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Application Rounds

The GPTS issues its calls for applications generally at the end of the calendar year. The selected candidates start their fellowships in the following winter semester.

Please visit our website regularly for new application announcements.

Application Requirements

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 four years of study at university level. Applicants who plan to graduate in the current academic year must provide a university transcript that clearly indicates the degree progress.

Applicants must prove advanced language skills in English by providing a certificate confirming at least level C1 according to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages, e.g. a score of 100 in the Internet based TOEFL or a score of 7.0 in the IELTS. Other methods of proof may also be acceptable (see FAQs).

University and language certificates must be submitted in English, German, French or Italian. Documents in other languages must be submitted as certified translations into English or German.

Doctoral Scholarships and Eligibility

We are able to offer two sets of doctoral scholarships within the GPTS for this year. Please make sure to carefully review their eligibility criteria.

HCTS Scholarships
Two of the doctoral scholarships are funded by the Heidelberg Centre for Transcultural Studies (HCTS). They amount to 1.200 EUR/month for a duration of three years. All candidates who meet the requirements listed above are eligible to apply.

GSSP Scholarships
Two doctoral scholarships are offered in cooperation with the DAAD Graduate School Scholarship Programme (GSSP). Only international candidates are eligible to apply. In addition to fulfilling the criteria listed above, these candidates must meet the criteria set by the DAAD.
To find out more about these criteria, the scholarships and the selection process within the DAAD, please carefully review the information available on the DAAD website.

Candidates are welcome to apply for both sets of scholarships if they meet the eligibility criteria for both.

Application Process

All applications must be submitted in one PDF file and must include the following documents:

  1. Completed application form (download here) - NOTE: If you do not already have a supervisor, please simply indicate the professor with whom you would like to work!
  2. Letter of motivation of approx. 600 words, explaining why you want to pursue your project in the GPTS, what qualifies you to do so, and how your project fits and contributes to the HCTS agenda
  3. CV with information on your education, your work and research experience so far, language and other skills
  4. Project proposal (2000–2500 words) that includes your project title, a summary, an overview of research area and literature (state of the art), your key research questions and objectives, information on your methods and sources as well as a bibliography. The bibliography does not count towards the word limit.
  5. Time plan detailing the schedule for your project
  6. Certificates and transcripts of all university degrees
  7. Proof of English language skills equivalent to at least C1 (CEFR), plus - if applicable - other languages relevant for the proposed project
  8. Two letters of recommendation (Important: If you apply for a GSSP scholarship, your referees must use the DAAD form)

The proposed doctoral project must have a clear connection to the general research framework of the HCTS.

The letter of motivation, the CV, the proposal and the time plan must be written in English. University and language certificates may be submitted in English, German, French or Italian. Documents in other languages must be submitted as certified translations into English or German. The letters of recommendation may be submitted in English or German.

Applications must be submitted electronically as ONE PDF file (NAME_FirstName.pdf) to Please make sure to arrange the documents within the PDF in the order given above.

Please note: The two letters of recommendation may be included in the PDF. Alternatively, your referees may send them directly to

The deadline for the submission of all documents, including the letters of recommendation, is 24 January 2020, 23:59 CET. Late submissions cannot be taken into consideration!

Shortlisted candidates will be invited to present their projects to the GPTS selection committee in a personal interview, where applicable via skype. The interviews will take place in mid-April 2020.

For more information on the application requirements and procedure, please also visit our FAQs.


Call for Applications

Read as PDF.


Dr. Oliver Lamers
Administrative Manager
Tel: +49-6221-54-4005
Fax: +49-6221-54-4012

Please arrange an appointment for consultation via email or phone.