International Max Planck Research School on the Social and Political Constitution of the Economy (IMPRS-SPCE) doctoral program
EligibilityApplicants must hold a master's degree or equivalent in a discipline relevant to the School's program (sociology, political science, economics, organization studies, or related fields).
The IMPRS-SPCE aims to have a large proportion of international students.
Degrees must be received by the end of September in the year applicants would enroll in the program. Candidates must have a proven record of academic excellence. In their research proposal, applicants must specify their research interests, and they are asked to identify an advisor from the program faculty. A list of successful proposals of preceding years is published on our website.
Applicants must have high English proficiency. Students may write their thesis in German or English, but they must be able to present their work at workshops and conferences in English and participate in courses taught in English and based on literature only available in English. Special training in English writing is available for our students. We also strongly urge our international students to learn German – doing so will give you greater access to German culture and enable you to participate more fully in the intellectual and social life of the institute and the universities.
Academic Advisors and DegreesDuring the program, doctoral students are advised by a member of the IMPRS-SPCE's faculty. Applicants are asked to name one or two preferred advisors.
The IMPRS-SPCE does not grant academic degrees. Students usually submit their doctoral theses to the Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences of the University of Cologne or the Faculty of Social Sciences of the University of Duisburg-Essen.
Financial SupportTo cover living expenses, students working at the MPIfG receive an employment contract (Fördervertrag); students working at one of the universities receive a scholarship. In both cases the amount of the monthly financial support is approximately 1,300 EUR.
The contract of scholarship is initially limited to 15 months. It is extended for another 27 months upon a student's acceptance into the second phase of the program. For the doctoral program, no tuition is charged, but students shall enroll at the University of Cologne or the University of Duisburg-Essen for a small fee. The School provides advice in practical matters such as visas, housing, and health insurance. IMPRS-SPCE students have a fully equipped, shared office and enjoy full access to the libraries and research facilities of the MPIfG and the Faculty of Management, Economics and Social Sciences of the University of Cologne as well as the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Duisburg-Essen. Additional funds for fieldwork trips, stays at partner universities, and conference travel are available, too.
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