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Bielefeld Graduate School
in History and Sociology
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Shortcuts is a programme to promote young female german-speaking researchers financed by the BGHS, the Faculty of Sociology and the Department of History of the Faculty of History, Philosophy and Theology. The programme was initiated in the 2010 Summer Term and aims to actively support young women in their transition from masters to doctoral level. There are two components to Shortcuts: Workshops that aid preparations for doctoral study and scholarships for young women researchers. The programme starts every fall, a call for application is published every spring.

Information on current and former participants can be found here.

Workshops on preparing for doctoral study

The Shortcuts programme's language is German. It consists of workshops on fundamental questions about doctoral study and academic careers. Workshops focus on both clarifying dissertation topics and writing a proposal as well as on possible fellowships and other financial support during the doctoral phase. Experienced trainers, teachers, and BGHS personnel help participants to find a topic and clarify their motivation and support them in writing a proposal and applying for doctoral positions, fellowships and admission to a doctoral programme. A further element of the programme is regular exchange with other (future) doctoral researchers. Participants also have the opportunity to ask their own questions related to the topic of doctoral studies.

Shortcuts scholarships

Shortcuts scholarships give participants four months of financial independence to work on a doctoral thesis proposal so that they may apply for doctoral positions, fellowships, or admission to a doctoral programme. The fellowship consists of a monthly stipend of EUR 1,200 and runs from 1 October 2015 to 31 January 2016. This amount will be supplemented by a child allowance if applicable.

Application requirements

Women who have received an M.A. degree and wish to pursue doctoral studies in history or sociology may apply. Applicants must have a good command of German, as the Programme's language is German. Applicants must hold a Master's or Master's of Education or Diploma Study degree (Diplomstudiengang) in sociology, political or social science, history, gender studies, social anthropology or another social science or humanities discipline. We also welcome applications from candidates who have only recently received their Master's degree. A good knowledge of the German language is required. We expect the scholars to be present on a regular basis.

Application documents

Please submit the following documents in german language:

  • A one-page covering letter specifying your interest in a Shortcuts scholarship (around 400 words)
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Research proposal detailing your prospective doctoral thesis (700 words max.)
  • A summary of your Master's or diploma thesis (700 words max.)
  • Letter of recommendation from your previous supervisor/advisor regarding your academic qualification
  • Your Master's or Diploma transcript or a preliminary certificate of completion from your Examination Office. This certificate must contain all marks including the final thesis mark. Please note that you have to hand in your Master's or Diploma certificate by the start of the Shortcuts scholarship at the latest.

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Promoted by:

Initiative for Excellence
to Promote Institutions of
Higher Education
(First Funding Period 2007-2012,
Second Funding Period 2012-2017)

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