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Application Deadline: November 30, 2021.

GSNAS admits between two and ten doctoral candidates per year who pursue a doctoral project in the field of North American Studies (i.e. the dissertation has to relate to the U.S. and/or Canada) in one of the six disciplines represented at the John F. Kennedy Institute (culture, economics, history, literature, political science, sociology).

The application process for doctoral grants for our three-year doctoral program (funding period: 2021-2024) is now open; the deadline is November 30, 2021. You will find a list of all necessary application documents and the URL of the application platform here. Interviews with shortlisted doctoral candidates will be held after the internal review process. Admission to the program starts in October 2022 (German fall term).


  1. Curriculum Vitae (in English)
  2. Statement of Purpose of approx. 2 pages (in English)
  3. Copies of Earned Degrees/Diplomas/Graduation Certificates (High School, BA, MA, etc.)
    Please note: Applicants who have not obtained their MA/MSc degree by the deadline must provide a transcript of records specifying that the coursework for the master’s degree has been completed. In addition, applicants must provide a written confirmation that the MA/MSc thesis has been submitted. The final grade of the MA thesis/program must be sent to the attention of the GSNAS office before the interviews. The official diploma for the final degree (MA, MSc) must be submitted no later than May 31, 2022 in order to ensure the admission by the respective school/department (Fachbereich). The Graduate School reserves the right to review MA program completion on a case-by-case basis in the event that COVID-19-related delays can be documented.
  4. An Outline of the Dissertation Project of 8-10 pages (in English)
  5. work plan/timeline (in English)
  6. Writing Sample based on a chapter of the M.A. thesis or an already published journal article (in English or German)
  7. Proof of Language Proficiency (TOEFL, IELTS, CAS, CPE)
    All applicants who are neither native English speakers nor have earned a degree at a university with English as language of instruction are required to submit certification of their English proficiency: minimum TOEFL scores of 600 (paper-based), 250 (computer-based) and 100 (internet-based) or equivalent minimum CAE (A and B), CPE (A, B, C) or IELTS (7.0) scores. A degree in North American Studies or English Language and Literature, earned at a German university is not sufficient as a proof of English language skills. It will only be accepted if the entire curriculum was taught in English. In addition, stays/semesters abroad will not be accepted as a substitute for a language test.
  8. Two Recent Letters of Reference (to be uploaded separately by the respective referee until Dec 15, 2021)

Application Procedure

The application process for the three year-doctoral program starting in the academic year 2022/23 is now open. Applications for 3 three-year doctoral grants (funding period 2022-2025) funded by the University as well as 7 doctoral memberships (Promotionsplätze) for candidates with third-party funding can be submitted again via our application platform. Applicants will have to upload the documents listed below and can either prepare their application dossiers offline or (in several steps) online by November 30, 2021. Please note that only projects related to the field of North American Studies can be considered (i.e. the dissertation has to relate to the U.S. and/or Canada). We will be glad to answer any further questions via email. Doctoral memberships are available for candidates who have already successfully applied for third-party funding by a funding agency (e.g. foundation) as part of a competitive application process. The aim of the third-party funding must be related to the financial support of academic research. The funding period should not be less than 36 months. Please note that we do not offer the possibility of a self-funded dissertation.




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