BIGS-DR coordination team

Dr. Günther Manske
Ms. Maike Retat-Amin

Email: docp.zef(at)


Genscherallee 3
53113 Bonn

Tel. +49 (0)228 73 1792

Fax +49 (0)228 73 1839

How to apply

Step 1: Online registration (currently closed)

Prospective applicants must first register online. After you have completed your online registration, you will receive a confirmation email containing your personal registration number and further information for your application. Your personal registration number is important for the application process. Please use your personal registration number in any correspondences with us.

Step 2: Prepare your application for submission

The required documents should be assembled in the correct order and emailed to BIGS-DR. The entire process is digital. We do not accept hardcopies of documents mailed to us. Please check the deadlines for your respective scholarships.

Assembly instructions

All application documents have to be submitted in English. Depending on your choice of funding, different application documents and procedures may be required.

  • Assemble all application documents into one PDF (maximum size: 20 MB) and in the correct order as listed below
  • The PDF file should be named as such: [your registration number]_[your first and last name] (e.g. "123_John Doe")
  • The PDF file should not be password protected
  • Send your PDF in one single email to docp.zef(at)
  • For help merging the documents in the given order and compressing your documents, please see the following guides: a PDFMerge application and a wiki how-to-guide on reducing PDF file sizes

Only completed applications can be considered. Applications that do not meet the requirements will not be accepted. If you have questions regarding the documents, please contact the doctoral program: docp.zef(at)

Application documents (in order)

1. Checklist (click here to download)

2. Motivation letter (1 page)

If you are applying for an external scholarship, information about the foundation or sponsor for which you have already applied, or contact that you have made, should be included here. Any deadlines by the foundation should be provided here as well.

3. BIGS-DR admissions application (click here to download)

4. Funding/scholarship

If you are applying for our internal scholarship (EPOS/DAAD), please make sure you meet the requirements and attach the DAAD form (click here to download).

If you are applying with external funding, please make sure that you include the necessary documents and information.

5. CV

6. Graduate Research Statement (max. 4 pages) (click here to download our guideline)

7. Master's or diploma abstract (1 page)

8. Academic certificates with transcripts, copy (starting with the most recent degree on top)

All copies must be accompanied by a German or English translation (does not need to notarized). Original certificates and certified translations are only needed upon your arrival at BIGS-DR.

Students in the final semester of their master's study are also eligible to apply. In this case, you can submit your degree certificate later. However, we will need transcripts of your study or at least a written proof of the grades of your master's study. Otherwise, we recommend that you submit the application one year later.

9. Language proficiency (see our application guide)

10. Statement from current employer

If employed, we require a statement from your current employer. It will be helpful in your application for a scholarship if your employer is interested in having you pursue this doctoral study and is willing to grant you leave of absence for this purpose.

11. GRE or GMAT (optional)

A successful GRE or GMAT score demonstrates quantitative and analytical aptitude, and may increase your chances of admittance.

12. List of publications (optional)

13. Two letters of recommendation (click here to download BIGS-DR reference forms)

We require either two letters of recommendation or two BIGS-DR reference forms from your professors or supervisors. These must be emailed to us directly by your referee (i.e. separate from your application PDF file). Recommendation letters should be submitted by the application deadline.

Is my application complete?

We confirm the reception of all application documents. If you have not heard from us within two weeks, please inform us immediately. We are not responsible for any application lost due to technical problems.

Please contact the doctoral program management team in case you have any questions not answered on this page: docp.zef(at)