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PhD Scholarships and Memberships in the Study of Culture – Germany

  • Giessen University
  • €1,468 + Family allowance
  • Germany
  • Study of Culture
  • International Students
  • February 01, 2020

Applications are invited for 06 Fully Funded PhD Scholarships and 20 Memberships in the Study of Culture at the Giessen University’s International Graduate Centre for the Study of Culture (GCSC), Germany.


Giessen University’s International Graduate Centre for the Study of Culture (GCSC), co- funded from 2006-2019 by the German federal government’s Excellence Initiative, offers a three-year, structured PhD-programme in the study of culture.

The GCSC expects scholarship holders to:

  • become actively involved in at least one research area* and one other GCSC/GGK research group (e.g. emerging topics research groups) by initiating, coordinating and documenting collaborative research projects, such as conferences or publications,
  • participate with commitment in the GCSC’s curriculum
  • assume residency in or near Giessen.

We strongly recommend that applicants search and apply for alternative funding options parallel to their applications to the GCSC. International applicants can, for instance, consider applying for a Research Grant for Doctoral Studies in Germany sponsored by the German Academic Exchange Service DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service) or comparable funding institutions from their home countries.

All of the GCSC’s doctoral students are eligible to apply for funding towards research and conference trips, and they benefit from our Career Service and Teaching Centre. Doctoral members of the GCSC must register as PhD students at the Justus Liebig University. There are no tuition fees for doctoral students at the JLU, except for an enrolment fee of approximately €300 per semester.

The GCSC focuses its research within the following Research Areas:

  • Research Area 1: Cultural Memory Studies
  • Research Area 2: Cultural Narratologies
  • Research Area 3: Cultural Transformation and Performativity Studies
  • Research Area 4: Visual and Material Culture Studies
  • Research Area 5: Media and Multiliteracy Studies
  • Research Area 6: Cultural Identities
  • Research Area 7: Global Studies and Politics of Space
  • Research Area 8: Cultures of Knowledge, Research and Education


Successful applicants will receive a monthly stipend of approximately €1,468 (plus family allowances when applicable). Scholarships are offered for one yearwith the possibility oftwo extensions, each of one year. The GCSC supports young researchers with families: appointees with children under the age of twelve are eligible for renewals of up to four years.


To be eligible for PhD Scholarships and Memberships in the Study of Culture, applicants must:

  • Graduation with excellent marks (from two-year research-track master’s programmes) in one of the GCSC’s academic subjects or the Arts/Humanities, Cultural Studies or Social Sciences in the Humanities, Social Sciences and Cultural Studies with honors. The last academic degree should not have been obtained more than two years ago.
  • Applications from students who expect to obtain a first or upper second class honours M.A. degree (or the equivalent) are welcome as well.
  • A dissertation project that contributes to the GCSC’s research profile and can be supervised at the Justus Liebig University.
  • Applications which make a significant contribution to the study of culture in various historical contexts, including contemporary phenomena.
  • An international research perspective, i.e. international study experience, is an advantage.
  • The GCSC’s working languages are German and English, and applicants must be fluent in at least one of them; knowledge of both is an advantage and should be acquired during the scholarship period.


For PhD Scholarships and Memberships in the Study of Culture, applicants are required to submit:

First Stage

  • a 1-2 page cover letter, explaining your motives for applying at the GCSC
  • a short abstract of your research project (approx. 500 words), including the title of your project and a brief outline of the methodology you will use
  • curriculum vitae
  • two letters of recommendation provided by university professors

2nd Stage

  • Copies of your school and university diplomas
  • A dissertation-project proposal that includes an overview of the current state of research pertaining to the topic, your main research questions and methodology as well as a selected bibliography. Please make clear the extend to which your research project contributes to the GCSC’s research profile. Your proposal should not exceed 10 pages (excluding bibliography).
  • detailed schedule describing the specific stages of your work over a period of three years
  • a digital copy of your M.A.-thesis


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