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FAQ on the a.r.t.e.s. Doctoral Scholarships

This page provides answers to frequently asked questions regarding the application for the a.r.t.e.s. Doctoral Scholarships and the admission to the Integrated Track doctoral model at the a.r.t.e.s. Graduate School. If you have any further questions, please contact artes-application(at)uni-koeln.de.

For general questions relating to the doctoral models at the Faculty of Arts and Humanities of the University of Cologne, please see the FAQ of the Central Doctoral Office.

By when must I submit my application?

The application deadline for a.r.t.e.s. Doctoral Scholarships is October 31, 2019. Please upload all necessary information and documents in a.r.t.e.s. access on that day before 12 p.m. Please note that your university diploma and the report on your degree thesis may be handed in later by e-mail to artes-application(at)uni-koeln.de: The deadline is November 22, 2019.

How should I submit my application?

To apply for an a.r.t.e.s. Doctoral Scholarship, please create an account with the web portal a.r.t.e.s. access. After login, please choose the application procedure “a.r.t.e.s. doctoral scholarships (starting April 2020)” and follow the instructions. – Please note that unreadable scans will not be considered. Photos are often problematic in this regard due to perspectival distortion, which is why we recommend using a scanner.

Which documents can I submit at a later date and what deadlines apply?

You can submit your university diploma and the report on your degree thesis by November 22, 2019 by e-mail to artes-application(at)uni-koeln.de. All other documents must be submitted to a.r.t.e.s. by the application deadline of October 31, 2019 at the latest.

Will the receipt of my application be confirmed?

Once we have received your application, you will automatically receive a confirmation message to your e-mail address. After a first review of the application documents, we will send you an additional confirmation of completeness or a request for additional information.

What is the difference between a doctoral scholarship and a collegiate position?

The a.r.t.e.s. Doctoral Scholarship is a full scholarship at EUR 1,400 per month which is awarded for 36 months. All scholarship holders participate in the Integrated Track, the structured doctoral model of the a.r.t.e.s. Graduate School. Collegiates also participate in the Integrated Track, but will not be funded by a.r.t.e.s. For example, doctoral students with an external funding can participate as a collegiate in the Integrated Track. In all other regards, both programmes follow the same curriculum and offer the same opportunities with regard to education options, provision of travel expenses and the infrastructure at a.r.t.e.s.

What degree must I hold before I can apply?

You can apply for the a.r.t.e.s. Doctoral Scholarships if you hold any form of postgraduate degree, for instance a Master's degree, a ‘Diplom’ degree, a ‘Magister’ degree or a state examination diploma. You are not eligible to apply with a Bachelor’s degree. The selection committee will decide on any exceptions to this rule (e.g. a Bachelor's degree with a standard study period of 8 semesters).

With which grade can I apply?

In order to be admitted to the Integrated Track, applicants must have obtained an average grade of at least 2.0 (according to the German grading system).

I have already completed my degree programme but have not yet received my report on the degree thesis or university diploma. Can I apply?

The report on your degree thesis and your university diploma are an essential part of your application. You may, however, submit these two documents later by November 22, 2019. If these documents are not available to you by this date, we would recommend that you submit your application during the next application period for the Integrated Track in autumn 2020.

I completed my degree programme several years ago. Can I apply?

Unfortunately not. The a.r.t.e.s. Doctoral Scholarship programme only accepts students who apply directly (max. 3 semesters) after completing their degrees. (You are only eligible to apply for the current announcement if you completed the degree qualifying you for doctoral studies at the Faculty of Arts and Humanities after April 1, 2018.) The committee will decide on a case by case basis whether to admit other applicants.

Can I apply as an international student?

Yes, you are welcome to apply for admission to the Integrated Track as an international student.

What level of proficiency in German is required to apply?

There are no formal requirements to demonstrate your proficiency in German. However, please bear in mind that German is the primary language spoken at a.r.t.e.s. A command of German will therefore help you in your interactions and exchanges with your colleagues from other disciplines. You may provide a statement concerning your knowledge of German in your covering letter.

Do I need to already have a supervisor at the University of Cologne in order to apply for the Integrated Track model?

No, you do not. You should, however, be in the process of seeking contact with a potential supervisor. Your supervisor can be appointed once your application has been accepted. If you already have confirmation of academic supervision from a professor at the University of Cologne, you may include a copy with your application. However, you are not required to do so at this point.

