Call for Applications “Trajectories of Change”, Ph.D. Scholarships in Humanities and Social Sciences

Deadline: 31 July 2018
Open to: Ph.D. students of social sciences or humanities
Scholarship: €1,200 per month


Europe’s neighbourhood has experienced armed conflict, political transition and authoritarian restoration along with profound social and economic change. These transformation processes with deep historical roots have usually resulted from an interplay of domestic and transnational actors and factors. In order to reveal their complexity, a view through a transnational and regional lens can be rewarding: Which interdependences – past and present – are constitutive for the neighbouring regions of the European Union? How can we study transnational influences and effects on change in Eastern Europe, Central Asia and the MENA region? How to distinguish and take into account factors of change across national borders and social boundaries? To which extent do these factors shape political, social and economic realities? The scholarship programme “Trajectories of Change” addresses historical and current transformation processes in the European neighbourhood. It offers stipends and fieldwork grants for Ph.D. students in the humanities and social sciences. For 2018, research applications dealing with transnational and regional dynamics of transformation are especially welcome.


In order to be eligible for a Ph.D. scholarship, the applicant must have obtained a university degree that qualifies him or her for Ph.D. studies. Proof of this qualification must be submitted together with the application. Students applying for the pre-doctoral grants should expect to complete their degree in the same year. The program is aimed exclusively at graduates who in the course of their studies have shown above-average academic aptitude and whose research project promises to yield independent and new findings. The Foundation reserves the right to admit qualified applicants who have other sources of income to the program without granting them a full scholarship to cover their living costs.


The stipend for the scholarships is € 1,200 per month. Supplementary payments for married scholarship holders will not be granted by the Foundation. The stipend is paid in three-monthly instalments, payable in advance, into an account stipulated by the scholarship holder. In case of pre-doctoral grants the financial support is limited to max. € 5,000. This single grant should support the development of the dissertation project, including small scale preliminary research and funds for participation in academic conferences.

Fieldwork Grants support travel costs as well as research expenses and add up to max. € 3,000. The Foundation expects to be informed about the progress of the research. This will usually be in the form of a presentation of the work in progress at the students’ conference. In their first year, the Ph.D. students are required to present their project at the scholarship conference held annually in spring, having before submitted in writing a ten-page paper on a specific aspect of their dissertation. The continuation of the scholarship must be approved by the selection committee that is present at the conference. 

The Ph.D. Scholarships end:

a) at the end of the granted period of time

b) within the granted period of time at the end of the month in which the scholarship holder submits his or her dissertation at the degree-giving university, or on the day that the scholarship holder abandons his or her dissertation to enter into a contract of employment that runs counter to the regulations listed below

Should the scholarship holder be unable to complete the dissertation within the granted period of time, a final report must be submitted to the Foundation. In any case, the scholarship holder is under obligation to submit a copy of the degree certificate to the Foundation. 

All travel costs – except for travel to events organized by the Foundation for its current scholarship holders - and other expenses must be defrayed from the stipend. In individual cases the Foundation may agree to make available limited additional funds depending on a well-founded application. 


Interested candidates must apply online HERE. The application must be submitted in English and must contain the following documents:

  • a research proposal (max. 7 pages for doctoral students and 3-5 pages for pre-doctoral candidates, references excluded);
  • a research plan with time schedule;
  • a CV and a photo;
  • a copy of your university degree.

For any enquiries please contact Jane Dr. Anna Hofmann at:

For further information please visit the official website.