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

Selection process

1. Once we have received the complete application PDF via email, we will send an acknowledgement to the email address the applicant indicated at the time of registration.

2. BIGS-DR staff members screen applications for academic qualification, recommendations, and the quality of your research proposal. Applications will be informed via email of the completion of their application. A shortlist of candidates is then compiled. Some of the shortlisted candidates are interviewed at ZEF, or alternatively, via phone or internet.

3. All Graduate Research Statements of shortlisted candidates will be checked for citation and potential plagiarism.

4. The Selection Committee, consisting of three ZEF directors and delegates from DAAD, will decide upon the DAAD scholarships.

5. Qualified candidates who cannot be offered a scholarship will be put on a waiting list and/or receive a conditional letter of acceptance to assist them in seeking financial assistance at another institution/foundation.

6. Candidates on the waiting list may be accepted in the case an already-accepted candidate fails to join the program.

Additional information

  • The application PDF and any other accompanying documents will remain at BIGS-DR at all times. Personal data is stored in a BIGS-DR application database only for the time required to register applications and scholarships in compliance with the German Federal Data Protection Act.
  • Applications of unsuccessful candidates will be destroyed after one year. Incomplete applications will not be considered.
  • When you apply to BIGS-DR, no prior contact with a faculty, BIGS-DR staff members or institute is necessary. Once you are admitted to the program, BIGS-DR will assist you in finding the right supervisor.


Plagiarism is the use of someone else's (or even your own) work or ideas without acknowledment. Plagiarism can be intentional or unintentional. This type of behavior is intellectually dishonest and violates the ethics of academic professionalism.

In order to prevent plagiarism in the selection and admission process, short-listed candidates are obliged to submit a softcopy of their research plan for us to perform a plagiarism check.

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)