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Application and Funding

Doctoral researchers of the GIGA Doctoral Programme are either self-funded or work in third-party funded projects at the GIGA while simultaneously pursuing their doctoral degree. External doctoral researchers who are not affiliated with the GIGA, can apply for a stay as a visiting doctoral researcher.

Doctoral researchers are offered:

  • full integration into the research structure of the GIGA, being member of one regional institute and one research programme

  • a comprehensive training programme including soft skills,

  • opportunities for academic exchanges and field work,

  • exposure to policy advice and knowledge transfer activities,

  • the possibility to apply for additional mobility grants (for field work, conferences, etc.).

Doctoral degrees will be awarded by one of our partner universities, dependent upon the affiliation of the doctoral researcher's first supervisor.


Application as a Doctoral Researcher

If you are interested to join the GIGA Doctoral Programme as a self-funded doctoral researcher, you are invited to apply to our yearly call for applications. The call is published in December of each year (see download to the right) with an application deadline until 1 February of the following year. The application process is completed in early April. The usual starting date is 1 October.

Applications need to include at least the following documents:

  • GIGA DP Application Form (see download to the right)

  • letter of motivation

  • research proposal of 2000 words max.

  • curriculum vitae

  • simple copies of degrees and academic transcripts (BA, Diploma, MA)

  • proof of English language skills

  • statement about intended funding for the duration of three years

  • academic writing sample.

Additional documents depend on the respective call for applications. Applicants should inform themselves about suitable funding opportunities before applying to the GIGA. The final admission to the programme is dependent upon the applicant’s ability to provide proof of funding.

In exceptional cases, for example when deadlines for scholarship applications do not match up with the deadline of our yearly call, candidates with a high GIGA fit may submit applications to the DP academic director between calls throughout the year. Please note that only complete applications will be considered.

Doctoral researchers working in third-party funded projects at the GIGA while simultaneously pursuing their doctoral degree become members of the GIGA Doctoral Programme during the year depending on the starting date of their position and enrollment at a university. If you are interested to join the GIGA Doctoral Programme as a doctoral researcher working in a third-party funded project, please regularly check the vacancies for open positions.

For further questions regarding the applications procedure, please see our FAQs. Should you have additional questions that are not answered in the FAQs, please address them to dpgiga@giga-hamburg.de.


Application as a Visiting Doctoral Researcher

Doctoral researchers with high-quality projects and close relation to the GIGA’s research agenda may apply for a position as a visiting doctoral researcher at the GIGA Doctoral Programme for a period between two and twelve months. These positions come with the following benefits:

  • full integration into the research structure of the GIGA and access to our research infrastructure

  • participation in regular research meetings

  • office space (computer and telephone)

  • (free) participation in the courses and other events offered at the GIGA.

To apply, please send the following application documents to Gabriele Tetzlaff:

  • motivation letter stating the main content of your project, illustrating how it would fit into the GIGA's research structure (please name one regional institute and one research programme where your research would fit) and how you would benefit from a stay at the GIGA (max. 2 pages)

  • CV

  • research proposal of max. 2,000 words

  • a reference letter of your supervisor supporting the stay at the GIGA

  • proof of enrolment as a doctoral researcher.

Please also indicate the start and end month of the period you would like to stay. Please note that there is high demand for these positions 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! For further questions, please have a look at our FAQs.


Funding

Our self-funded doctoral reseachers receive their funding from different sources, such as foundations and institutions that offer scholarships for doctoral reseachers. Please see below a list of respective funding possibilities (all information is subject to change). We encourage all prospective doctoral researchers to inform themselves about third party-funding opportunities before applying to the GIGA. The final admission to the programme is dependent upon the applicant’s ability to provide proof of funding.

External Funding

All information is subject to change.

Avicenna-Studienwerk

  • Website: German and English

  • Application Date: 1 April and 1 October

  • Requirements: Only for doctoral researchers of Muslim confession who obtained their general qualification for university entrance (Abitur) in Germany

Claussen Simon Stiftung

  • Website: German and English

  • The scholarship programme Dissertation Plus accompanies and supports mentoring relationships between doctoral researchers and their supervisors.

