Graduate Programme for Transcultural Studies (GPTS)

    The programme's main point of institutional reference is the Karl Jaspers Centre (KJC), situated at Heidelberg University.

    Doctoral students are trained by scholars working within the Cluster and have access to a vibrant international scholarly community. The doctoral programme offers

    1. an introduction to theories and methodologies of transcultural studies,
    2. access to a well-equipped work environment supported by European and Asian institutions,
    3. participation in the gathering of textual and non-textual source material,
    4. support of doctoral projects which are linked to the broad research fields pursued by the Cluster.

    In line with the Cluster's focus, the programme's research profile centres on the flow of concepts, institutions and practices between Asia and Europe. The Cluster challenges the master narrative of asymmetrical Western domination along with its historical explanation, its methodology, and the resulting structures of the humanities and social sciences. Involving Asian, European, and global perspectives, the GPTS offers an excellent working environment for young scholars who wish to be integrated into cooperative research on problems of high complexity, both in terms of their subject matter and methodology.

    The GPTS provides a structured doctoral programme with an interdisciplinary approach. The European model of highly individualised doctoral studies is combined with a system of guided courses. Supervision is provided by a mentoring scheme during a term of three academic years. In the first year participants will have to attend a number of thematically focused classes. The second year is intended for field research, while the third year will be dedicated for the write-up and the presentation of the results. Each doctoral student will be assigned to two mentors/advisors. Half of the scholarships are reserved for students from Asia.


    Applicants must hold an M.A. or equivalent in a discipline of the humanities or social sciences with an above-average grade (at least 1.7, B+, 2+, "magna cum laude", or equivalent).

    The degree has to reflect at least five years of study at university level. Applicants who plan to graduate in 2013 must provide a university transcript that clearly indicates the progress to degree.

    Documents should be submitted in English, German, French or Italian. Documents in other languages should be submitted as certified translations into English or German.


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    Doctoral students in the Graduate Programme for Transcultural Studies receive a scholarship of 1,000 EUR per month from the Cluster of Excellence "Asia and Europe in a Global Context: Shifting Asymmetries in Cultural Flows".

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