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Frequently Asked Questions

About the application

Currently, there are no planned upcoming positions.

The general admissions process for the doctoral program takes place once per year. Any other positions will be advertised on our website.

Yes. The program is full-time and requires your presence in Berlin and at SCIoI.

No. The program is full-time and requires your presence in Berlin and at SCIoI.

Please research potential supervisors on: and contact potential supervisors directly, e.g. in order to discuss a research idea.

There are no tuition fees, only the university’s administrative fees. Read more here.

Unfortunately, there is nothing you can do. Please apply next year. The online application tool will re-open in late October. If you want to be sure not to miss the next call, please check our website, connect to our Facebook site, or subscribe to our mailing list (you can unsubscribe yourself at any time).

Application Requirements

You will find comprehensive information on our doctoral program and application requirements and on the admission procedure on our website.

SCIoI is an interdisciplinary program and our researchers come from many different backgrounds. Therefore, with regards to the academic discipline, requirements for each position will vary. However, you will need to have completed or be in the process of completing your master’s degree or PhD (for postdoc positions).

Submitting before the deadline will not enhance your chances, nor will submission very close to the deadline decrease them.

Take your time to proofread all documents and to make sure you have all documents ready for upload. Keep in mind that traffic on the site increases in the last hours before the deadline and that uploads may take longer than usual.

Yes. If you apply for a new position, you will need to re-submit all required documents.

This is also the case if you apply for more than one position during the same call.

Applications must be submitted through the online application tool. Please do not send any documents by email or post unless we specifically ask you to.

In order to be accepted to the program and to enroll as a doctoral student and be hired as a doctoral researcher, you will need to have completed or be in the process of completing your master’s degree or PhD (for postdoc positions).

We accept applications from people who are still finishing their Master’s degree. However, the graduation certificate must have been issued by the agreed starting date.

For the written application, diplomas and transcripts that are not in English or German should be translated. Should you be accepted into the program, the university administration may require additional documents for the enrollment/hiring, and may also ask for the originals and or certified /authenticated copies.

Doctoral candidates at SCIoI will be supported in their dissertation by three supervisors. One supervisor should be from the synthetic and one from the analytical sciences. One of the supervisors should be external (e.g. not part of the research project).

External supervisors are allowed. Your primary supervisor should be from SCIoI.

No, it isn’t if you started late on your academic career. It may be an issue if your last degree was taken a long time ago, e.g. if you have been away from research for an extended period of time. Please contact the project lead directly for individual recommendation.

Doctoral and postdoctoral positions at SCIoI are fixed-term salaried positions, deferrals are not foreseen.

There is no limited word count for the motivation letter/statement of purpose. However, we recommend not exceeding one (1) standard page.

Please only enter the required information (full name, institution and e-mail address) for your referees. Please do not ask your referees to send us letters of recommendation at this stage.

Members of the respective admission subcommittee for each position will contact referees directly if necessary.

In your CV or in a separate document, please enter the names, contact details and institutional affiliations of two referees.

English Language Requirements

The working language at SCIoI is English. If you are a non-native English speaker, we require proof of your proficiency. During the online application process, please upload a certificate providing proof of your English knowledge. The minimum demand is B2 which is equivalent to the following test scores:

UNIcert® II Certificate: 3,0

International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Academic: 7,0 (computer-based tests in a local testing center, paper-based, or taken online)

Cambridge First Certificate in English (FCE): B

TOEFL: Internet-based test: 87 – Paper-based test: 560

DAAD Language Certificate: C in all test sections (minimum requirement)

Please note: If you completed your Bachelor’s and/or Master’s degree in an English-speaking country, or if your Bachelor’s and/or Master’s program were taught in English, the transcripts for your degree(s) will suffice. However, the transcripts must state clearly that the entire program was conducted in English!

Your TOELF or IELTS should not be older than 24 months.


Please send electronically as SCIoI does not have an ETS code.

Which IELTS test results are required? IELTS Academic or IELTS General?

For the purpose of this application, we require the IELTS Academic.

If a significant part or your complete Bachelor’s and/or Master’s degree took place in an English speaking country, and/or my Bachelor’s and/or Master’s programs were taught in English, this will suffice as proof of English proficiency.

The working language at SCIoI is English. German skills are not required. We are however happy to indicate offers for German- or other language courses offered by the university.

Please contact graduate coordinator at

Online Tool – Softgarden

Yes. Positions vary greatly with regards to research focus and necessary requirements and qualifications.  While it is possible to apply for more than one position, you must direct your application at the position in question.

Please refer to admission timeline on our website. You will be notified by the admissions officer during the process/in due time.


Yes. Multiple applications are possible but require a separate application for each position.

Applying for more than one position will neither increase nor decrease your chances for acceptance.

Yes, subscribe to our newsletter here.

No. For the application via our online tool you do not need any hard copies; scanned copies will suffice. Hard copies would become relevant only once you have successfully been accepted for the position in which case you would need to present them for the hiring / enrollment office.

Other Frequently Asked Questions

Visa for Germany

Please contact the academic coordinator at

Please contact the visa authorities directly.

We cannot but the international offices of our partner institutions might be able to assist with apartment listings.

Master's Track

You can find more information about our Master’s Track here.


An overview of our scientific work

See our Research Projects