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GPTS APPLICATION FAQ

Please make sure to first read our application page before you look for more detailed information in the FAQs below.

General

1. Can I apply even though I have not yet finished my master’s degree?

2. Is there an age limit?

3. How does the application process work?

4. Can I apply for both the HCTS and the GSSP/DAAD scholarships?

5. What documents do I have to submit?

6. Can you help me with the application form?

7. When will I be notified of the result?

8. I realized my application is not complete after I submitted it - can I correct it?


Supervisor

9. Who can serve as supervisor for my project?

10. How do I find a supervisor?

11. Do I have to contact a supervisor before I submit my application?


Letter of Motivation/Proposal

12. Do I have to write my letter of motivation and my proposal in English?

13. How long should the letter of motivation be? Should I mention something specific?

14. How long should the proposal be? How should it be structured?


References

15. Whom should I contact as referee?

16. How do the referees submit their letters of recommendation?

17. Do the referees have to submit their letters of recommendation in English?

18. When must the letters of reference be submitted?

 


English Certificate

19. Are there exemptions for the English certificate?

20. I have neither a TOEFL nor an IELTS – what other certificates would be acceptable to prove my knowledge of English?

21. I took some seminars in English during my MA, would that be proof enough?

22. Can I submit my English certificate later?

General

1. Can I apply even though I have not yet finished my master’s degree?

If you will have your master's degree in hand by the time you would start the scholarship, that is October 2019 for the HCTS scholarships, you can apply by submitting an official, current (!) transcript of records/mark sheet and a letter by your department confirming your probable graduation date.

 

Note: If you apply for one of the GSSP scholarships funded by the DAAD and plan to attend a preparatory language course, you must have completed your studies in time for the language course.

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2. Is there an age limit?

No, there is no age limit for applicants to the GPTS.

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3. How does the application process work?

In the first stage, you submit a written application via email in one PDF file. Letters of recommendation may be included in this file, or they may be submitted separately by your referees. The deadline for application applies either way.

 

Based on these application portfolios, the selection committee shortlists the most promising candidates and invites them to present their projects in an individual interview, where applicable via skype. The interviews will take place in mid-April.

 

After the interviews, the selection committee makes its final decision.

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4. Can I apply for both the HCTS and the GSSP/DAAD scholarships?

If you fulfil the eligibility criteria for both sets of scholarships, you are welcome to apply for both. Simply tick both boxes in the application form. Please remember that if you apply also for a GSSP scholarship, your referees need to use the DAAD form for the letter of recommendation which we will then take into account for the HCTS scholarships as well.

5. What documents do I have to submit?

You find a complete list of all documents you have to submit and further information on the application requirements and procedure on our application website.

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6. Can you help me with the application form?

The application form is formatted to be filled in electronically. To do so, please click on the link on our website – the PDF will open in your browser. In a next step, please download the form to your computer and open it again, for example in the free Adobe Acrobat Reader DC. You can then fill in your details, save the completed form and include it in your application portfolio.

Please keep in mind that the form is optimized to be used on a personal computer, not on a mobile device, such as a phone.

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7. When will I be notified of the result?

Candidates will likely be informed of the final decision by the end of April.

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8. I realized my application is not complete after I submitted it – can I correct it?

Once you have submitted your documents, no changes or re-submission is possible. We therefore strongly recommend that you carefully check all documents for spelling and completeness before you submit the PDF.

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Supervisor

9. Who can serve as supervisor for my project?

In the German academic system, generally only "Hochschullehrer" (Prof.") and "Privatdozenten" ("PD Dr."), i.e. senior scholars with habilitation or equivalent, may serve as doctoral supervisor. By exception, also junior research group leaders may supervise doctoral candidates. Please be advised that your supervisor must be a full member of Heidelberg University. To learn more about the requirements, please refer to the website of Heidelberg University's Graduate Academy.

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10. How do I find a supervisor?

You find all professors working at and with the Cluster/HCTS in our listing of academic staff. Please make sure to carefully read the profiles to ensure that the professor in question is actually at Heidelberg University. Alternatively, you can search at the department most interesting to you. Here you find links to all faculties at Heidelberg University.

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11. Do I have to contact a supervisor before I submit my application?

In the first stage of the application process, we only ask you to name a potential supervisor in your portfolio. You do not need to contact them. Shortlisted applicants who have been invited to Heidelberg are then welcome to contact the supervisor mentioned before they present their project.
On the other hand, if you are already in contact with a professor prior to your application or maybe even have started your doctoral project under the supervision of a professor at Heidelberg University, please indicate so in your application.

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Letter of Motivation/Proposal

12. Do I have to write my letter of motivation and my proposal in English?

Yes. As the language of instruction in the GPTS is English, your letter of intention, your proposal and all other parts of the application that you write yourself need to be in English.

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13. How long should the letter of motivation be? Should I mention something specific?

The letter of motivation should be approx. 600 words long. In your letter, you should explain why you want to pursue your doctoral studies within the GPTS and how your research project and interests specifically connect to the programme and the Cluster/HCTS research framework.

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14. How long should the proposal be? How should it be structured?

Your proposal should be 2000–2500 words long. It should include 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.

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References

15. Whom should I contact as referee?

Referees should be experienced scholars who can judge your performance and potential in your chosen field of research. Many applicants choose their advisors from their MA and/or BA programmes.

A superior in the company you are currently working in will most likely not be a good choice, as they will not be able to judge your academic potential.

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16. How do the referees submit their letters of recommendation?

Letters of recommendation can be submitted in two ways:

 

a) Your referees can send their letter of recommendation to you. In this case, you need to include them into your PDF application file. Please make sure to keep to the order of documents as indicated on the application website.

 

b) Alternatively, your referees may send their letter of recommendation directly to us. They can do so by sending it as one PDF file to application-gpts@asia-europe.uni-heidelberg.de. In this case, we will assume that the letter is confidential and will not share it with you. Please contact your referees directly if you want to confirm that they sent the letter.

 

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17. Do the referees have to submit their letters of recommendation in English?

Letters of the recommendation should be in English or in German to ensure that all members of the selection committee can consider them.

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18. When must the letters of reference be submitted?

The letters of recommendation must be submitted by the application deadline, that is 15 February 2019, 23:59 CET.

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English Certificate

19. Are there exemptions for the English certificate?

Native speakers and applicants who received their complete high school and/or university education in an English speaking country are exempt from further proof. All other applicants must provide a certificate.

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20. I have neither a TOEFL nor an IELTS – what other certificates would be acceptable to prove my knowledge of English?

We accept a wide range of certificates. They must be issued by an institution authorized to test language skills (e.g. a university language centre) and explicitly confirm your knowledge of English at a level of at least level C1 according to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR).

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21. I took some seminars in English during my MA, would that be proof enough?

No. You still need to provide some kind of certificate confirming your skill level according to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages.

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22. Can I submit my English certificate later?

In exceptional cases, it may be possible that you submit your English certificate after the application deadline. If you expect such a delay, please make sure to contact the Graduate Programme Manager as early as possible.

Note for the application round 2019: As we had to move the application deadline to an earlier date, applicants may first only submit a proof that they will take an exam for the appropriate level of English (at least C1). The result of the test indicated must then be submitted by 31 March 2019 at the very latest.

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Contact

Dr. Jule Nowoitnick
Graduate Programme Manager
T: +49-6221-54-4009
F: +49-6221-54-4012
E: application-gpts@asia-europe.uni-heidelberg.de

Please arrange an appointment for consultation via email or phone.