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Bielefeld Graduate School
in History and Sociology
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Career Bridge Fellowships

The BGHS supports members of its doctoral community even after they have completed their doctoral studies. Every year, the Graduate School grants four three- to six-month Career Bridge fellowships to highly qualified young researchers. These fellowships are meant to hasten and ease their transition to academic or non-academic careers.

The amount of the fellowship is set in accordance with DFG (German Research Foundation) guidelines for Research Training Groups and Graduate Schools and varies according to age and family status. You can read the DFG guidelines here (in German). Fellows also receive a computer work station at the Graduate School.


Applications are accepted from (former) members of the Graduate School who have defended their dissertation no more than one year earlier. To apply for a Career Bridge fellowship, you must have handed in your dissertation and received at least one evaluation. The defence of your thesis can still be upcoming. Please contact the BGHS office for guidance before applying.

Award criteria

Career Bridge Fellowships are awarded on the basis of: time to completion (three to four years for full-time doctoral researchers, five years maximum for part-time doctoral researchers); final dissertation mark (at least magna cum laude); the applicant's other academic or non-academic activities; the quality of the planned research projects or upcoming career steps; and a letter of recommendation from a professor or, in the case of non-academic career plans, contact person.

Application deadlines

  • 15 February for fellowships beginning April of the same year
  • 15 May for fellowships beginning July of the same year
  • 15 September for fellowships beginning December of the same year

Required application documents

Please submit the following documents:

  • A description of the research project planned or the planned career move after completion of your doctoral studies (4,000 words max.)
  • Work schedule and timeframe for the transitional period (400 words max.)
  • Curriculum vitae including the following information: dissertation starting date (admission to the doctoral programme in Sociology or History), date dissertation was handed in and, if applicable, date of defence)
  • Certificate of doctoral programme completion including final mark or certificate confirming that your dissertation has been handed in and at least one evaluation
  • Written recommendation in support of the planned career move from a professor or, for non-university plans, from a contact person
All application documents should be either in German or in English. Please email them as one PDF file to: The letter of recommendation can be mailed separately to the Graduate School. If you have any questions, feel free to use the e-mail address above.

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