PhD studentships in East Asian Studies

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    Graduate School of East Asian Studies
    Social sciences
    First Stage Researcher (R1) (Up to the point of PhD)


Graduate School of East Asian Studies (GEAS) will admit doctoral candidates to its program, beginning October 1st, 2020. Up to 9 candidates will be accepted.

GEAS offers a social science-based, structured 3-year PhD program with a regional focus on East Asia  (China, Japan, Korea). Doctoral dissertations at GEAS are expected to analyze the institutional environment of social, political, cultural and economic actors in the East Asian region. All dissertation research at GEAS will be conducted in the context of the three interconnected research lenses of its academic profile:

1. the origin and change nstitutions in East Asia,

2. the effects institutions have on processes, related to globalization and modernization in East Asia on the side

of governments, bureaucracies, businesses, individual life-styles, etc.,

3. the interdependencies of institutions in East Asia within and beyond its regional boundaries.


What is funded

Up to 2 fellowships for international candidates can be funded by GSSP, the Graduate School Scholarship Program of German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). Two further positions for PhD students with Chinese citizenship are available through the cooperation of Freie Universität and Chinese Scholarship Council through Centerfor International Cooperation (FU-CSC PhD Scholarship).

Candidates who are not offered a scholarship can be admitted to the program, provided that they apply for and secure external funding from other foundations and sponsors before or at the same time as applying for GEAS. The coordination office will support the applications and provide assistance if necessary.

Applicants are required to apply online at the application portal. Note that the candidates selected for a nomination for DAAD have to submit a subsequent application to the funding organization for a final decision. We would like to ask applicants who apply for CSC at Beijing Liaison Office to also submit their application to the GEAS portal as well.

Travel allowances for conference presentations can be reserved for students, and applciations for grants are supported any time.


The programme is a 3-year structured PhD program in East Asian Studies with the option to optain a PhD in a relevant subject of participating disciplines.


Successful applicants will have an above average master’s degree in either area studies (Chinese Studies, Japanese Studies, Korean Studies) or a discipline represented at the Graduate School (Political Science, Social and Cultural Anthropology, Business, Economics, Law, History, Cultural Studies, Humanities) with a focus on East Asia. The language of communication is English. Successful candidates will also have language skills in an East Asian Language (Chinese, Japanese, or Korean) at a level of B2 or higher. Doctoral students’ membership in the program is contingent upon a positive evaluation after each year of study.

Applications should include

  • a CV
  • a letter of academic interest
  • a brief outline of the prospective dissertation topic (maximum 6 pages)
  • a schedule for the dissertation
  • and copies of certificates of your relevant degrees and language skills.

Two letters of recommendation shall be sent or uploaded directly by your referees to GEAS via the online application system before the deadline. For more information and guidelines as well as for applications, please register at the online application portal of Dahlem Research School Booking & Application Site.


The responsibility for the funding offers published on this website, including the funding description, lies entirely with the publishing institutions. The application is handled uniquely by the employer, who is also fully responsible for the recruitment and selection processes.