BIGSSS-departs PhD Fellowship Doctoral Education in Partnerships

  • Phd
  • Fully Funded
  • 31 January 2017

We currently invite applications to our new PhD program BIGSSS-departs (doctoral education in partnerships)! BIGSSS-departs is a 42-month structured PhD program which provides close supervision of dissertation work accompanied by a demand-tailored doctoral curriculum. BIGSSS-departs is one of our full-time PhD programs in which fellows commit themselves to their own dissertation projects and the full academic program of the BIGSSS curriculum. It supports doctoral fellows in achieving early scientific independence, and provides funds for conducting, presenting, and publishing their research.

BIGSSS-departs is part of the EU COFUND scheme funded by the European Commission under the Framework for Research and Innovation Horizon 2020.

BIGSSS-departs Fellows pursue a freely chosen dissertation project in one of BIGSSS’ three Thematic Fields:

A. Global Governance and Regional Integration B. Welfare State, Inequality, and Quality of Life C. Changing Lives in Changing Socio-Cultural Contexts

BIGSSS-departs Fellows benefit from their inclusion in BIGSSS' vibrant research networks, simultaneously assisting them in identifying promising career prospects inside and outside academia, and in strengthening their skills and capabilities.

The BIGSSS-departs PhD program is composed of the following key components:

Close supervision and demand-tailored education, the doctoral curriculum of the BIGSSS' PhD Program, a mandatory stay abroad for up to six months at one of our BIGSSS-departs partner institutions. Fellows may chose between eight high profile academic partners and two non-academic institutions.


  • Applicants should show strong academic abilities and a Master’s degree (or equivalent) in political science, sociology, psychology, or a related social science discipline
  • Applicants must apply with a freely chosen dissertation project which fits into one of BIGSSS' three thematic fields.
  • In the Statement of Purpose which applicants submit, they need to include a statement of fit between their dissertation proposal and faculty members they have identified as potential supervisors (list of recent research areas and supervisors)
  • Due to EU COFUND regulations, applicants must be in the first four years of their research careers and not yet have been awarded a doctoral degree
  • Due to EU COFUND regulations, applicants must not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in Germany for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately prior to the date of their application. Compulsory national service and/or short stays such as holidays are not taken into account.


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Accepted applicants receive a time-limited work contract (42 months), with no possibility for extension in the program context. Funds for additional research and travel costs will be available.

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