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Excellent PhD Education

A Pioneering Model with an International Reputation

The GCSC offers a holistic, systematic, and custom-designed Research Training Programme for PhD students in the fields of the study of culture. In only six semesters, candidates attain their doctorates, moving from the introductory core course to interdisciplinary research colloquia, advanced seminars in their discipline, and a preparatory course for the dissertation defence.


Basic and Advanced Study

As one of the three limited-enrollment doctoral programmes at the Gießener Graduiertenzentrum Kulturwissenschaften (GGK), the GCSC benefits from the experience of established structures at the university. In addition to the core offerings that Giessen PhD students have profited from since the GGK's founding in 2001, the GCSC offers innovative formats for courses and events such as international master classes, keynote lectures, and symposia for junior scholars. The GGK's two partner programmes in literary and cultural studies, the International PhD Programme (IPP) and the European PhD Network (PhDnet), complement the GCSC's array of programmes with additional events.

Multi-level Mentoring Programme

GGK and GCSC rely on a comprehensive approach to mentoring. In an advising contract, PhD student and primary advisor define the objectives of each doctorate as well as outlining a detailed schedule. Among the contact persons available for candidates are not only the doctoral supervisor but also postdocs and other PhD students who can provide important suggestions and assistance.

Graduate Curriculum

The GCSC's curriculum sets clear goals for each phase of a candidate's doctoral studies, thus guaranteeing that students make steady progress and are able to defend their dissertations after six semesters. The semester-by-semester plan of study recommended by the GCSC offers courses and workshops adapted to each phase of PhD candidacy, while always supporting the dissertation project in the best possible way. Each member of the GCSC can choose from the wide-ranging offerings of the study programme, career service, and teaching centre that best match their personal interests and goals.

Interdisciplinary Research Colloquia

Interdisciplinary doctoral colloquia, where the candidates present work-in-progress from their dissertations, are central to our curriculum. The colloquia help candidates to structure their research proposals as well as to practice making scholarly presentations. By receiving constructive feedback from mentors and peers, doctoral students learn effective strategies for completing their studies and defending the dissertation.

Bi-national Supervision: Toward Internationalization

One of our important contributions to the internationalization of doctoral training is the bi-national supervision of dissertations. The GCSC encourages and supports doctoral students in choosing a second dissertation supervisor from another nation, and we will assist you if you wish to arrange such a "cotutelle" doctorate with international partners.

The GCSC Scholarship Programme

The GCSC annually awards nine doctoral scholarships and a postdoctoral fellowship (for a period not to exceed three years) for highly qualified applicants from cultural disciplines. The application deadline is always in the spring, typically on the 1st of March. For detailed information on current scholarships, please visit the homepage of the GCSC.