Selection and admission


The selection of our doctoral students is carried out on a competitive basis. The selection process includes the following steps:

  1. Once we have received your complete application package, we will send you an acknowledgment to the e-mail address you indicated at the time of registration.

  2. BIGS-DR staff members screen applications for academic qualification, recommendations, and quality of research proposal. A shortlist of candidates is then compiled. Some of the shortlisted candidates are interviewed at ZEF or, alternatively, via telephone or internet.

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

  4. The Selection Committee, consisting of the three ZEF directors and delegates from the 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 other institutions/foundations.

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

Please note:

  • The application and accompanying documents will remain with ZEF. Personal data will be stored in ZEF's database only for the time required to registrate applications and scholarships in compliance with the German "Federal Data Protection Law".

  • Applications of unsuccessful candidates will be destroyed after one year.Incomplete applications will not be considered.

  • When you apply to our doctoral program, no prior contact with a faculty, ZEF staff members or institutes is necessary. Once you are admitted to the program, ZEF will assist you in finding the right supervisor.

  • We always confirm the receipt of application documents. Please inform us immediately if you have not heard back from us within two weeks after you have submitted your application. We are not responsible for any applications lost due to technical problems.