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FAQ

Who can apply for a scholarship?

Graduates of any university who hold a Master’s (Magister) degree, or an equivalent degree, are eligible to apply. A very good overall grade is expected.

The topic of the suggested research project has to be:

  • related to East or Southeast Europe
  • be located within the supervision expertise of our faculty.

You can check which international qualifications are accepted as equivalent to a European Master’s degree at the anabin database of the Conference of Ministers of Education of the German "Länder" (KMK).

Please note: Foreign certificates and transcripts must have an authorised German or English translation.

There is no age restriction.

How, and by what criteria, are candidates selected?

The quality of the application is integral to candidate selection, specifically, the PhD outline and a correspondent CV. In addition to the relevance and comprehensibility of the topic (interest, key questions, problem awareness, relevance), of theory and methodology (including the key research literature and primary sources), the originality and innovative character of the proposed project is important. We also expect a persuasive letter of motivation.

At the end of the application period, all applications received will be checked for suitability against the formal application requirements.

The Admission Board then evaluates all submitted applications and selects a short-list of eligible candidates. Handicapped/disabled applicants will be will be given priority if they are equally qualified.

For applicants on the short-list, the Admission Board will ask your reference persons for letters of recommendation. If possible, the letters should also give an assessment of the proposed project.

Selected applicants will then be invited for an interview in Regensburg. Usually, two applicants are invited for each available scholarship.

We are committed to informing applicants about the outcome of the selection process as quickly as possible.

Is it possible to apply with a Bachelor’s degree?

No. If you have any doubts as to whether you fulfil the formal qualification requirements, please contact the school’s office.

I completed my Master’s programme a long time ago. Can I still apply?

Yes, you can still apply. The date of graduation is, per se, not relevant for the application.

My Master’s thesis is not in German or English. Can I still apply?

Yes, this is possible. However, we require a written summary (200 words maximum) of your thesis in either German or English.

Please note that your doctoral thesis at the Graduate School must be written in German or English.

I do not have my Master’s degree yet. What should I do?

If you have not yet obtained your Master certificate and a transcript of records before the application deadline, but you have already submitted your Master’s thesis and passed all required exams, you can still apply. In this case, you should attach a letter of confirmation from your MA supervisor to the application documents, stating that you have already submitted your Master’s thesis and it will most likely receive a very good grade.

However, since the Master certificate and the transcript are formal requirements of the application for a PhD at the Graduate School, it is important that we receive them as quickly as possible. Without a Master (or equivalent) certificate the awarding of a scholarship is not possible.

In the event of a successful application, you are also expected to present the original documents to the university for enrolment.

I have a degree in a subject that is not included in the disciplines of the Graduate School. Can I still apply?

Yes, if your PhD research project falls within the scope of our supervision expertise, and if you can prove that you have the necessary methodological training for executing your research.

I have already been working on my doctoral project for some time. Can I still apply?

Yes. The total time spent on the doctorate should, however, not exceed 4.5 years. The Graduate School can provide regularly financial support for doctoral candidates for a period of maximum 3.5 years.

Please note that we cannot accept PhD candidates who intend to remain enrolled at another university. We also do not provide completion grants for already far-pursued projects, if not specifically stated so.

I already have a doctorate but would like to complete a second one. Is this possible at the Graduate School?

Theoretically yes, although our primary objective is to support early career scholars/graduate students. The reasons for applying for a second PhD need to be very well explained.

I previously applied to the Graduate School and was not accepted. Is it possible to reapply?

Yes, that is possible.

Can I send my application via regular mail?

No, we only accept electronic applications. Please follow the specific instructions stated in the call for application. If you do not follow this procedure, your application might be discarded for formal reasons.

Which academic title can I obtain at the Graduate School?

The Graduate School operates on the basis of the PhD statutes of its participating faculties. This means, if you complete a PhD in humanities, you will be awarded the academic title "Dr. phil." upon successful completion.

The title of "Dr. iur." can be obtained when completing a PhD in Public Law. Usually, this requires the candidate to have successfully completed the state law examination. For further information consult § 5,2 of the doctoral regulations (.pdf) of the Faculty of Law at the University of Regensburg.

Which languages are required? Do I need to submit language certificates?

The Graduate School curriculum is bilingual: The working languages are German and English. Therefore, excellent knowledge of at least one of the two languages is required, and for non-German speakers at least a basic knowledge of German.

You should have sufficient knowledge of the languages required to successfully conduct the studies for your doctoral project.

However, for the application procedure, language certificates are not required if not requested.

If your knowledge of either German or English is not sufficient to participate actively in academic discussion by the time of your application, we expect you to take appropriate language courses in the first semesters after admission to the GS OSES to improve your respective language skills. The same applies to the knowledge of all the languages required to successfully complete your PhD research.

What is the language of the GS OSES training?

The Graduate School has two working languages: German and English. The curriculum is bilingual, hence, students are expected to be able to take part in academic discussion in both German and English - it is possible for candidates to improve their respective language skills on an individual basis in the first two semesters.

