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Predoctoral Programme for the Study of Culture

The GCSC supports excellent students who have entered the final phase before their MA or teacher training degree and who want to pursue a Ph.D. in the study of culture. Select courses of the GCSC core curriculum, as well as workshops and events designed specifically for this stage of your academic career will help you master the transition into the Ph.D. phase.


The Predoctoral Programme for the Study of Culture is a joint support programme offered by the International Graduate Centre for the Study of Culture (GCSC) and the faculties 03, 04 and 05 at Justus Liebig University Giessen (JLU), which aims to accompany students from cultural fields of study in preparing for the contentual and organisational challenges of a Ph.D.

It was originally initiated and conducted in cooperation with the deanships of faculties 03, 04 and 05 as well as the student initiative IGNIS, initially with the name Predoctoral Programme for Cultural Studies.

Target Audience

The programme is directed at excellent students in MA programmes and the advanced stages of a teacher training degree at faculties 03, 04 and 05, as well as external students pursuing comparable degrees at other universities. The main goal is to support these students by already offering an orientation regarding doctoral studies prior to graduation.


In cooperation with the faculties involved, the GCSC offers a series of events specifically tailored for the needs of the students who show promise for pursuing a Ph.D., such as 'Introduction to the study of culture', 'The academic application' or 'How to develop a research question'. Please notice that the courses of the Preodoctoral Programme are only offered in German.

Further, selected events from the GCSC curriculum are opened up to pre-docs.

Through intensive contact with Ph.D students as part of a 'buddy programme' students can profit from individual experiences with a doctorate at a graduate center.


You are interested in pursuing a Ph.D in the Study of Culture and want to prepare for this goal with other like-minded individuals, in a research-intensive environment? Then we warmly encourage you to apply for the Predoctoral Programme for the Study of Culture. Please send your application – including the following documents – to by 28 April 2019.

  • Letter of motivation (2 pages max.)
  • Brief curriculum vitae (2 pages max.)
  • Project proposal (2 pages max.)
  • Transcript of Records

In the project proposal, please outline preliminary dissertation ideas (including research question/topic, hypothesis, theories, methods, primary and secondary literature).

Please also provide a trusted lecturer as reference in your application documents, to whom we can refer with any questions we may have.


International Graduate Centre for the Study of Culture (GCSC)

-Predoctoral Programme-

Alter Steinbacher Weg 38
35394 Giessen

Phone: +49 (0) 641 / 99-30 041



The Idea behind the Predoctoral Programme for the Study of Culture

The Predoctoral Programme for the Study of Culture aims to bridge a gap within the support services in German higher education: It enables students to already begin a possible Ph.D project during their MA studies. Thus, students are acquainted with methodological and organisational questions with regard to doctoral studies and receive the opportunity to profit from the knowledge of Ph.D students through intensive contact. Due to the involvement of the GCSC in the programme, participants are also given the chance to gain insight into the inner workings of an internationally distinguished graduate centre. In addition to targeted preparation of a Ph.D, the programme generally aims to support hardworking students who want to get more involved in scientific research.

Participation is free.