I want to obtain a doctorate in a discipline that is not included in the list of disciplines. Can I apply?

The Faculty of Arts and Humanities of the University of Cologne only offers doctoral degrees in the listed disciplines. A list of all disciplines which are accepted and with which one can register at the Faculty of Arts and Humanities of the University of Cologne can be found in the Doctoral Regulations of June 11, 2015 (Appendix 1) and the Regulation on Modifying the Doctoral Regulations of June 16, 2016. If you are uncertain about whether or not your project fits any of these fields, please contact a lecturer of the University of Cologne in your discipline for clarification (list of the institutes at the Faculty of Arts and Humanities). Under certain circumstances and if adequate supervision is available at the Faculty of Arts and Humanities, it may be possible to select a discipline that is not identical with the field in which you obtained your university degree.

The Faculty of Arts and Humanities only offers doctoral degrees in the listed disciplines:

Theology (Katholische Theologie); Chinese Studies (Sinologie/China-Studien); Classical Archaeology or Archaeology of the Roman Provinces (Klassische Archäologie oder Archäologie der römischen Provinzen); Didactics of History (Didaktik der Geschichte); Digital Humanities; Dutch Studies (Niederlandistik); Eastern European History (Osteuropäische Geschichte); Egyptology (Ägyptologie); English Philology (Englische Philologie); Finnish Studies (Fennistik); General Linguistics (Allgemeine Sprachwissenschaft); Geography (Geographie); German Philology (Deutsche Philologie); Greek Philology (Griechische Philologie); Historical and Comparative Linguistics (Historisch-vergleichende Sprachwissenschaft); Iberian and Latin American History (Iberische und Lateinamerikanische Geschichte); Indology and Tamil Studies (Indologie und Tamilistik); Information Processing (Informationsverarbeitung); Japanese Studies (Japanologie); Jewish Studies (Judaistik); Latin Philology (Lateinische Philologie); Linguistics (Linguistik); Medieval History (Mittelalterliche Geschichte); Medieval Latin Philology (Mittellateinische Philologie); Modern and Recent History (Neuere und Neueste Geschichte); Musicology (Musikwissenschaft); North American Studies; Oriental Philology: study focus Islamic Studies or Indonesian Philology (Orientalische Philologie: Schwerpunkt Islamwissenschaft oder Indonesische Philologie); Philosophy (Philosophie); Phonetics (Phonetik); Pre- and Early History (Ur- und Frühgeschichte); Protestant Theology (Evangelische Theologie); Regional Studies China (Regionalstudien China); Regional Studies Eastern and Central Europe: study focus Russia or Poland (Regionalstudien Ost- und Mitteleuropa: Schwerpunkt Russland oder Polen); Regional Studies Latin America (Regionalstudien Lateinamerika); Romance Philology (Romanische Philologie); Scandinavian Studies (Skandinavistik); Slavonic Studies (Slavistik); Social and Cultural Anthropology (Ethnologie); Theatre and Media Studies (Theater- und Medienwissenschaft).

* The subject Geography can only be selected for doctoral studies if a supervisor is available to whom the Faculty of Arts and Humanities has conferred the right to confer doctorates in accordance with Sect. 8 par. 1 sent. 3.

Will I need to be enrolled at the University of Cologne as a fellow of the programme?

Yes, once you have been admitted to the Integrated Track, you will have to enrol as a doctoral student at the University of Cologne for the whole duration of your doctoral studies. The primary supervisor must also be a member of the Faculty of Arts and Humanities of the University of Cologne. Under certain circumstances, it is possible for candidates to have an external second or third supervisor who is entitled to confer doctorates at other universities in Germany or abroad. Special regulations apply to International Doctorates.

Do I need to be resident in Cologne?

During the time of the scholarship you are required to live and work in Cologne. The committee will decide on any exceptions to this rule.

How can I tell if my doctoral dissertation project conforms to the a.r.t.e.s. programme?

The a.r.t.e.s. Graduate School is the graduate school of the Faculty of Arts and Humanities and thus covers the full range of subjects studied in the related disciplines. If you are uncertain if your doctoral project is suitable for a.r.t.e.s., we would recommend that you take a look at the curriculum of the interdisciplinary graduate classes and at current doctoral projects of the Integrated Track. If you think it is necessary, you are welcome to explain in your covering letter why you believe your project meets the requirements of the a.r.t.e.s. Graduate School.

