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The Graduate School of East Asian Studies (GEAS), funded by the Excellence Initiative of the German Federal and State Governments, will admit doctoral candidates to its program, beginning October 1st, 2016. Up to 12 candidates will receive a grant by the Graduate School (DFG), and up to 3 candidates can be accepted with funding either from other Freie Universität Berlin programs, or from partner institutions in East Asia (CSC, etc.) or scholarships provided by German or international organizations.

Doctoral dissertations at GEAS are expected to analyze the institutional environment of social, political, cultural and economic actors in the East Asian region of China, Japan and/or Korea. All dissertation research at GEAS will be conducted in the context of the three interconnected research lenses of its academic profile: the origin and change of institutions in East Asia, the effects institutions have on processes related to globalization and modernization in East Asia on the side of governments, bureaucracies or business and individual life-styles or related preferences, and, finally, the interdependencies of institutions in East Asia within and beyond its regional boundaries.

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 (Politics, Social and Cultural Anthropology, Business, Economics, Law, History, Cultural Studies, Humanities, Theatre Studies, Environmental Policy) 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.

We offer PhD stipends of €1365 €/month plus a monthly research allowance of €103. Fellowships will initially be granted for one year, and contingent upon a positive evaluation after each year of study, fellowships will be extended for another year. The fellowship may be granted for a maximum of three years.

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 directly by your referees to GEAS via the online application system. For more information and guidelines as well as for applications, please register at the online application portal .

The next application deadline will be January 15, 2016. For questions on admission and the online portal, please also consult the Admission FAQ.

The screening takes place in February 2016. Shortlisted candidates will be interviewed (via Skype) between February and April 2016. Candidates accepted for admission into GEAS will receive notice by early to mid-May 2016.

For additional information, please check our website and feel free to contact us at No legal entitlement shall be constituted by applying to the program. Reasons for rejections will not be disclosed.



GEAS Application

Graduate School of East Asian Studies

Freie Universität Berlin

Hittorfstr. 18

14195 Berlin