Tuesday, October 25, 2011

BIGSSS PhD Scholarship in Social Science, Germany


The Bremen International Graduate School of Social Sciences (BIGSSS) invites applications to its Ph.D. program. The program will commence on September 1st, 2012. Successful applicants for the Ph.D. and Post-doc fellowships will pursue a topic in one of BIGSSS’ five Thematic Fields. All fellows are expected to choose Bremen as their place of residence. In each of BIGSSS‘five Thematic Fields “The Future of Social and Political Integration“ is being examined from a particular perspective. The Thematic Fields are:

Thematic Field 1:Global Integration
Thematic Field 2:Integration and Diversity in the New Europe
Thematic Field 3:Social Integration and the Welfare State
Thematic Field 4:Attitude Formation, Value Change and Intercultural Communication
Thematic Field 5:Life-Course and Lifespan Dynamics

Financial Support:

BIGSSS offers 15 Ph.D. stipends of 1250 Euros/month for 36 months, contingent on successful completion of each year. To support its Ph.D. fellows in achieving early scientific independence, it also provides funds for conducting, presenting and publishing research. There is no separate funding application, because all admitted applicants receive a stipend.

Admission Requirements:

  • An excellent MA degree (or national equivalents like the German "Diplom" or "Magister") in a discipline pertinent to at least one of BIGSSS' five Thematic fields (see above), i.e. inPolitical Science (including related degree programs in European Studies or International Relations), Sociology, Psychology, Law, Economics or Mass Communication. The degree must be completed by the end of July of the year of application, which means you may apply before having finished your MA degree.
  • English proficiency as described in the application materials section below.
  • Additionally BIGSSS offers 2 Preparatory Fellowships to particularly talented BA Graduates. Please refer to Preparatory Fellowships to find out more about the program.

Application Materials - Ph.D. Fellowship

1. Personal information and statements

Including the following documents:

1.1 Personal Information Form

Please fill in our Personal Information Form.

1.2 Curriculum Vitae

This should include information on your educational and work history, publications, language abilities and extracurricular interests.

1.3 Statement of Purpose

This should provide a clear picture of your academic and professional interests, background, and career plans. It should also describe how your interests fit in with the BIGSSS Ph.D. program. It is very welcome if you can indicate a particular BIGSSS Faculty member as potential supervisor.

1.4 Statement of Skills and Experience with Methods of Empirical Social Research

Please provide information on your knowledge of research methods (including methods courses taken) (of approx. one page in total). Applicants from disciplines with little or no standard methods training should provide other pertinent information on relevant research skills.

2. Preliminary Dissertation Proposal

We do not expect you to have an ultimate version of your dissertation proposal upon application. Nonetheless, we ask for a well-developed version of your preliminary dissertation proposal. It should be written in English, encompass between 5 and 15 double-spaced pages and include the following elements:
a) Summary
b) State of research (highlighting theoretical and empirical debates on your topic and deficits in the literature that your project would address)
c) Your research experience/competence in the field
d) Objectives, methods and work plan (be very specific about the methods used and the stages of the work plan)
e) Bibliography

Please note: by submitting your application, you consent to have your dissertation proposal checked for plagiarism

3. Certificates

3.1 MA/BA/Diplom/Magister certificates

Please provide a pdf-document of each degree certificate earned. If you have not yet finished your MA degree, let us know when you expect to finish (notification by the end of July at the latest) and, if admitted, send the degree certificate then. If you are shortlisted we will ask you to bring a notarized (or officially certified) photocopy of each degree certificate earned. If a transcript is not issued in English or German, please provide an officially certified German or English translation.

3.2 Certification of English Proficiency

Proof of C1-level English language skills or the equivalent. For TOEFL scores, upload a copy of your personal score report – do not use the institutional code. Equivalent IELTS and CAE scores are also accepted. All scores must be officially reported and no more than 2 years old.

TOEFL: paper-based 600, computer-based 250, internet-based 100
IELTS: Band 7.5
Cambridge Certificate: pass CAE

Exempt from the English proficiency requirement are applicants who are native speakers of English or who have received either their Hochschulzugangsberechtigung (e.g. passed their A-levels) or earned a higher-educational degree at an institution where the language of instruction is English.

No previous knowledge of German is required.

3.3 University Grade Transcripts

Please provide a pdf-document of your official grade transcripts (for courses attended in Germany: Kopien aller Leistungsnachweise). If work is in progress, you should submit a supplementary transcript at the end of the term. If a transcript is not issued in English or German, provide a certified German or English translation.

If you are shortlisted, please keep in mind that we will ask you to bring a notarized (or officially certified) photocopy.

3.4 Two Recent Letters of Recommendation

Request these from persons qualified to evaluate your academic and professional qualifications, familiar with your academic achievement and in a position to assess your potential for success in BIGSSS. At least one of these letters must be from a professor who has instructed you. Like all other application documents, the recommendations must arrive at BIGSSS by the application deadline.

Please make sure that the referees themselves submit the letters of recommendation and that they include their signature in the scanned in document. Referees should send their letters of recommendation directly to BIGSSS to:

Dean of Bremen International Graduate School of Social Sciences (BIGSSS)

Postfach 33 04 40

D – 28334 Bremen


or by e-mail phd-app(_a_)

Contact detail

Admissions Officer

Do you have questions regarding the admissions process?
The quickest way to get an answer is to consult our Frequently Asked Questions.

If you do not find the answer there, please contact our Admissions Officer:

telephone: +49 (0)421 200 3956

Please quote on your application when applying for this scholarship

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Scholarship Team: Ph.D Scholar Krisstofferson Joniel Scholarship Adviser, PhD Scholar Vitom Chea Scholarship Adviser, PhD Scholar Rebecca T. Dalisay Scholarship Adviser, Ph.D Student Jiao Wang Scholarship Coordinator, MSc Student Dennise Maricel Scholarship Coordinator
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Scholarship Team: Ph.D Scholar Krisstofferson Joniel Scholarship Adviser, PhD Scholar Chea Vitom Scholarship Adviser and Senior Lecturer, PhD Scholar Rebecca T. Dalisay Scholarship Adviser, Ph.D Student Jiao Wang Scholarship Coordinator, MSc Student Dennise Maricel Scholarship Coordinator