Application deadline: February 1, 2022

Giessen University’s International Graduate Centre for the Study of Culture(GCSC) , co- funded from 2006-2019 by the German federal government’s Excellence Initiative, offers a three-year, structured PhD-programme in the study of culture. With its excellent research environment, adoctoral programme which is tailored to the needs of PhD students and the intensive personal support it provides, the Graduate Centre offers doctoral researchers optimum conditions for their PhD-projects and custom-made preparation for the time thereafter, both with regard to academic and non-academic careers.

The GCSC grants up to 6 scholarships and additional up to 20 memberships to new members.

Applications must be submitted online no later than February 1, 2022

The PhD scholarship period begins on October 1, 2022 and includes a monthly stipend of approximately €1,468 (plus family allowances when applicable). Scholarships are offered for one year with the possibility of two extensions, each of one year. The GCSC supports young researchers with families: appointees with children under the age of twelve are eligible for renewals of up to four years.

The GCSC expects scholarship holders to:

  • become actively involved in at least one research area* and one other GCSC/GGK research group (e.g. emerging topics research groups) by initiating, coordinating and documenting collaborative research projects, such as conferences or publications,
  • participate with commitment in the GCSC’s curriculum
  • assume residency in or near Giessen.

We strongly recommend that applicants search and apply for alternative funding options parallel to their applications to the GCSC. International applicants can, for instance, consider applying for a Research Grant for Doctoral Studies in Germany sponsored by the German Academic Exchange Service DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service) or comparable funding institutions from their home countries.

All of the GCSC’s doctoral students – scholarship holders as well as members – are eligible to apply for funding towards research and conference trips, and they benefit from our Career Service and Teaching Centre. Doctoral students of the GCSC must register as PhD students at the Justus Liebig University. There are no tuition fees for doctoral students at the JLU, except for an enrolment fee of approximately €300 per semester.


  • Graduation with excellent marks (from two-year research-track master’s programmes) in one of the GCSC’s academic subjects* or the arts/humanities, cultural studies or social sciences in the humanities, social sciences and cultural studies with honors. The last academic degree should not have been obtained more than two years ago.
  • Applications from students who expect to obtain a first or upper second class honours M.A. degree (or the equivalent) are welcome as well. ​
  • A dissertation project that contributes to the GCSC’s research profile* and can be supervised at the Justus Liebig University.
  • Applications which make a significant contribution to the study of culture in various historical contexts, including contemporary phenomena.
  • An international research perspective, i.e. international study experience, is an advantage.

The GCSC’s working languages are German and English, and applicants must be fluent in at least one of them; knowledge of both is an advantage and should be acquired during the scholarship period.

*The GCSC focuses its research within the following Research Areas: Research Area 1: Cultural Memory Studies | Research Area 2: Cultural Narratologies | Research Area 3: Cultural Transformation and Performativity Studies | Research Area 4: Visual and Material Culture Studies | Research Area 5: Media and Multiliteracy Studies | Research Area 6: Cultural Identities | Research Area 7: Global Studies and Politics of Space | Research Area 8: Cultures of Knowledge, Research and Education | Research Area 9: Ecology and the Study of Culture.

In addition, the GCSC has established research groups organized around “emerging topics” that are expected to contribute to the research profile by establishing and strengthening links to neighbouring disciplines as well as to emerging topics in contemporary public discourse. Thus far, Emerging Topic Groups have been established on “Migration”, “Religion” and “Life Sciences”.

Application procedure and deadline:

The main selection criteria are the candidates’ academic qualifications, the academic quality of the research proposal and the suitability of the project for the GCSC’s research programme. Short-listed candidates will be invited to a 30-minute interview.

The application deadline is February 1, 2022. All applications have to be submitted online – please register at (as of 1 st December). Please find all information about the two-stage application procedure on our website at

If you have any questions concerning your application, please contact us at

In January 2022 , the GCSC will host an Information Day, where potential applicants have a chance to obtain more information on the research profile of the GCSC; the wide range of interdisciplinary courses, colloquia and conferences; the research support on offer; international networks and partner institutions; as well as publishing and additional funding opportunities available to GCSC members. Further information and date will be posted on our homepage in due course.

*) For further information see and https://uni-