Intellectual Themes Initiative

CEU has launched the University-wide Intellectual Themes Initiative (ITI) as part of a process to explore and develop a new institutional mission that would take into account the accelerating rate of change of the contemporary world and the overwhelming growth in available information about it. The University needs to educate students and conduct research on how to navigate through this complexity. The challenge ahead is to find the best way to integrate existing resources, use the wisdom of the disciplines and the strengths of separate units in an inspiring and productive academic enterprise. Therefore, the University is seeking to respond by initiating the University-wide Intellectual Themes Initiative and inviting its faculty members, student, administrative staff and external partners to propose joint ideas for tackling complex societal issues.

The University-wide Intellectual Themes Initiative is built around themes that serve as federative platforms encompassing a range of teaching and research activities across the University, as well as civic engagement and outreach initiatives. They have been formulated to address complex issues requiring new interdisciplinary or multi-disciplinary approaches to teaching and research.

For inquiries about the Intellectual Themes Initiate or University-wide Seminar series please write to


Promises made by wealthy countries to phase out coal power are too weak to slow climate change, according to a new paper by CEU researchers.

While the Bologna process and the establishment of the European Higher Education Area created conditions for university autonomy, steps to codify and protect academic freedom have been neglected, panelists said in a university-wide seminar. The seminar, entitled "University Autonomy and Academic Freedom in Europe: Diverging Paths," is part of a series sponsored by CEU’s Intellectual Themes Initiative.

INTELLECTUAL THEMES INITIATIVE Call for Proposals Academic Year 2018/19

CEU academic staff members are invited to submit project proposals for new teaching, research, or civic engagement activities under the Intellectual Themes Initiative (ITI). At the suggestion of the Strategic Development Committee, ITI also serves as a privileged vehicle for developing and offering University-wide Courses (UWC). Starting with this call, we are introducing a separate application form for University-wide Courses.

As part of the Intellectual Themes Initiative, CEU offers four new joint PhD positions this year. The new doctoral programs are interdepartmental: the admitted students are expected to take courses from both participating units and conduct research at the crossroads of those disciplines.

1. Topic: Multilayer Structure of Economic-Financial Transactions

Tackling complex societal issues in the modern world is often best done through a multidisciplinary approach. In order to use the most up-to-date resources and to help coax academics out of their disciplinary silos, CEU kicked off the Intellectual Themes Initiative (ITI) in 2015. ITI involves a number of programs including University-wide courses that combine the expertise of academics from different fields. New courses are offered each semester and are open to all CEU students.