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The application deadline for the 2024 call has passed. The 2025 call will be published in the fall of 2024.

The program HCS admits up to 10 doctoral students each year in the winter semester.

You can do a doctoral degree in one of the subjects of history and cultural studies listed below:

  • Egyptology

  • Ancient Oriental Studies

  • Arabic Studies

  • Chinese Studies, Sinology

  • History

  • Didactics of History

  • Iranian studies

  • Islamic studies

  • Japanese Studies

  • Jewish Studies

  • Classical Archaeology

  • Korean Studies

  • Art History of Europe and America, East Asia, Africa

  • Prehistoric Archaeology

  • Religious Studies

  • Semitic Studies

  • Turcology

  • Near Eastern Archaeology


Where successful applicants do not bring their own funding, they will be supported in applying for scholarships.

Applications can be submitted in German or English exclusively via the online application platform of the Dahlem Research School. The online application platform will be accessible with the publication date of the call.

Following an internal selection process, selected applicants will be invited to interviews. 

Successful applicants will receive written notification. Please note that this does not constitute automatic admission to the doctoral program. You must apply for admission to the doctoral program separately at the doctoral office of the Department of History and Cultural Studies and enroll as a doctoral student once you have been admitted.

(Pursuing a PhD at the Department of History and Cultural Studies)

  • Excellent university degree (Master’s or equivalent) in a degree programme relevant to the PhD.

  • A compelling dissertation project, which can be supervised at the Department of History and Cultural Studies by a suitable first supervisor.

  • Interest in the exchange between the specific subjects and different methodological approaches within Cultural Studies; willingness for interdisciplinary academic discussion within the framework of the structured doctoral studies program.

  • Statement of motivation (max. 2 DIN-A4 pages, Font Times New Roman 12, 1.5 line spacing)

  • Dissertation proposal (max. 10 DIN-A4 pages, Font Times New Roman 12, 1.5 line spacing)

  • Project timeline for 3 years

  • Curriculum Vitae (max. 4 DIN-A4 pages)

  • One recommendation letter from a university professor/lecturer

  • A work sample (e.g. from the Master’s thesis no longer than 25 DIN-A4 pages)

  • Copies of certificates: university entrance qualification; university degrees

  • Language certificates for German and or English (one language at least at level C1, the other at least at level B2), unless these languages are your native languages.

  • Depending on your chosen subject, further language certificates may be necessary (please find out in advance whether you fulfil the foreign language requirements in your chosen subject as per the rules and regulations governing foreign language skills/Fremdsprachenordnung (fu-berlin.de))

You will not receive response in case your application cannot be considered for formal reasons. All formally approved applications will go through an internal review process.The selection committee votes to select applicants who will be invited to the selection interviews in February. During the interviews, each applicant has 5–10 minutes to give a verbal presentation on their project, followed by a 10–15 minute discussion. Shortly after the selection interviews you will receive an acceptance or rejection.

The application deadline ends on 15 November 2023!

Applications for the doctoral studies program HCS can only be submitted via the online portal of the Dahlem Research School. Please do not send application documents by e-mail or by post.

Your application is submitted only after you have clicked the "save and submit" button. You will then receive a confirmation email. Only the confirmation of receipt sent by email indicates that you have successfully submitted the application.

  • First of all, please register at the online portal of Dahlem Research School. 
  • Please fill out the personal information page first.
  • Select a subject from the listed history and cultural studies subjects in which you wish to pursue a doctoral degree.
  • Please choose your first supervisors, all professors of the Department of History and Cultural Studies are involved in the doctoral program. Please select your first supervisor in the subject of your doctorate in advance of your application and ideally also contact them already. You don’t need confirmation from the supervisor at this point, but it can be helpful to initiate contact with him or her in advance.
  • Please note that you require one letter of recommendation from an academic scholar and must contact your referee before applying.

    After you submit your application through the online portal, the online system will send an automated email to your designated referee with instructions for uploading the letter of recommendation. The letter must be uploaded by November 24 2023. The deadline for delayed submission of reference letters is 27 November 2023.

  • Please note that the following application documents (statement of motivation, dissertation proposal, project timeline, CV and work samples) must be uploaded as PDF.

  • Please upload proof of a university degree in a subject relevant to the doctorate. If the university degree certificate is not yet available at the time of application, you may still apply,
    however, the expected date of graduation must be before July 1 of the year of admission. Applicants are also requested to upload significant documents on the progress and timely expected completion of their studies in place of the transcript (e.g. transcripts, statement of supervisors).

  • Please upload the language certificates, these can be submitted later if necessary, upload a statement in your application with details of existing and outstanding credentials or certificates and when they can be submitted. Sufficient basic knowledge, however, is required.

Fachbereich Geschichts- und Kulturwissenschaften