Ph.D. Positions in Economics (Germany) Deadline: Mar. 31, 2019

CGS-E, University of Cologne

Application Deadline

March 31, 2019

Program Commencement

Oct.01, 2019

Duration of the Program

3 Years

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Program Details

The University of Cologne was first established in 1388 as a public academic institution in Cologne, Germany. It is one of the oldest universities in all of Europe and is known as being an elite institution due to its awards from the German Universities Excellence Initiative. 

Applications are called for PhD positions at Cologne Graduate School of Economics (CGS-E), a part of the Cologne Graduate School of Management, Economics and Social Sciences (CGS) of the university. The objective of the structured graduate program is to foster excellent and innovative research. It is run in cooperation with the Young ECONtribute program of the Cluster of Excellence “ECONtribute: Markets and Public Policy” (jointly granted by the German federal and state government for the University of Cologne and the University Bonn), which combines different research strands within economics and fosters an interdisciplinary perspective.

The Cologne Graduate School of Economics invites applications for doctoral positions from outstanding students holding a research-oriented Master’s degree in Economics. The two-stage CGS-E graduate program offers supervision for research in all major fields of economics, preferably related to the research areas of the Cluster of Excellence “ECONtribute: Markets and Public Policy”, e.g. Behavioral Economics,  Market Design, Organizational Design, Consumer Protection, Political Economy, Distribution and Financial Stability. In the first stage of the CGS-E graduate program, students complete their graduate level course work in a 2-year Master of Economic Research program. Upon successful graduation, students enter the second (dissertation) stage. Applications for doctoral positions at the CGS-E are for this second stage. Doctoral students of the CGS-E have the opportunity to participate in high-level research seminars, workshops and soft-skill courses, and they will be part of a vibrant and international research network around the Cluster. Grants are available for all accepted doctoral students.

Eligibility/ Requirements

The CGS-E is looking for excellent students who are close to finishing a Master’s degree in Economic Research or an equivalent program who count among the top 10% of graduates in their Faculty. Students without such a Master’s degree are invited to apply for the “M.Sc. in Economic Research” of our integrated graduate program at the CGS-E. Students with a related Master’s degree (e.g. in Economics, Econometrics or Finance) are also invited to apply for the program, where credit transfers may be possible. The program is administered in English. 

Successful applicants will receive funding for the dissertation stage. The CGSE commits funding its doctoral students for at least three years. No tuition fees are charged. The particular type of funding will depend on the students’ previous academic degree. Students already holding a Master’s degree in Economic Research will be offered an employment contract (50% TVöD-13). Students not yet holding a Master’s degree in Economic Research who still need to attend courses in order to complete their required coursework can receive other types of funding (e.g. scholarships). Upon completion of their Master in Economic Research, they will be offered a contract. In case the dissertation stage takes longer than three years, the CSGE will provide assistance to secure subsequent funding.

The admission committee will review the applications and will decide on who will be interviewed until May, 1st. Interviews take place in Cologne and travel costs will be reimbursed by CGSE. Interviews with overseas candidates are generally conducted via Skype.

Application Process

Please send your application to in a single PDF attachment using a file name using the form [lastname]_[firstname]_application_cgse.pdf. The ordering of materials should follow the order described in the section ‘Application Documents’, excluding the letters of reference directly sent by the evaluator. Please make sure that the PDF size does not exceed 10MB. The receipt of your application package will be confirmed via email.

The following Application Documents are required for an application:

  1. CV
  2. Letter of motivation explaining your reasons for being interested in the PhD program at the CGSE. Please discuss your goals and your research interests. Your statement should be in English (2-3 pages).
  3. University entrance qualifications: A transcript from high school (Abiturzeugnis for German residents) is required.
  4. Certificates of the university degrees already obtained (B.Sc. and M.Sc. or equivalent).
  5. Academic transcripts showing coursework taken and grades received. Where feasible, transcripts should indicate cohort rank or distinction. If you have not yet finished your current degree, please attach a preliminary grade report.
  6. GRE: All applicants must upload their General GRE’s test taker’s copy in the online application as well as send it via the testing service. Test scores should not be older than two years. The GRE institution code is 7397.
  7. Language Proficiency Certificate (i.e. TOEFL or IELTS). The TOEFL institution code is 6450. This requirement is waived for candidates from English-speaking countries and graduates from study programs entirely taught in English. For this, please upload a document proving your citizenship of an English-speaking country or documentation by the university confirming that your degree’s language of instruction was English.
  8. 2 Letters of recommendation from faculty who are able to assess your academic ability and potential for original research. These letters need to be signed and must be on official letterhead. Evaluators shall directly submit the letters in electronic form to until March 31st 23:59 CET. Evaluations consist of the evaluation form and a free written statement by the evaluator.
  9. Supplementary materials: You may include writing samples like Master/Bachelor theses, documentation of extracurricular activities, certificates of employment, etc.

For any document not in English or German a translation is required. 

More on the doctoral position, here.

More information regarding the application process. 

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