GSSP 2015-2020

DAAD Scholarships at the Graduate School Practices of Literature, University of Münster, Germany

Information on application possibilities will be updated soon!
Logos of the DAAD and GSPoL

DAAD PhD Scholarships

In the past, the Graduate School Practices of Literature (GSPoL) at the University of Münster invited international students in literary studies to apply for one of two PhD scholarships each year. The three-year scholarships were part of the Graduate School Scholarship Programme (GSSP) funded by the German Academic Exchange Service / Deutschen Akademischen Austauschdienst (DAAD). Whether the programme continues will be decided in fall 2020.

Graduate schools and structured doctoral training have been widely adopted by institutions across Europe to enhance students’ networking skills, interdisciplinary collaboration, and employability in or outside academia. High-quality standards regarding the selection and hosting of doctoral students, as well as an international research environment, create an ideal setting particularly for international candidates. At GSPoL, students benefit from interdisciplinary supervision and exchange and have the opportunity to prepare for careers in academic and non-academic contexts.

Areas of study: English/American Studies, Arabic/Islamic Studies, Baltic Studies, Book Studies, German Studies, Comparative Studies, Latin Philology/Studies, (Neo-)Medieval Latin Studies, Dutch Studies, Scandinavian Studies, Romance Studies (Main Areas: French, Spanish and Italian Literature), Sinology, Slavonic Studies

The program revolves around three main subject areas:

1. Literature, Culture and Society
(relationship between literature, culture and society; social theories; cultural theories; cultural turn and/in literary studies)

2. Theories of Literature and Culture
(science studies; history, theory, and methodology of/in literary/cultural studies)

3. Literary/Cultural Studies and the Professional World
(professional sectors that require expertise in literary/cultural studies; the literary marketplace; transferable skills)

Curriculum: Lectures series and workshops, colloquia, research groups, and mandatory electives such as internships, academic teaching, etc.

Supervision: Each doctoral candidate will have an individual, interdisciplinary support group consisting of three advisors. A written mentoring agreement and an individual timeline will be established and signed by the PhD candidate and their supervisors.

Application Guidelines

Each DAAD scholarship in this programme comprises funding for three years. The application deadline for the winter term is December 31. Application documents may be submitted in German or English.


  • master’s degree (generally in literary studies with a minimum grade 2.0)
  • German, English and, possibly, additional foreign language skills according to § 5 (2) of the GSPoL study regulations (the DAAD programme may include a preparatory German language course if applicants need to brush up on their German)
  • applicants must have received their master’s degree (i.e. taken their last final exam) no more than six years prior to the time when the DAAD receives the nomination letter
  • applicants should not have resided in Germany for more than fifteen months prior to the nomination to the DAAD

Please also refer to the DAAD website for current information and their guidelines for foreign applicants.

The application for a scholarship follows a three-step process:

Step 1: Application to the GSPoL
Applications to the GSPoL should be submitted in written form (via email as a single PDF file) and include the following:

  • letter of motivation stating the reasons for the application to the GSPoL
  • curriculum vitae (without photograph)
  • proof that the applicant has completed a GSPoL-related master’s degree (generally in literary studies with a minimum grade of 2.0) according to § 5 (1) of the GSPoL study regulations
  • proof of German, English and, possibly, additional foreign language skills according to § 5 (2) of the GSPoL study regulations
  • brief (approx. half-page) abstract of the PhD project
  • project proposal of about 10 pages in length, which discusses the research aims and methodology as well as the contents, originality and significance of the project
  • timeline, including optional stays/studies abroad of up to nine months in total (i.e., 25% of the duration of the scholarship), which may not be scheduled at the beginning of the programme
  • two letters of reference. Referees should use this form.

Step 2: personal interview at the GSPoL

Step 3: nomination to the DAAD and standard application procedure at and final decision by DAAD (online application with supporting documentation via the DAAD portal)

Please send your application (via email as a single PDF file) and any questions you may have to:

Graduate School Practices of Literature
WWU Münster, Fachbereich 09 (Philologie)
Dr. Anna Thiemann
c/o Germanistisches Institut
Schlossplatz 34
48143 Münster, Germany
+49 251 83 - 24439