Does my academic background / my PhD project qualify for application to the PhD programme?

Application to the PhD programme “Global and Area Studies (with a special emphasis on peace and security in Africa)” is open to applicants from all academic backgrounds.  However, having previously studied subjects in an academic field outside social sciences and humanities may pose certain challenges due to the thematic focus and direction of the PhD programme.

Please note that it is important that your proposed thesis relates to the overall subject of the PhD programme. A proposed PhD project does not necessarily need to be purely about peace and security on the African continent. However, in light of the programme's focus we advise applicants to elaborate on the link between their thesis topic and the subject of the PhD programme. Thus, your application would benefit if your PhD proposal clearly indicated the relevance of your topic for the overall theme of the programme.

Are there scholarships available?

Unfortunately, the PhD programme "Global and Area Studies (with a special emphasis on peace and security in Africa)" is not a scholarship programme. Thus, we are unable to provide full scholarships for this programme. Applicants are expected to look for funds independently in order to cover the costs for tuition and registration fees as well as for living expenses in Addis Ababa and Leipzig. We strongly encourage applicants to seek financial support/a scholarship from sources such as government institutions, employers, donor institutions or non-governmental organisations. You may also want to check if you are eligible for a scholarship of the institutions listed in our section “Fees and Support”.

For a limited number of very good and successful applicants who prove their academic excellence in the programme we are able to provide up to two partial Sur Place/Third Country Scholarships by the DAAD/the German Federal Foreign Office.  These scholarships cover one quarter of the yearly tuition fees and provide some assistance to the cost of living. Further information can be found on our section “Fees and Support”.

 In addition (and subject to availability of funds), for a limited number of excellent students financial support during the study period in Leipzig (4 months) covering large parts of the air fares from Ethiopia to Germany and back as well as accommodation in Leipzig may be granted.

I do not have my MA certificate yet. What do I do with regard to my application?

If you graduate only after the application deadline (31st of May), please inform us about this in your letter of motivation and send us your M.A. degree as soon as you receive it. The decision on the admission will in this case be made on the grades indicated on the transcript of study results. Please note, however, that in case of an admission to the PhD programme the certified copy of your Master's degree certificate will be needed in September in order to be able to enrol you for the programme which starts in October. (Without this certified copy of your M.A. certificate we will unfortunately be unable to enrol you.)

I will only know my English test results after the deadline of application. What shall I do?

If you will only receive your English test results (e.g. IELTS or TOEFL) after the application deadline (31st of May), please let us know in your letter of motivation that you have taken the English test and inform us when you are expecting to receive the results. As soon as you have received them, send us an electronic copy by e-mail and a hard copy by postal mail.

Do I have to study for the entire period of three years?

Please note that our PhD programme is a structured programme of three years. This means that - apart from writing a PhD thesis – students gain credit points by participating, among others, in seminars, workshops and summer schools which are part of the study programme (please also see the answer to the next question below). As such, we strongly advise to apply for the entire programme period.

Why does the study programme include the participation in courses?

PhD education is undergoing important changes moving away from the individual PhD student who is doing research all by him/herself with the main contact person being his/her supervisor towards ‘structured PhD training’  which is meant to support PhD students in their writing and research process by offering them courses to enhance their skills to undertake high quality research. In addition, colloquiums, summer schools and working groups offer PhD students a platform to exchange ideas and discuss their work in process with their peers. As such, this coursework should not be understood as an additional workload or burden undermining independent work but as an opportunity for academic exchange and support given to junior by senior researchers.

Is an exposé/PhD proposal required at the time of submitting the application?

Yes. All applicants have to submit an elaborate exposé/proposal for a PhD dissertation (not exceeding 3,500 words) which presents the research question and approach, including an analysis of the state of the art with regard to the research topic, as well as a feasible three-year time and working plan. Without a PhD proposal we are, unfortunately, not able to consider an application.

I noticed that the programme primarily addresses African students. Can I also apply as a non-African?

The programme is open to applicants from all nationalities. Due to its focus (peace and security in Africa), the study programme specifically encourages African students to apply for admission; it is, however, not restricted to applicants from Africa. As such, applicants from all national backgrounds are welcome to apply for the programme.

Do certified copies have to be sent to both Addis Ababa University and Leipzig University?

Yes. Since successful applicants are going to be enrolled at Leipzig University and Addis Ababa University, both universities need the necessary certified documents. We would therefore kindly ask applicants to submit them to both institutions in hard copy. Only certified copies can be accepted. Please note that copies of certified documents do not suffice.

Certified copies of certificates: Am I supposed to authenticate and send them myself or should the institution (e.g. previous university) send them directly?

Both is possible.

Where will the PhD programme primarily be conducted?

The programme will primarily be conducted in Addis Ababa with a four months study period in Leipzig. This means that all semesters of the study programme except the second take place in Ethiopia with scholars from Addis Ababa University and Leipzig University co-teaching the programme's courses; during the second semester (April-July) PhD students will participate in a range of courses (including research seminars, colloquiums, key qualification workshops and a summer school) by German scholars and invited guest lecturers from all over the world at Leipzig University.