Service for Students

How to write a Scientific Paper

Letters of Recommendation

Writing a strong letter of recommendation requires serious work and great care. Generally, these letters ask how long a referee has known a student, in what capacity, and how the referee ranks the student relative to peers. The better the information I receive the stronger the letter will be.

If you are considering me for a reference letter, please make sure that:

  • I am familiar with you and your work: either you attended at least one of my seminars, or you work as a student assistant at my chair, or I will be/was supervisor of your BA- or MA thesis.
  • I am able to recommend you, i.e. that you excelled in my class(es), etc.
  • I have at least 4 weeks of lead time for writing the letter
  • I understand your qualifications for the position that you are applying to

If I agree to write you a letter, please provide me with the following information in hard copy or pdf:

  1. All relevant information about your application: first and foremost  the deadline for the letter!,  the submission procedure (electronic or by mail, address, form or free style letter, etc), your cover letter, personal statements, …
  2. All relevant information about your work under my supervision: seminars, thesis, etc.
  3. All relevant information about the position/program you are applying to:  e.g. job or program description, scholarship type, …
  4. Your CV.
  5. Your current transcripts, GPAs, etc.
  6. All forms required, please fill out as much information as possible on online and/or hard copy forms.

Please direct requests and (after agreement) the materials to my personal email address ( AND to my secretary ( Karin will take care of deadlines and administration.

I look forward to your information about the results. I am genuinely interested in the outcome.


BA/MA Thesis

At the Chair of International Relations and Conflict Management, you can write your BA or MA thesis with Professor Holzinger, Dr. Malang or Dr. Beiser-McGrath. We do not present you with a fixed list of topics for your thesis. We are particularly interested in proposals for BA and MA thesis topics that are closely related to the research projects currently underway at the chair. Please consult our personal websites, research and publications, to figure out what we are doing and what we have done in the past. If any of the projects interests you, please get in touch with us. We are also open for additional research questions about which you care intensively; however, these should belong to the realm of international relations and the European Union.

The typical supervision starts with a discussion about your scientific interests and potential topics at the office hours of the respective supervisor. If we agree to serve as your first supervisor, you are required to attend the Colloquium of Professor Holzinger. Please start this process sufficiently early to allow successful completion of the thesis at your planned date.

-         I recommend BA students who want to submit the thesis at the end of a given the summer/winter term to attend the Colloquium in the same semester and to start the process in the semester (or break) before.

-         I recommend MA students who want to submit the thesis at the end of a given summer/winter term to attend the Colloquium one semester before and to start the process during this Colloquium.

To complete the Colloquium students are required to submit a research proposal of about 3-5 pages at the BA and 5-10 pages at the MA level to the supervisor at least two weeks before they register their projects at the responsible exam office (or before they present in Colloquium).

All formal and substantial requirements for the proposal and the thesis are discussed in the Colloquium. The research design is developed in close cooperation with the supervisor during the office hours. You can employ any kind of testing strategy as long as the methods you choose are adequate for your scientific inquiry. We will also support you in finding an adequate second reviewer.

We look forward to experiencing an intensive and successful supervision period with you!

Student Assistants

How to apply

I regularly hire undergraduates and graduate students (BA) to work on various research projects. In most cases, these positions are advertised via the departments email distribution lists. Students holding a Masters degree will only be hired for particularly demanding tasks.

However, if you are interested in a research opportunity at my chair you may apply without such an announcement. Please consult the research area of my website to learn about current projects. If you are interested in working on one of my research projects, please email me the application (as a pdf file named Yourlastname_Month_Year) with the following information:

  • a statement of interest, including a description of relevant work experiences, esp. research assistance
  • a CV, including information on your software skills, such as office packages, statistical programs, programming skills, and content management solutions
  • a transcript of courses that you have completed in political science, international relations, research methods, or statistics
  • an indication of how many hours you would be available to work during a semester and for how long

Students typically go through a training period, then work on their own and give regular reports on their progress. They work either with postdocs and/or doctoral students on a particular research task, or as a personal assistant to me or one of the postdocs. The latter may include literature search, bibliographic work, preparing classes, editorial work. The former my include data collecting, coding and data analysis.

If desired, students will receive an “Arbeitszeugnis” after termination of their contract.




Working Scientifically

The Department of Politics and Public Administration offers students comprehensive support in working scientifically. Further information can be accessed here.