Origins of BIGSSS

BIGSSS is an inter-university institution supported by the University of Bremen and Jacobs University Bremen. It has three founding institutions: The University of Bremen's Graduate School of Social Sciences (GSSS), the School of Humanities and Social Sciences (SHSS) and the Jacobs Center for Lifelong Learning and Institutional Development (JCLL) at Jacobs University.

The GSSS had a long-standing tradition in graduate education at the University of Bremen. It was founded as part of the establishment of the Collaborative Research Center 186 "Status Passages and Risks in the Life Course"  in 1988. With the financial support of the VolkswagenStiftung, the CRC then turned into the Graduate School of Social Sciences in 2002. It was funded as a model institution for the reform of advanced graduate education in Germany. As interdisciplinary social-science graduate programs, both JCLL and SHSS at Jacobs University added considerable expertise in their respective research areas and complemented GSSS' experience to make BIGSSS a unique institution.

2007 then saw the creation of BIGSSS which is funded by the Excellence Initiative of the German Federal and State Governments, with additional financial support from both universities.