Please note that the selection process described below is different for China Scholarship Council applicants.
Step 1 (February): The selection committee determines in a “pre-selection” review whether the applicant is a good fit for the BTS and if core faculty members are able to supervise the subject in general.
Step 2 (March-April): Each application that has passed the pre-selection is evaluated by two internal reviewers who assess the application’s level of adherence to predetermined criteria. The reviewers consider the research proposal, the candidate’s academic performance, references, the CV, and the letter of motivation. Scores for each section are given on a numeric scale from 1 to 10 where 10 is the highest possible score; the scores are then combined according to different weights for each section to reach a final score. Applications are then sorted into a ranking list depending on the final score. At this time, potential supervisors are also identified.
Step 3 (mid-April): The selection committee composes a final list of successful applicants as well as a waiting list based on the ranking list, the availability of potential supervisors, the availability of funding, and open positions in the PhD programme.
Step 4 (late April): The decision of the selection committee is re-evaluated with the core faculty, who confirm the availability of an appropriate supervisor for each selected candidate. Telephone and in-person interviews may take place in this phase if further information is needed.
Step 5 (early May): Successful candidates are informed of their acceptance by April/May of each year. Unsuccessful candidates will also be notified. Candidates who cannot be offered a scholarship are in certain cases admitted to the programme provided that they secure their own external funding.
Step 6: Candidates selected for a nomination for a DAAD or CSC scholarship must submit an additional application to the respective funding organisation, which makes the final decision.
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