  • Application Date: All year

  • Requirements: The dissertation project has not yet started and the supervisor can imagine to participate

Cusanuswerk Bischöfliche Studienförderung

  • Website: German and English

  • Application date: 1 March and 1 September

  • Requirements: Only for German, EU-European, and resident non-EU-European doctoral researchers of Catholic confession

DAAD – German Academic Exchange Service

  • Website: German and English

  • The DAAD is Germany’s biggest sponsor of foreign doctoral researchers and German doctoral researchers abroad.

  • There are many programmes and scholarships with different requirements. You can find information on various different scholarships in their scholarship database.

Dr. Jost Henkel Stiftung

  • Website: German

  • Application Period: All year

  • Requirement: Demonstrated financial need

ELES - Ernst Ludwig Ehrlich Studienwerk

  • Website: German

  • Application Date: All year

  • Requirements: For German or EU-European doctoral researchers, or doctoral researchers with "Bildungsinländer" status as per BAföG §8

Evangelisches Studienwerk e.V. Villigst

  • Website: German and English

  • Application Date: 1 December and 1 June

  • Requirements: Only for doctoral researchers of Protestant confession (exceptions possible)

Friedrich Ebert Stiftung

  • Website: German, English and Spanish

  • Application Period: All year

  • Requirements: Excellent German language abilities. This foundation is close to the Social Democrat Party, and applicants should share their basic values.

FAZIT-Stiftung

  • Website: German only

  • Application Period: All year

  • Requirements: Financial distress

Friedrich Naumann Stiftung für die Freiheit

Website: German and English

  • Application Date: 31 May and 31 October

  • Requirements: Excellent German language abilities. This foundation is close to the Liberal Democratic Party, and applicants should share their basic values.

Hanns Seidel Stiftung

  • Website: German, English, Spanish and French

  • Application Date: 15 January and 15 July

  • Requirements: Maximum age of 32. This foundation is close to the Bavarian Christian Social Party, and applicants should share their basic values.

Hans Böckler Stiftung

  • Website: German and English

  • Application Period: all year

  • Requirements: This foundation is close to trade unions, and applicant’s involvement in a trade union or comparable societal organization is required.

Heinrich Böll Stiftung

  • Application Date: 1 March and 1 September

  • Requirements: Excellent German language abilities. This foundation is close to the Green Party, and applicants should share their basic values.

Katholischer Akademischer Ausländer-Dienst e. V. (KAAD)

  • Website: German and English

  • Application Period: All year

  • Requirements: For foreign doctoral researchers of Catholic confession with excellent German language abilities. All doctoral researchers must prove the relevance of their studies for their home country

Kölner Gymnasial- und Stiftungsfonds

  • Website: German

  • Application Date: 15 March and 15 September

  • Requirements: “Good” grades and maximum age of 30 (exceptions possible)

Konrad Adenauer Stiftung

  • Website: German, English, Spanish and French

  • Application Period: April - July

  • Requirements: Excellent German language abilities. This foundation is close to the Christian Democratic Party, and applicants should share their basic values.

Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung

  • Website: German and English

  • Application Date: 1 April and 1 October

  • Requirements: Excellent German language abilities, maximum age of 30. This foundation is close to the Left Party, and applicants should share their basic values.

Stiftung der Deutschen Wirtschaft

  • Website: German and English

  • Application Period: 2 January - 26 April

  • Requirements: Applicants must be under the age of 30 at the time of application.

Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes

  • Website: German and English

  • Application Period: All year

  • Requirements: Doctoral researchers cannot apply on their own, they have to be promoted by an institution or a professor.

ZEIT-Stiftung

  • Website: German and English

  • The scholarship programme Trajectories of Change (in cooperation with the Claussen Simon Stiftung) seeks to address historical and current transformation processes at Europe’s margins, each year focusing on a different topic.

  • Application Date: July

  • Requirements: above-average academic aptitude


Completion scholarships that are specifically aimed at doctoral researchers in the final phase of their dissertation process:

Universität Hamburg

  • Website: German and English

  • Application Period: April and October

  • Requirements: Applicants must have been employed at the UHH or another research institution in Hamburg for a maximum of four years after graduation.

FAZIT-Stiftung

  • Website: German

  • Application Period: All year

  • Requirements: Financial distress.