PhD and Postdoctoral Scholarships in Cultural Studies, Germany

Deadline: 1 March 2011
Open to: holders of MA (PhD for postdoc) in the arts/humanities, cultural studies, or social sciences
Scholarship: for PhD: €1.100/month; for Postdoctoral Studies: €1.500/month

Giessen University’s International Graduate Centre for the Study of Culture (GCSC), funded by the German federal government’s Excellence Initiative, offers a three-year structured PhD-programme in the study of culture. With its excellent research environment, a doctoral programme which is tailored to the needs of PhD students and the intensive personal support it provides, the Graduate Centre offers postgraduate students optimum conditions for their PhD-projects and a custom-made preparation for the time thereafter, both with regard to academic and non-academic careers.

From 01st October 2011, the GCSC offers up to 9 PhD scholarships and 1 postdoctoral scholarship.

PhD scholarships include a monthly stipend of approximately €1.100 and are offered for one year with the possibility of two extensions, each of a year. The postdoctoral scholarship, with a monthly stipend of about €1.500, is limited to two years. All scholarships start on 01st October, 2011. Acceptance of a scholarship requires participation in the study programme and the wide-ranging events offered by the GCSC, as well as active involvement in at least one GCSC graduate research group. PhD scholarship holders must register as PhD students at Justus Liebig University. There are no tuition fees for doctoral students at JLU, except for an enrolment fee of approximately €200 per semester. All scholarship holders are expected to take up residency in or near Giessen.


GCSC invites applications contributing to the study of culture in various historical contexts as well as those analyzing contemporary phenomena The GCSC encourages applications from graduate students who have or expect to obtain a first or upper second class honours M.A.-degree (or equivalent) in one of the GCSC’s academic subjects or in the arts/humanities, cultural studies, or social sciences. Candidates applying for a post-doctoral scholarship should hold a PhD in the arts/humanities, cultural studies, or social sciences, have an excellent academic record, and pursue a research project relevant to the GCSC’s research areas. Fluency in either English or German is required.

Application Process

The main selection criteria are the candidates’ academic qualification, the academic quality of the research proposal and the suitability of the project for the GCSC’s research programme. Short-listed candidates will be invited to a 30-minute interview; telephone interviews can be arranged for candidates from overseas.

The application deadline is March 1st, 2011 (date of receipt). All applications (including an application form and further documents as stated on the GCSC-website) have to be submitted online.  The application procedure has two stages:

1st Stage

To apply for GCSC-scholarships, you will first be asked to fill in and submit our online application form [Doctoral, Post-Doc] and to upload the following documents by March 1st, 2011:

* 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.

Please compile one single PDF-document containing all of the above documents (1-2 pp. cover letter, abstract, and CV). This document should then be labeled according to the following format: Lastname_Firstname.pdf. Once you have created the PDF-file, please fill in our online application form [Doctoral, Post-Doc]. You can then upload your PDF-file as a part of the online form and submit your application by pressing the “Submit” button. You will receive an email confirming the submission of your application. Should you not receive this email, please check your spam filter before resending your application form.

In addition, two letters of recommendation provided by university professors are required. Please make sure that these references reach the GCSC by March 1st, 2011. References should be posted to the following address:
Director Prof. Dr. Ansgar Nünning
International Graduate Centre for the Study of Culture
Fellowships 2011
Alter Steinbacher Weg 38
35394 Giessen

Your two referees (who you will already have specified in your online application) can also send their letters of recommendation directly, or email them to

2nd Stage

In the 2nd stage, GCSC will notify you of the success of your application by March 17th. Should you have been selected for the second stage of the application process, you will be requested to submit further documents supporting your application: For this second stage you will be asked to submit the following documents in print (unstapled) in duplicate to the Director of the GCSC (see address above) by April 8th (date of receipt). Please do not submit any original documents or certificates. Only copies are required:

* Copies of your school and university transcripts
* A project proposal including a short summary, an overview of the research conducted so far, your topic and methodology as well as a selected bibliography. In your proposal, you should explain the connection of your research project to the GCSC’s research profile. Information on our research profile can be obtained from the website. Proposals of candidates applying for doctoral scholarships should not exceed 10 pages; if you are applying for a postdoctoral scholarship, please submit no more than 20 pages.
* A detailed schedule describing the specific stages of your work over a period of three years (doctoral scholarship), or two years (postdoctoral scholarship).
* Doctoral students should submit one copy of their M.A.-thesis. Postdoctoral applicants are expected to provide a copy of their dissertation as well as further publications supporting their application, if available (printouts are sufficient in all cases).

If you have any questions concerning your application, please contact

The official webpage.

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