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Bielefeld Graduate School

in History and Sociology

Logo der Einrichtung
Logo der Einrichtung

Facts and Figures

The BGHS is an international and interdisciplinary Graduate School for History and Sociology. The BGHS is supported within the framework of the Excellence Initiative since 2007 (till 2017).

Doctoral researchers

  • currently 124 doctoral researchers
  • female doctoral researchers at 43 percent
  • international doctoral researchers at 30 percent
  • more than 150 graduates since 2008

Further information about the BGHS:


  • Dissertations at the BGHS can have an interdisciplinary or disciplinary focus. Even projects with a disciplinary nature benefit from interdisciplinary dialogue.
  • from the second stage of funding doctorial positions granted (65%) rather than scholarships
  • a selection procedure that meets gender and diversity requirements (for instance, through an interdisciplinary selection committee drawn from all levels of the BGHS community)
  • The BGHS applies mandatory guidelines for the supervision of doctoral projects.
  • A Transcript of Records is issued after completion of the doctoral programme.
  • average time to doctorate is four years

Study Programme

  • The BGHS office organises the interdisciplinary study programme (a large part in English)
  • innovative workshop formats (e.g.: research classes)
  • theory and methods seminars (theory classes, methods classes)
  • internationally renowned visiting guest lecturers
  • transferable skills courses and career services
  • optional courses
  • The BGHS study programme is designed to meet the specific needs of doctoral candidates.
  • BGHS's comprehensive programme benefits the research of both faculties.

Doctoral research culture

  • The BGHS places value on the personal initiative and commitment of its doctoral candidates to encourage a creative and independent doctoral candidate culture (bottom-up principle).
  • doctoral candidate participation in the BGHS board, in all processes and in selection committees (with voting rights)
  • doctoral representatives selected for the study programme, for international members, and for social affairs
  • integration of doctoral candidates who are not being supported within the context of a Research Training Group or other research programmes, for instance by providing thirty-five additional workstations at the BGHS

Academic events and formats

  • The Annual Seminar, an international conference, convenes every year at the BGHS and is organized by doctoral candidates.
  • The BGHS co-organizes with the History Faculty an annual German-American PhD Student Workshop Exchange Notre Dame/Bielefeld.
  • InterDisciplines. Journal of History and Sociology (peer-reviewed, open access) is published by the BGHS.
  • The BGHS is active in bringing science to the public (in a series of lectures entitled "Linie 4" (Line 4)).

Quality Control

  • Doctoral programmes and admissions procedures of both the History and Sociology faculties are firmly anchored within the doctoral regulations and study regulations of the BGHS
  • member involvement through general meetings
  • evaluations (2010, 2016)
  • professional membership management
  • BGHS guidelines for good supervision
  • conflict management (academic liaison)
  • internal/ external communications, public and press relations


  • The BGHS promotes the international reputation of Bielefeld University and continues the long tradition of cooperation between history and sociology.
  • The BGHS attracts outstanding national and international doctoral candidates.
  • The highly inspirational scientific environment at the BGHS has led to a great number of publications achieved and lectures given by the doctoral candidates, to a reasonable time to doctorate and to a low dropout rate.
  • Doctoral researchers are very happy with the learning community culture at the BGHS.

Official Boiler Plate of the BGHS

The Bielefeld Graduate School in History and Sociology (BGHS) is an institute providing structured doctoral training in history and sociology at Bielefeld University. It takes an international orientation, is open to topics within the entire breadth of the disciplines involved, and thrives on interdisciplinary exchange. It has been funded since 2007 as part of the German Universities Excellence Initiative.

last update: November 2018

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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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