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The virtual PhD Pre-defence of Nikoline Sauer

By PhD Student Nikoline Sauer.

On Tuesday 17 March, my PhD pre-defence was held in a virtual meeting room at Aarhus University. The dissertation seminar was originally planned as an open event at UrbNet, but given the physical closure of the university in order to take preventive measures against the spreading of COVID-19, it was decided to conduct it virtually instead. At the pre-defence, I was able to present my PhD project, which investigates the urban development of Archaic Rome with a point of departure at the Forum of Caesar. My work is part of the Danish-Italian research-based excavation project Caesar’s Forum Project, which is funded by the Carlsberg Foundation and Aarhus University Research Foundation.

Present at the online event was my supervisor and director of the Caesar’s Forum Project professor Rubina Raja, the two opponents Dr Gabriele Cifani (University of Rome Tor Vergata) and Dr Andrea Brock (University of St Andrews), assistant centre administrator Mie Lind and myself. Rubina Raja opened the pre-defence by welcoming everyone and then passed the word to me. I gave a 30-minute presentation about my PhD project and the results so far. Subsequently, the opponents by turn gave comments and asked questions to the presentation and written product, which had been provided to them a month before the pre-defence.

The circumstances considered, the pre-defence went well, and I am glad that we went through with it at the appointed date. It provided me with a lot of useful feedback from some of the best scholars within the field and initiated new ideas, which is applied in the dissertation at the time of writing.     

For more information about the PhD project:

For more information about the Caesar’s Forum Project: