PhD Scholarship Programme between University of Göttingen and China Scholarship Council

The joint doctoral scholarship scheme of the University of Göttingen (UGOE) and the China Scholarship Council (CSC) encompasses the priority areas of Agricultural Sciences, Biology and Psychology, Business and Economics, Chemistry, Forest Sciences and Forest Ecology, Geoscience and Geography, Humanities, Law, Mathematics and Computer Science, Medicine, Physics, Social Sciences and Theology; other areas may also be considered. Every year in March, the University of Göttingen proposes a compiled list of suitable candidates to the CSC, from which the CSC selects students who will receive scholarships. The Chinese doctoral students receive a CSC scholarship for a period of up to 48 months, including living allowance (with health insurance included), return airfare to Germany and visa application fee. Joint supervision of the PhD students by scientists of the University of Göttingen and the respective Chinese home university is encouraged. If the selected Chinese students successfully complete their doctoral studies at the University of Göttingen, they will be conferred degrees by the University of Göttingen.

In order to register, the candidates have to submit the following documents to the China Office by email (chinaoffice@uni-goettingen.de) no later than March 10th every year; in English language, files/scans in pdf format:
- Curriculum vitae (CV) (length of max. two pages A4)
- Invitation letter issued by their Göttingen supervisor (for details see below)
- Language certificate (for details see below)

Apart from this registration, the applicants have to do a normal online-application to CSC (http://apply.csc.edu.cn). In this application to CSC, they should clearly state that they plan their doctoral studies at the University of Göttingen.

Chinese students who presently are already studying in Germany and fulfil the CSC requirements may also apply for CSC doctoral scholarships within this programme.


Language Requirements

Please note that the language requirements for the UGOE-CSC PhD Scholarship Programme are independent from those for enrolment as doctoral student at the different faculties of the University of Göttingen. Those candidates, who at the time of application are already studying for PhD at the University of Göttingen, also need to submit a language certificate.

Adequate German or English language skills should be proven on the basis of minimum performance in an internationally accredited test or equivalent tests. Concerning German or English language proficiency, respectively, candidates have to fulfil one of the following requirements.

Doctoral studies in German language:

a) Proof based on the “Common European Framework of Reference for Languages” (CEFR, GeR): at least level C1;
b) „Test Deutsch als Fremdsprache“ (TestDaF): at least level TestDaF 4x4;
c) „Deutsche Sprachprüfung für den Hochschulzugang“ (DSH): at least level DSH-2;
d) Successful completion of a degree programme taught in German language in a German-speaking country of at least two years duration within the last three years prior to submitting the application.

German Philology and Psychology: TestDaF at least 18 points (with no part below 4 points), DSH-3.

In general, successful completion of a test according to letters a) to c) must not be over three years prior to receipt of application for entry to this programme.

Doctoral studies in English language:

a) Proof based on the “Common European Framework of Reference for Languages” (CEFR, GeR): at least level C1;
b) "International English Language Testing System" (IELTS Academic): at least volume 7;
c) “Test of English as a Foreign Language”, internet-based test (TOEFL iBT): at least 95 points;
d) “Test of English as a Foreign Language”, paper-based test (TOEFL PBT): at least 627 points;
e) Successful completion of a degree programme taught in English language in an English-speaking country of at least two years duration within the last three years prior to submitting the application.

In general, successful completion of a test according to letters a) to d) must not be over three years prior to receipt of application for entry to this programme.


Invitation letter template

Invitation
Dear XXX,
I am pleased to invite you, XXX, born on XXX, from XXX, China, as a PhD student to join my research group at the XXX, University of Göttingen, Germany, provided you receive a CSC scholarship.
Your research work will focus on XXX [add a few sentences on the planned research].
I will be your supervisor during your studies from XXX (month, year) until XXX (month, year). I will provide you with the necessary materials and supplies, as well as access to relevant equipment and facilities.
It is my pleasure to write this letter to support your application for the CSC scholarship, which would cover the cost of living, travel, medical/ dental insurance, etc. for the duration of your stay in Germany.
The University of Göttingen does not charge any tuition fees for PhD students. PhD studies including the dissertation may be executed in English or German.


Further entry criteria

- Candidates are citizens and permanent residents of the People’s Republic of China at the time of application.
- Successful candidates must return to China upon completion of their studies and/or research.
- Additional selection criteria stipulated by CSC in the application process (https://www.csc.edu.cn/)


Time schedule

10 March: Deadline for the registration of candidates at the China Office
- In order to study for a doctoral degree at the University of Göttingen, the prospect has to find a supervisor by herself/himself. Please check on the University's homepage for potential supervisors (field of research etc.) and then contact potential supervisor(s) directly.
- The supervisor will decide whether to accept or reject the prospect as her/his doctoral student. In general, acceptance as doctoral student is under the provision that the candidate will receive a CSC scholarship for living expenses etc.
- After having accepted the candidate as prospective doctoral student, the supervisor will provide her/him with an "unconditional offer letter" necessary for the application to CSC and inform her/him about the requirements and documents necessary for the enrolment as doctoral student at the respective faculty of the University of Göttingen.
- In order to register for the UGOE-CSC PhD Scholarship Programme, the candidate has to submit the following documents in English language to the China Office by email (chinaoffice@uni-goettingen.de) no later than March 10th every year: curriculum vitae (CV) (length of max. two pages A4), invitation letter („unconditional offer letter“) issued by the Göttingen supervisor, language certificate.

10 to 31 March: Application to CSC
- The candidate does a normal online-application to CSC. Related forms are available online at http://apply.csc.edu.cn. In this application to CSC, the candidate should clearly state that she/he plans to do PhD studies at the University of Göttingen. The application deadline is scheduled by CSC.

April to May: Evaluation
- CSC evaluates the applications according to CSC requirements and priorities. After the CSC funding decision in May each year, CSC provides the University of Göttingen with a final list of scholarship recipients and informs the applicants directly.

Thereafter: Enrolment
- The chosen candidates enrol at the University of Göttingen as doctoral students. If a chosen candidate should not meet the requirements of registration as doctoral student at the University of Göttingen, both CSC and the University of Göttingen reserve the right to terminate the enrolment and the scholarship awarded based on mutual consensus.