Note: Once you are applying to the Berlin School of Mind and Brain as an international student, and if you fulfil the requirements for the DAAD scholarships listed below, you will be automatically considered for these scholashoips. You do not have to apply for them specifically.
Apply to our program through the Online Tool! Read about the application process under Application.
Information on the DAAD scholarships
Two three-year DAAD doctoral scholarships are available for international candidates wishing to participate in the doctoral program of the Berlin School of Mind and Brain (a funded extension of 12 months may be possible.)
The regular doctoral program and these scholarships start on 1 October 2024.
Eligibility rules for the DAAD-funded doctoral scholarship:
- At the time when the DAAD receives the nomination letter from the Berlin School of Mind and Brain (around 15 May 2024), 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 the Berlin School of Mind and Brain (15 May 2024), applicants must not have resided in Germany for more than 15 months (i.e., not before January 2023).
- At the time when the scholarship starts (1 October 2024) you must be able to provide a completed Master’s degree.
- Please note: If because of the pandemic you have been studying online, based outside Germany, while being enroled in a Master’s program in Germany since before January 2023, you cannot apply; your physical presence is Germany is – in this case – not required in order to render you ineligible for this scholarship.
The total value of the scholarship comes to:
- three years of funding guaranteed plus one year extension possible;
- 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 resp. € 230 (from developed countries) per year;
- 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.
Documents / Requirements
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 make sure to read our comprehensive FAQ !
The competetion for these scholarships will be strong. 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., philosophy, psychology, neuroscience, cognitive science, psycholinguistics -, you should perhaps reconsider applying for this scholarship.
General information on scholarships
(follow internal link) Scholarships
Are you eligible? Academic background
To be able to apply successfully for our doctoral program, you must have completed (or be in the process of completing) you must have completed a Bachelor's degree (3–4 years) and a Master’s degree (or be in the process of completing a degree with a thesis, usually over 2 years) in a field related to or relevant to mind–brain research. The most promising degrees for a successful application are in philosophy of mind, psychology, neuroscience, cognitive science, neurolinguistics.
The Berlin School of Mind and Brain will only accept students with 300 ECTS from their previous degrees, usually gained through 5 years of (relevant) university courses. If you will not have completed your Master's degree at the time of applying, you must upload an up-to-date transcript of records and let us know about your expected final credits. If via your degree courses you will have gained less than 300 ECTS by the start of our program in October you will not be able to apply.
- The Master's degree must be completed at the start of the scholarship (October 2023)
- The most promising degrees/fields of study for a successful application are in philosophy, neurolinguistics, psychology, neuroscience, cognitive science, medicine, or neurobiology. Please read the FAQ
- For reasons of fairness and comparability with other applicants, the total duration of your B.A./B.Sc. and M.A./M.Sc. studies will be taken into account. Please be aware that we may want to know more about this issue when evaluating your application.
Please include in your application:
(1) Research proposal (max. 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, but within the scope of the M&B main research topics.
(b) A project proposal must contain a detailed project idea, including:
- Summary of previous research
- Justification for relevance of the 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
(d) Please read this advice from our faculty for successful proposals: download pdf 50 kb or read here: http://www.mind-and-brain.de/doctoral-program/application/how-to-research-proposal/
(e) 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) 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 III
- Cambridge English Advanced (CAE) 180–199
- Cambridge English First (FCE) 180–190
- C1 Business Higher
- IELTS 6.5–7.5
- TOEFL iBT 95–120
- TOEIC Listening & Reading 945
- TOEIC Speaking & Writing 360
- PTE General Level 4
- PTE Academic 76–85
(4) 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 (BA/BSc and MA/MSc)
- If incomplete Master's degree: Please provide transcripts.
Note: The Master's degree must be completed at the start of the scholarship (October 2023)
(5) Recommendation letters - Not needed at this stage!
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!
(6) German language skills
Knowledge of German is not required for doctoral studies at our school. However, please also read the FAQ on German language skills.