are:

  • Supervision by a researcher from the EU3D team at ARENA
  • Grant of NOK 20,000
  • Publication of your MA thesis in the ARENA and/or EU3D report series (subject to an assessment by the EU3D Coordinator and ARENA Director).


  • For any questions related to the research topics, please contact EU3D Coordinator John Erik Fossum: / 22 85 88 81
  • For other questions, please contact EU3D Project Manager Geir Kværk: / 99 51 37 91
Tags: Student grant
Published May 9, 2019 10:24 AM - Last modified May 5, 2021 10:39 AM