• Wenn Sie sich für eine Aufnahme in das GIGA Doktorandenprogramm interessieren, aber noch Fragen zum Ablauf des Bewerbungsverfahrens haben, ist die folgende Liste mit häufig gestellten Fragen Ihre erste Anlaufstelle. Sie finden hier Antworten auf allgemeine Fragen, spezifischere Details zu Fragen im Zusammenhang mit der Bewerbung als extern finanzierte:r Doktorand:in sowie Informationen zu Fragen rund um einen Aufenthalt als Gastdoktorand:in.

    Sollten Sie weitere Fragen haben, die in den FAQs nicht beantwortet werden, richten Sie diese bitte an dpgiga@giga-hamburg.de. Wir werden Ihnen so schnell wie möglich eine Antwort geben.

    General Questions

    1. How can I join the Doctoral Programme?

    You can join our programme either working in a third-party funded project at the GIGA or as a Doctoral Researcher receiving external funding. As an external Doctoral Researcher you are welcome to apply for a stay as a visiting Doctoral Researcher. Further details on the application procedures are provided here.

    2. Does the GIGA provide funding for doctoral researchers?

    No, the GIGA does not provide funding for Doctoral Researchers. Doctoral researchers who are working in a third-party funded project are financed by the respective project. If you want to join the programme as an externally funded Doctoral Researcher, you are expected to apply for external funding, for example from the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) or from other foundations (a list of foundations and institutions that offer scholarships is provided here).

    3. How do I know whether my research topic fits to the GIGA?

    It is crucial that your research proposal fits within the GIGA’s research agenda. Please familiarise yourself here with our research structure and the individual regional institutes and research programmes in order to assess how your research would integrate and contribute to our research agenda.

    4. Who is awarding the doctoral degree?

    As a non-university research institute, the GIGA cannot award the doctoral degree but cooperates closely with different universities. Doctoral degrees will be awarded by one of our partner universities, dependent upon the affiliation of the sdoctoral researcher’s first supervisor. This means, you will enroll at the university your first supervisor is affiliated with.

    Questions Related to Applying as an externally funded Doctoral Researcher

    1. I need an admission letter for my scholarship application – what should I do?

    We know that the foundations and institutions that offer scholarships often require an acceptance letter to process your application. Please note that the GIGA DP itself will not be able to provide you with such a letter before you have gone through the entire application process and the selection commission has recommended your admission to the programme. In your application to the GIGA, please indicate the name(s) of the institution(s) to which you have applied or will apply. If we were to admit you to our programme, we would give you a conditional acceptance letter that you can then use for your scholarship applications. The final admission to our programme is conditional upon your ability to provide proof of funding (e.g. a scholarship).

    2. What should I state in the part on information about funding plans in the application form?

    In this part you should shortly explain how you plan to finance your doctoral research in Germany over three to four years. This could be through a scholarship or another source of income. You should also state whether you have already applied to a foundation or even reached the second round in an application procedure; what are your alternatives if you do not get the scholarship; etc. Alternatives may include funding through private resources, which is, however, rather the exception.

    3. Do I need to contact a supervisor prior to my application?

    No, it is not a requirement to contact a potential supervisor, but you may do so. The most important aspect is that your research proposal fits into the GIGA’s research agenda. You are also welcome to have a look at the list of potential supervisors on our website to assess who you think would be a good fit to supervise your project. Supervisors will be allocated during the selection process related to the proposed topics and availabilities. In general, you need to have at least one supervisor at the GIGA. This means, if you already have an external supervisor it is still possible to apply to our programme given that your supervisor agrees to this endeavor and is open to co-supervise with one of the supervisors at the GIGA.

    4. Is the bibliography considered part of the max. 2000 words of the research proposal?

    The 2,000 words refer to the text only.

    5. What should I hand in as proof of English language skills?

    We are quite flexible regarding the proof of language skills. You can hand in an official language test (even if it is not a current one) or provide a letter from the administrative office of your university certifying that your study programme was taught in English. If you have any publications, term papers, thesis, etc. in English, they could also serve as a proof of English language skills. Please note that our programme language is English.

    6. What should I hand in as an academic writing sample?

    You can hand in e.g. an article that has been published in a scientific Journal, a term/seminar paper you have written at university, or a chapter of your MA thesis (please do not submit the whole thesis). The writing sample should preferably be in English.

    7. Can I apply even if I have not received my master degree yet?

    If you have not received your master degree yet you can still apply and hand in your transcript or records so far. If we were to admit you to our programme, the admission would then be made conditional upon your ability to provide proof of your master degree (certificate/transcript).

    8. Whom should I name as reference persons and what do they need to do?

    The reference persons should be persons that know you well and are willing to provide information about you (e.g. professors or lecturers from your university). You need to state the contact details of two such reference persons in your application. Please advise any referee that you do mention them in your application to the GIGA Doctoral Programme.

    Questions Related to Applying as a Visiting Doctoral Researcher

    1. How much in advance should I submit my application?

    There is a high demand for visiting stays as well as a very strict limit on the number of visiting doctoral researchers the GIGA can host at once. Please apply well in advance, at least six months before the start of the period of your prospective stay.

    2. Are there any funding possibilities for visiting doctoral researchers?

    No, we are unable to provide any financial assistance for the stays of visiting doctoral researchers. You need to acquire your own funding for the stay, for example, by applying for a scholarship or other funding opportunities for such purposes. Should we invite you for a stay as a visiting doctoral researcher, this invitation is thus subject to your securing of relevant funding from your home institution or third parties.

    3. Do I have a supervisor during my stay?

    No, visiting doctoral researchers are not allocated a GIGA supervisor for their thesis during their stay. However, they are fully integrated into the GIGA’s research structure, being affiliated with the Doctoral Programme, one of the regional institutes, and one research programme. Within these units, visiting doctoral researchers have plenty of opportunity to exchange with GIGA researchers at all career levels and present and discuss their research projects in respective research meetings.


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