Doctoral Programme in Literary Studies

    The Friedrich Schlegel Graduate School of Literary Studieshas once again been successful in the German "Excellence Initiative". It has as its aim the supervision of exceptional dissertation projects in the field of Literary Studies, examining European, American, Arabic and Asian literary texts, within the doctoral degree programme “Literary Studies”. The projects should be well grounded in theory and should adopt a historical and / or an inter- or transcultural approach. The programme offers intensive and individual supervision of the thesis as well as coursework. Applicants must have a completed degree (M.A. or equivalent) with above-average grades in the humanities, preferably literary studies. German and English are the favoured working languages in the international doctoral programme.
    Doctoral candidates take part in activities which support them in their research within their individual disciplines, at the same time placing this research in an interdisciplinary context. These activities include:
    • Research colloquia with renowned visiting academics
    • Seminars on methodology and literary theory
    • Courses and workshops in the field of transferable skills


    Applicants for a scholarship place in the structured doctorate program “Literaturwissenschaftliche Studien – Literary Studies” should:
    • have a University Master’s degree (or equivalent) in the humanities, ideally in the field of literary studies;
    *   if more than two years have elapsed since graduation, be able to prove continuous academic activity in a field relevant for their doctoral project;
    *   if applicable, have study, practical or work experience relevant for their doctoral project, preferably abroad;
    • be able to demonstrate a very good command of German and English;
    *   if applicable, be able to prove command in the scientific language relevant for their doctoral project;
    • be of an age that provides a well-founded perspective to advance scientifically and professionally as young academics at universities, non-academic or other research institutions;
    *   the Career-Stage Model modelled on the Alexander-von-Humboldt-Foundation is relevant;
    • not receive or have received other funding for their current doctoral project from public sources or foundations;
    • be able to submit a proposal showing that their doctoral project is innovative, elaborated and well-grounded in theory;
    • find a supervisor matching their scientific area in our PI-list and contact them if applicable;
    • make a conscious and well-founded decision for a structured doctorate program.


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    The Friedrich Schlegel Graduate School awards scholarships, funded by the DFG (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft). Students applying for admission to the doctoral programme may also apply for the scholarships. It is also possible to apply for admission to the programme without applying for the scholarship.
    The Graduate School will award up to 10 scholarships per year.

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