Deadline: February 15, 2016 | Apply here
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International students
Bremen, Germany

The Bremen International Graduate School of Social Sciences (BIGSSS) invites applications to its Ph.D. program. BIGSSS is an inter-university institute of the University of Bremen and Jacobs University Bremen and is funded by the German Excellence Initiative.

The Bremen International Graduate School of Social Sciences (BIGSSS) Scholarships

BIGSSS was founded in 2008, but relies on the prior experience of UB’s Graduate School of Social Sciences (GSSS) and of graduate education at Jacobs University. After the initial period starting in 2007, BIGSSS was again successful in the German Excellence Initiative in 2012 and is supported by this generous funding.

BIGSSS is not a typical Ph.D. and postdoctoral program. Their goal is to focus all of their efforts and resources on supporting their outstanding international body of Ph.D. and Postdoc Fellows, their research, and their professional development. BIGSSS also has a small predoctoral program inviting outstanding Bachelor graduates to apply.

The Ph.D. program provides close supervision of dissertation work accompanied by demand-tailored education, both embedded in a vibrant research landscape. The Ph.D. fellows will receive relevant theoretical and methodological training, acquire teaching experience in small seminars, and complete their top-notch dissertations in a timely manner.

The BIGSSS’s supporting institutions provides support  to their fellows financially, logistically, and professionally as they work through this rigorous program. BIGSSS is part of an international network of strong graduate programs.

The program provides close supervision of dissertation work within a demand-tailored education and research framework. Fellows are expected to choose Bremen as their place of residence. BIGSSS is part of an international network of highly acknowledged graduate programs. It supports doctoral fellows in achieving early scientific independence and provides funds for the conduct, presentation, and publishing of their research. The language of instruction is English and the number of scholarships provided will be 5.

Field(s) of study

Successful applicants will pursue a topic in one of BIGSSS’ three Thematic Fields:

  • Global Governance and Regional Integration
  • Welfare State, Inequality, and Quality of Life
  • Changing Lives in Changing Socio-Cultural Contexts

Non-German students are strongly encouraged to apply. BIGSSS strives to increase the share of women in the university and hence also strongly encourages women to apply. Disabled persons will be given preferential treatment in case of otherwise equal qualification. Ph.D. stipends of € 1300/month for 36 months, contingent on successful completion of each year.


BIGSSS seeks candidates with strong academic abilities and a Master’s degree (or equivalent) in political science, sociology, or psychology. Applicants with a degree in related social science disciplines are also welcome.

Application instructions

Applications must be submitted online until 15 February 2016. Please click on the following link to download the BIGSSS Brochure.

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