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Scholarship Advice

For all its predoctoral members, the GCSC provides specialist scholarship advice, helping to secure funding for living expenses.

The scholarship advice includes information about possible sponsors and their application deadlines, and advice as how to write your research proposal. The basics are detailed below.

For further information please send an email to .

Types of Funding

The German Begabtenförderungswerke (fellowship funds) and various other foundations and institutions offer PhD funding. These are all listed in the funding database ELFI at The GGK has a subscription to the ELFI database that allows us to offer our students free access.

The DAAD has also put together information on funding sources especially for foreign doctoral students. This includes grants offered by the DAAD and other organisations for foreign students wishing to study or do research in Germany. You can search by field, country of origin and educational level (postgraduate or postdoctoral). The Justus-Liebig University also provides some information on PhD funding. The GCSC's reference library provides guidebooks with hints and advice for funding applications and can be found in the secretary's office.

What should my proposal look like?

The proposal should do the following:
  1. give a general formulation of the topic and aims of the thesis
  2. position the research project within the wider research context
  3. outline the theoretical and methodological approach to be taken
  4. explain the relevance of the research project
  5. include a bibliography of relevant literature
  6. give a brief description of your planned schedule for each main step of the dissertation, including when you plan to submit and defend your thesis


A good exposee should follow the following five academic guidelines:

  • Objective: Define what it is you would like to know. Furthermore, clarify why certain aspects of your research are of special interest. Answer the questions you would like to obtain through your research.
  • Methods: Describe how you would like to proceed. Also explain how you are going to use prescribed methods of your discipline and why these methods are especially helpful for your dissertation project.
  • Theories and Terms: Clarify what principles you’re orienting yourself by. On which general statements from select representatives of your discipline would you like to base your thoughts? When possible, apply current terminology to your explanation.
  • Materials/Objects: Describe what material you’ll be analyzing and depicting. Briefly present the texts, dates or sources and clarify why these materials are relevant to your work. Are these sources easily accesed, or do you foresee archival research as a means to reach certain sources?
  • Hypothesis: Explain what you hope to find out. Are there already hunches in the research or do you already have presumptions with which you would like to support your work?

Sources: Andrea Franck/ Stefanie Haacke/ Swantje Lahm, Schreibkompetenzen in Studium und Beruf. Stuttgart: Metzler 2007. S. 24-31.