How to Apply for the Visiting PhD Program

Eligibility and General Application Information

BIGSSS continuously invites applications by doctoral candidates from other institutions to conduct a research stay at BIGSSS. Such Visiting fellows should be working on a thesis which falls into one of BIGSSS' three Thematic Fields.

We can only consider applications where the research project relates to our faculty or postdoc fellow’s research interests. Therefore, before you apply, please make sure that someone of our BIGSSS faculty or postdoctoal fellows supports your stay at BIGSSS and is interested in at least discussing your research or cooperating with you on a research topic.

There are no fixed application deadlines, applications can be submitted on an ongoing basis. Please note that you should submit your application at least three months before the planned visit though. Opportunities are granted in accordance with the capacity of the school to host Visiting fellows.

If you would like to become a Visiting fellow at BIGSSS, please submit the following materials to our Director of Studies ( at least 3 months prior to your planned stay:


Application Materials for Visiting PhD Fellowships

Please note that we can only consider complete applications!

  1. Cover letter, including
    • a short description of your project,
    • the BIGSSS faculty member or postdoctoral fellow with whom you would like to collaborate during your stay,
    • the proposed duration of your stay,
    • how you will fund your stay.
  2. Curriculum vitae: This should include information on your educational and work history, publications, language abilities and extracurricular interests.
  3. Dissertation proposal (5-10 pages): Your proposal should include the following sections: State of Research, Objectives, Method, Work Plan, Bibliography
  4. Support letter from BIGSSS Faculty or Postdoc Fellow: This may be an informal letter (email suffices) in which a BIGSSS faculty member or postdoctoral fellow endorses your research stay at BIGSSS and confirms that he or she is available for discussing your research.