The Bayreuth International Graduate School of African Studies (BIGSAS) seeks applications from prospective PhD students into its Graduate School for the 2013/14 academic session. The PhD students profit from a clearly structured, academic and career-oriented training as well as a genuine expertise in the African studies which has increased continuously since the foundation of the University of Bayreuth. The international network with Partner Universities on the African continent creates even more so excellent conditions for the research of our Junior Fellows.
This programme enables the BIGSAS Junior Fellows not only to write their thesis within the time-to-degree, but also to enhance their research skills through theoretical and methodological courses as well as in discussions with their supervisors, mentors, fellow students, Postdocs and guest professors. This lively exchange of thoughts and ideas is highly enriched by and based on the cultural diversity to be found at BIGSAS
Worth of Awards
Preparatory Course Funding
Candidates who are not immediately admitted to the PhD Programme but are recommended for and placed into a Preparatory Course by the Academic Committee will receive EUR 800 per month for the period of their PreparatoryCourse. The average preparatory period is six months and may be extended up to twelve months at a max. The preparatory period does not count as part of the official time-to-degree of three years.
Start-Up Funding
Candidates who have been directly admitted to the PhD Programme by the Academic Committee may apply for start-up funding at the Administration Office. The start-up funding is EUR 1,000 per month. It is awarded for a period of six months and may be extended up to twelve months at a max. During this time, PhD students are requested to apply for external funding to finance their further PhD studies. In this they will receive support from their individual supervisors and the BIGSAS Administration Team.
PhD Programme Funding 
BIGSAS offers a limited number of scholarships of EUR 1,200 per month for the period of three years.
Independently from these three general types of funding, BIGSAS also provides funding for:  
Field Research
Independently of their general funding institution, all Junior Fellows who have been admitted to the PhD Programme as well as the Postdocs may apply for field research funding at the BIGSAS Administration Office. According to the BIGSAS Programme Structure, Junior Fellows may undertake field research trips once or twice during their PhD studies. The duration of those field trips may vary according to the PhD students’ fields of research and individual projects. The time spent on field research counts as part of the official time-to-degree.
Participation in Conferences and Workshops
All Junior Fellows are expected to participate in national and international conferences related to their research interests and to present their own PhD projects at such conferences. Within the three-year PhD Programme, BIGSAS provides each PhD student with funding for participation in one short-term research-related conference or summer school/workshop, including travel and accommodation costs
Publication of Dissertations 
For Junior Fellows who have completed the doctoral programme, BIGSAS partly covers the costs for the publication of their thesis provided that their final grade is at least magna cum laude (very good / with high honours).

  • You may apply to BIGSAS if you hold a Master’s or equivalent degree in the Humanities with a very good result and if you plan a PhD project on Africa that relates to one of the academic disciplines covered by the Senior Fellows and to one of the four BIGSAS Research Areas.
  • Applications are accepted biannually. The working language is English. German or French language skills are welcome, but not a precondition for admission
  • The selection procedure is a competitive process which is organised in four major steps:

Formal check of complete dossiers

  • Evaluation of proposed projects by the respective experts
  • Personal interview with invited candidates
  • Final decision and admission
  • The Academic Committee makes its decisions based on the availability of a supervisor, the quality of the project proposal and the candidate’s academic and personal qualifications (read more about the PhD programme).

How to Apply
Applications can only be taken into consideration if the following documents are provided (in English, French or German) and meet the requested specifications.
Admission to BIGSAS does not necessarily comprise any kind of funding. You should therefore specify in your application whether you are also applying for financial support or not. Please note that incomplete applications cannot be considered!
Applicants should also note that the application must contain the following details:
Academic Presentation

  • Project proposal
    (including the aims of the dissertation, a  detailed work and time schedule for the project, 10 pages at a max. and an abstract of the proposal./Optional: Please include your name, page number and an explanation of the file on each page)
  • Letter of Motivation
    (1 page, explaining why you apply for BIGSAS)
  • ·         Copy of your written Master’s or equivalent thesis
  • Two letters of reference
    (Authors need to be from the applicant’s academic background  and mentioned with title and university/institute)
  • List of academic publications (if applicable)
  • ·         Formal requirements

Curriculum Vitae
(showing your academic progress and qualification(s) in detail)

  • Bachelor’s Degree or equivalent degree
    (e.g. Licence ou Maîtrise, a certified copy is requested)
  • Master’s Degree or equivalent degree including transcript of records
    (e.g. DEA or DESS, a certified copy is requested).

The online application platform is closed but applicants should please check the website for other details for details and how to apply, click here