Document Actions

Application Procedure GCSC

The GCSC offers up to 6 doctoral scholarships and up to an additional 20 memberships per year. The PhD studies programme starts at the beginning of the winter semester (October) following the application.

We strongly recommend that applicants search and apply for alternative funding options parallel to their applications to the GCSC. International applicants can consider applying for a Research Grant for Doctoral Studies in Germany sponsored by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) or comparable funding institutions within their home countries.



The GCSC particularly welcomes applications for PhD scholarships from students who:

  • have completed their Master’s degree (or equivalent) in one of the disciplines represented at the GCSC with excellent marks
. Please note: If your main subject does not appear on the list of affiliated departments (for example, if you have a degree in Cultural Studies), you may still be eligible, provided your research project can contribute to the GCSC’s research profile;
  • are proposing a research project that contributes to one (or several) of the GCSC’s research areas and that you have not been worked on for more than one year (before the start of the scholarship);
  • are fluent in English or German, whereby knowledge of both languages is an advantage and should be acquired during the membership/scholarship period.


How to apply

The scholarships are awarded in a two-stage selection process.


First stage (Deadline: 01 February 2024)

The application process starts 15 November. Please fill in the necessary fields and upload the following documents:

  • a motivation letter of max. two pages in which you justify why you are applying;
  • a short abstract of your research project (about 500 words) with the preliminary working title and an overview of the methodology you will use;
  • a current curriculum vitae;
  • two letters of recommendation from university professors. Your two referees (whose names you have also mentioned in the online application form) can also send their letters of recommendation by e-mail to (until the deadline). Please use the DAAD template for your recommendation letters if you are applying for a GSSP-scholarship


2nd Stage (Deadline: 12 March 2024 )

We will notify you (by Februar 15) if you have been selected for the second stage. If so, you will be requested to submit further documents by @:

  • (uncertified) copies of school and university certificates;
  • a dissertation project proposal, that includes an overview of the current state of research pertaining to the topic, your main research questions and methodology as well as a selected bibliography. Please explain how your research project contributes to the GCSC’s research profile. Your proposal should not exceed 10 pages (excluding bibliography);
  • a detailed schedule describing the specific stages of your work over a period of three years, including information about possible field studies/stays outside Germany;
  • a digital copy of your M.A.-thesis.

If your M.A.-thesis was written in a language other than English or German, please upload your original thesis as well as a summary of about two pages written in English or German. This summary should provide information on the major research questions, the methods and models applied, as well as the results achieved. Additionally, we ask you to provide a translated version of the table of contents. Should you still be in the process of writing your thesis, please send us sample chapter and a table of contents.

You can submit your application in German or in English.

Selection procedure

Your entire application will be examined by two internal referees. After their evaluation, the Selection Committee of the GCSC will compile a shortlist. We will then notify you (by April 18) whether you will be invited to the digital 30-minute interviews on May, 2 and 3. In the interview, you may present your research in German or in English.

The selection of candidates will be determined by their academic qualifications, as well as by the quality of their research proposal and the suitability of the project to the GCSC research programme.

For further information, please also visit the Frequently Asked Questions page or contact us via .