About us

The University of Bayreuth is a hub of international and interdisciplinary research. African Studies have been a priority at the University of Bayreuth since its foundation in 1975.

The Bayreuth International Graduate School of African Studies (BIGSAS) brings together African and European academic networks and fosters partnership not only between the University of Bayreuth and its sixPartner Universities in Africa, but also among universities in Africa. It provides training opportunities for PhD students that are one of a kind in this field in Germany and are laid down in the Graduate School’s doctoral degree regulations (see also PhD Programme):

  • multi- and interdisciplinary research with a multi-disciplinary mentorship (called ‘Mentoring Group’, comprising one supervisor and two mentors)

  • clearly structured individual research, training and coaching

  • specialist academic training with a focus on interdisciplinary and employment-oriented transferable skills

  • individual career planning and a Gender and Diversity Programme

  • early integration into the international academic community

  • shorter time-to-degree with structural and financial encouragements

  • assistance in academic and organisational matters

BIGSAS offers a Dr. phil and Dr. rer. nat. as well as a double degree, joint supervision and a range of sandwich models. The professors - the  Senior Fellows and the Associated Senior Fellows - of the Graduate School work in 21 academic disciplines, among others Anthropology, Geography, History, Law, Linguistics, Literature, Media Studies, Religious Studies, Sociology and Political Science. The three general Research Areas formulate strategic research directions for the Junior Fellows and other members of BIGSAS. At the same time they represent the research interests and profiles of the Senior Fellows.

 

BIGSAS builds on

GSP1-klein
  • long-term experience in research on Africa

  • close cooperation with African colleagues

  • in-depth experience in doctoral training since 1984

  • lively academic exchange and international collaboration with partner universities of the Africa-Europe Group for Interdisciplinary Studies, AEGIS

  • a library with more than 136,000 books on Africa, 33,000 titles of audiovisual material, 200 periodicals, 5,000 maps etc.

  • an open-minded environment that fosters intercultural understanding between individuals and internationalisation between institutions