One three-year DAAD doctoral scholarship with deadline 31 August 2020

Deadline: 31 August 2020, 23:59:59 CEST

This doctoral scholarship is available for international candidates wishing to participate in the doctoral program of the Berlin School of Mind and Brain.

Eligibility for the DAAD-funded doctoral scholarship:

  • At the time when the DAAD receives the nomination letter from the Berlin School of Mind and Brain (1 October 2020), the last final exam (Master's degree or equivalent) of the student must not have taken place longer than six years ago.
  • At the time when DAAD receives the nomination letter from us (1 October 2020), applicants must not have resided in Germany for more than 15 months (i.e., not before July 2019).

The total value of the scholarship comes to:

  • scholarship payments of monthly € 1,200 per month, for three years;
  • travel allowance to and from Germany;
  • payments towards health, accident and personal liability insurance cover;
  • a research allowance of € 460;
  • under certain circumstances, grant holders may receive the following additional benefits such as monthly rent subsidy, monthly allowance for accompanying family members (about € 200 child allowance per child and about € 275 marriage allowance);
  • a German language course (if desired and possible with respect to the starting date of the scholarship);
  • a material resource and supervision allowance of currently € 1,000 per year, which is paid upon application to the host institution/supervisors.

Official start of the doctoral program 2020 of the Berlin School of Mind and Brain is October, but a later start in 2020 will be possible.

Below, we will explain what kind of documents will be requested with the application. Please also go to the pages Requirements and also read the other Application subpages carefully.

Please read our FAQ !

Because we are advertising only one doctoral scholarship, the competetion will be fierce. From our experience, applicants with more unusual academic backgrounds for the scientific study of the mind and the brain will be unlikely to succeed. Therefore, should you not have the academic background recommended for our graduate school - i.e., primarily philosophy, psychology, neuroscience, cognitive science, (psycho)linguistics - , you should perhaps reconsider applying for this scholarship.

Please note: The online tool mentioned under Application or Requirements is closed!

Therefore, please send your application directly to mb-cooperation-please remove this in one PDF file named:


(For security reasons, our university e-mail system will not process files above 7 MB - you may have to use a fileshare option!)

Please include in your application:

(1) Research proposal (5 pages text plus bibliography/references)

(a) The central requirement for admittance to the school is your proposal for a doctoral project developed by yourself. All research proposals must have clear mind–brain relevance. Typical projects will investigate research questions that are of relevance to mind and brain research and to more than one discipline. Please look up the school’s overarching six research topics – they pay tribute to that approach.

(b) A project proposal must contain a detailed project idea, including:

  •     Summary of previous research
  •     Justification for relevance of project and research methodology
  •     Summary of the hypotheses and research questions to be addressed
  •     Relevant bibliography (list of publications relevant to the subject)
  •     Clear exposition of ideas

(c) All proposals will be reviewed by several faculty members some of whom may not be specialists in your field. Therefore, your research proposal should be accessible also to non-specialist reviewers.

(d) Successful project proposals will draw on findings from both mind and brain research. Results from both fields should play an essential role in achieving the objectives described in the research proposal. This means: “Brain”-related research should also cover mental phenomena, and “Mind”-related projects should incorporate findings from brain research. This requires sufficient grounding in the complementary field, but formal training or a degree in the complementary field is not mandatory.

(e) Please read this advice from our faculty for successful proposals: download pdf 50 kb

(f) Formal requirements for proposals:

  •     Max. five pages. Please note: Excess text will be blacked out!
  •     Single spaced
  •     Font: Times New Roman
  •     Size: 12 point
  •     Margins: on all sides at least 2 cm
  •     File format: PDF (do not password-protect or lock your file!)

(2) Letter of motivation (1 page)

Your letter of motivation is another important part of the application. It should be clear, concise, well crafted, and written in English. 1 page, in Times New Roman font, size 12 point, single spacing. Please also describe your previous experience of inter- or transdisciplinary work at the interface of mind and brain research. Please present and discuss your academic and career objectives. Be as specific as you can about your particular academic interests as well as your previous experience of transdisciplinary work at the interface of mind and brain sciences. Beyond what is apparent from your transcripts, describe your preparation for the program of the Berlin School of Mind and Brain.

(3) Are you eligible? Academic background

To be able to apply for our doctoral program, you must have completed (or be in the process of completing) a Master’s degree (with thesis, usually two years) in a field related or relevant to mind–brain research. The most promising degrees for a successful application are in philosophy, linguistics, psychology, neuroscience, cognitive science, neurology, psychiatry, and biology; with mind-brain related projects also in law, economics, or computer science.

(4) Proof of proficiency in English for non-native speakers

Our doctoral program is conducted in 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
  •     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)

(5) German language skills

Knowledge of German is not a prerequisite for doctoral studies at the school. However, please also read the FAQ on German language skills.

(6) CV incl. research experience

In your CV, please list your prior research experience (e.g. lab work, use of computer programs) and your disciplinary academic background, methodological skills, and research experience as well as research interests. If applicable: List your publications and teaching experience.

Please also list your college/university degrees in chronological order and attach your

  • Certificates/diplomas of studies completed
  • If incomplete Master's degree: Please provide transcripts of records

(7) Suggestions for supervisors (optional, but helpful for us)

Please make suggestions for possible supervisors at our school. You will find a list of all available full faculty members here. Choosing a supervisor is simply an indication for us and it is an optional (= non mandatory) requirement in the application process. Eventually, i.e. once accepted, each doctoral research project must be supervised by two experienced advisors, but these advisors can be determined and agreed upon during the later stages of the application process.

(8) Recommendation letters  - Not needed at this stage!

However, please supply the full name, institution and e-mail address for your referees in your CV. Please do not ask your referees to send us letters of recommentation at this stage. Only if you reach the next stage in the admission process will the M&B admission committee ask your referees directly for their letters of recommendation for you!

This page last updated on: 19 September 2020

Send your application directly to mb-cooperation-please remove this in one PDF file named:


(For security reasons our university e-mail will not process files above 7 MB - you may have to use a fileshare option!)