What is the ‘research proposal for the doctoral dissertation project’ (‘Exposé zum Promotionsprojekt’)?

The ‘research proposal for the dissertation project’ is one of the most important parts of your application and offers a concise overview of your doctoral project. It should elaborate aspects such as your research question, thesis, methods and the relevance of your project for your field of research. You should also attach a preliminary bibliography on which you plan to base your research. In terms of formal requirements, the research proposal has to be a cohesive text of 7,000–12,000 characters, including spaces (not counting footnotes, appendix & bibliography).

What language should the ‘research proposal for the dissertation project’ be written in?

The research proposal can be submitted in German or English.

What is the ‘expert report on the doctoral dissertation project’ (‘Gutachten zum Promotionsprojekt’) and who can write it?

The expert report on the doctoral dissertation project relates directly to the doctoral project on which your application to a.r.t.e.s. is based. The report does not have to be prepared by your prospective dissertation supervisor or by a member of the Faculty of Arts and Humanities of the University of Cologne who is entitled to confer doctorates. It may also be prepared by a university lecturer working at another German or at an international university. There are no formal specifications for the report but we recommend to consult our guideline for the preparation of the expert report. The report may be sent directly by email to artes-application(at)uni-koeln.de – if so, please make a reference to this in your covering letter or the respective comments field in a.r.t.e.s. access.

What is the ‘report on the degree thesis’ (‘Gutachten zur Abschlussarbeit’) and who can write it?

The ‘report on the degree thesis’ is a written assessment of your thesis (M. A. thesis, ‘Magister’ thesis, ‘Diplom’ thesis, ‘Staatsarbeit’, ‘Examensarbeit’ etc.) prepared by the primary supervisor of your thesis. The report should be made available to you once you have completed your degree programme and you have received your diploma. In any case of doubt, please contact your primary supervisor or the relevant examination office. If you are unable to obtain the report, please indicate the reasons in your covering letter or the respective comments field in a.r.t.e.s. access. The report on your degree thesis may be handed in later until November 22, 2019 at the latest. The report may be sent directly to artes-application(at)uni-koeln.de by the supervisor or the examination office – if this is the case, please also mention this in your covering letter or the respective comments field in a.r.t.e.s. access.

Does the university diploma need to be translated?

The university diploma does not have to be translated if it is written in German, English or French. Documents written in other languages must be accompanied by a translation into either German, English, or French.

Can I apply for a financial support to help me finish my current doctoral dissertation project?

The Doctoral Scholarships at a.r.t.e.s. are designed exclusively for doctoral candidates who start their doctoral project at a.r.t.e.s. and finish it within three years. a.r.t.e.s does thus not provide financial support to enable applicants to finish their current doctoral projects.

May I simultaneously apply for more than one funding programme?

It is not possible to apply simultaneously for an a.r.t.e.s. Doctoral Scholarship and for a Mercator Scholarship in the winter semester 2019/20.

If you have – successfully or not – applied for a scholarship for the preparation of a doctoral dissertation project in the summer semester 2019, you are eligible to apply for an a.r.t.e.s. Doctoral Scholarship or for a Mercator Scholarship in the winter semester 2019/20. In this case, you will have to choose between the two funding programmes as it is not possible to apply for both of them simultaneously.

When applying for an a.r.t.e.s. Doctoral Scholarship or for a Mercator Scholarship in the winter semester 2019/20, you may not apply for a scholarship for the preparation of a doctoral dissertation project in summer semester 2020.

Am I allowed to work while holding a scholarship?

The a.r.t.e.s. Doctoral Scholarships are full scholarships, which do not allow a secondary employment. However, part-time work for up to 8 hours/week can be permitted upon written request to the General Management.

What should I keep in mind when applying for a visa?

To ensure a smooth start of the programme in the case that admission is granted, we advise applicants from outside Europe to get in touch with the German consulate or embassy in their country of residence early on and ask them about average processing times for visa applications. It may even be advisable to book an appointment with the consulate or embassy pre-emptively, as experience tells us there are significant waiting periods in some countries.