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Application Procedure

The GCSC offers up to 6 doctoral scholarships and additional up to 20 memberships per year.
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 comparabel funding institutions within their home countries.
Scholarships and memberships are granted for one year with the possibility of two extensions of one year each. Doctoral scholarships include a monthly stipend of € 1468. All doctoral members have the opportunity to apply for travel grants as well as for funding for research events.
PhD candidates seeking an excellent research environment will find ideal working conditions and maximum support at the GCSC and will have access to all the advantages offered by the GCSC to its members.


The GCSC particularly welcomes applications for PhD scholarships from students who

  • graduated with excellent marks from two-year research-track master's programmes in one of the GCSC’s academic subjects or in cultural studies no longer than two years ago
    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 for membership of the GCSC, 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 they have not worked on for more than one year
  • are fluent in English or German, knowledge of both is an advantage and should be acquired during the scholarship period.

Acceptance of a scholarship requires participation in the study and research programme and the wide-ranging events offered by the GCSC, as well as active involvement in the relevant GCSC graduate research groups. Appointees of doctoral scholarships are also expected to contribute to one of the GCSC’s research areas and to initiate coordinate and document collaborative research projects, such as conferences or publications.

Scholarship holders and members must be registered as PhD students at Justus Liebig University and are expected to take up residence in or near Giessen. PhD supervisors from among the GCSC faculty may be chosen by the applicants before or soon after their admission. There are no tuition fees for doctoral researchers at JLU, except for an enrollment fee of approximately € 300 per semester.

How to apply

In the following, we will provide you with some information on our two-stage application process for doctoral scholarships. You may write your application in English or German. Should you have any further question, please see our Frequently Asked Questions section. You are also welcome to contact our team at any time at

First Stage

  • a 1-2 page cover letter, explaining your motives for applying at the GCSC;
  • a short abstract of your research project (approx. 500 words), including the title of your project and a brief outline of the methodology you will use;
  • a curriculum vitae.
  • two letters of recommendation provided by university professors.
Your two referees (who you will already have specified in your online application) can also send us their letters of recommendation directly, preferably by email to Once we've received both reference letters, they will be uploaded to the application file, which then is ready to be submitted. The application cannot be submitted if reference letters are missing.

2nd Stage

We will notify you by February 17  if you have been selected for the second stage. If so you will be requested to submit further documents via the application platform untill March 16:
  • Copies of your school and university diplomas
  • 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 make clear the extend to which 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
  • 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 would ask you to provide a translated version of the table of contents.

Should you still be in the process of writing your thesis: please see our FAQ section


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 notify you by April 15 whether you will be invited to an interview for one of the GCSC scholarships as well as memberships. These interviews will take place at the GCSC on May 3 and 4. If you are called for an interview, you may present your research in either language.

We hope that you find this information helpful for preparing your application. Should you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact our team at

We look forward to receiving your application!

Selection Process

On the basis of the applications, the distribution of places will be decided by the Selection Committee.

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. Short-listed candidates will be invited to a 30-minute interview at the GCSC.