What is a University Entrance Qualification?

The "University Entrance Qualification" is your high school diploma.

Please note that German university administrations expect you to hand in a copy of this diploma for your enrolment and for registration at the examination office (notwithstanding the fact that you have already obtained a B.A. and M.A.). Therefore, we ask you to submit the respective certificates as a part of your application.

What is a letter of motivation?

The letter of motivation is an important component of your application. Here you will have the chance to outline your previous experiences, your motivation to do a PhD in Regensburg and specifically at our Graduate School, and you can also highlight why you think your project is suitable for the Graduate School. Use the letter of motivation for any information you want to highlight from your resume, but keep it within two pages.

Please address the letter to the Speaker of the Graduate School.

Are there any guidelines for the abstract of the Master’s thesis?

The abstract of your Master’s thesis has to be written in German or English and should not exceed 200 words. Please outline briefly the studied topic, the key research questions, the methods, and the main results. You can also add the table of contents.

Are there any guidelines for the outline of the PhD project?

The outline of your PhD project should not exceed six pages (excluding the bibliography). It should include a clear description of your research questions and why they are relevant (what do you want to find out and why?); it should outline the state of the art and specify why your proposed research project is innovative. We expect PhD projects in the GS OSES to be grounded in up-do-date theory and to be conceptually ambitious. Please also provide an outline of your methodology (methods, sources) and a time-plan.

Regarding the letter of recommendation, are there any official forms my referees need to complete? Should they send the letter immediately?

No, there are no official forms your former academic teachers (they need to have a PhD, but do not necessarily need to be professors) must complete. For the application you will be asked to name two referees who can assess your academic abilities, and possibly your doctoral project.

Please do not submit any letters of recommendation in advance, or ask your reference persons to send us such information before we request them. If your application is short-listed, the Graduate School will contact your referees to provide a reference for you.

Do I have to live in Regensburg to complete the doctoral programme at the Graduate School of East and Southeast European Studies?

Anyone can apply to the programme and international applicants are very welcome, as are those from Germany. If you are accepted to the programme and receive financial support from us, you will be required to participate in the training programme of the GS OSES. We also encourage our graduate students to take part in the many academic events that we organise and to make use of the advice of our faculty, our visiting researchers, postdocs and their peers. We also provide our doctoral students with an office space. Hence, only by living in or near to Regensburg would you be able to fully benefit from everything the Graduate School has to offer. Regensburg is, incidentally, well known for its high quality of life, not least its many pubs and cultural events.

I have missed the application deadline. What can I do?

In this case you will have to wait and apply the following year, if you are still interested to join us.

Should I get in touch with a potential supervisor at the Graduate School?

You can contact your potential/prospective supervisor from among our faculty before you apply.

However, getting in touch with a supervisor is not a prerequisite for a successful application.

Which other funding opportunities does the University of Regensburg (UR) offer to doctoral students?

An overview of funding at the University of Regensburg can be found here.

Furthermore, the Bavarian University Center for Eastern Europe, Bayhost, offers scholarships for graduates from Central-, Eastern- and Southeastern Europe. For more details, see here.

The German Academic Exchange Service, DAAD, also offers stipends to graduate students from abroad who want to pursue a PhD in Germany.

Obtaining funding from any of these sources typically requires candidates to find a supervisor at a German (Bavarian) university first. Should your supervisor be at the University of Regensburg and your project fall into the scope of our Graduate School, you would have the opportunity to become an associated doctoral student and participate in our programme.

Do I have to enrol and register as a doctoral student at the University of Regensburg?

Enrolment is not officially required by the University of Regensburg; it is, however, recommended.

We will assist you with this process once you have been accepted to join the Graduate School.

The University of Regensburg provides detailed information for international applicants "Information for PhD Students" on the website of its Welcome Center.

I would like to withdraw my application. How should I proceed?

Please write to the administration office. We will delete your documents immediately (please note: at the end of the application procedure all applications will be deleted anyway).

Do I need a visa to travel to Regensburg?

Information on present entry and visa regulations for visiting Germany is available on the German Federal Foreign Office website.

Will my travel costs be reimbursed when I come for an interview?

Yes, we normally (fully or partially) reimburse travel costs.

What should I expect during the interview?

The interview will last about 20 minutes.

You will be interviewed by the admission board members including the Speaker of the Graduate School and his/her deputy, two additional members of the teaching staff, the equal opportunities officer and the postdoc representative. They will ask you questions about your studies and your planned doctoral project in both German and English.

I have been invited to attend an interview but I am unable to come. Is it possible to change the date or to conduct the interview via telephone?

It is, unfortunately, not possible to change the date of the interview. However, in exceptional circumstances, we can arrange a telephone or video interview.

When will I be informed about the outcome of my application?

The admission committee will decide on which candidates will be invited for an interview. If you are invited, we will inform you as soon as possible.

Please note, we cannot notify any applicant of the status of their application until the whole procedure has been completed. Therefore, we ask candidates not to make enquires on the outcome before this point.