FAQs - Frequently Asked Questions

Why did I not receive a confirmation email after applying?

There is no confirmation email. You will be informed in the same browser after finalising the application form if the application has been submitted successfully.

I have technical problems while using the online application form.

We recommend several solutions:

  • Supported web browsers include Internet Explorer 7 and above and Mozilla Firefox.
  • Do not use AOL's internal browser or Opera.
  • You must have Java Script activated and accept pop-up windows.
  • In case of problems, deactivate all web browser add-ons.

Can I apply if I do not study/work at a BIGSAS Partner University?

Yes. BIGSAS is open to all applicants who fulfill the application requirements, regardless of their institutional affiliation.

Can I reapply if my application has been rejected?

Yes. When your application was not accepted you may apply one more time.

Should I contact Senior Fellows prior to my application?

Yes. Please provide a letter confirming supervision.

Do I need a certified copy of my diploma/MA certificate?

Yes. Only a certified copy of your diploma/MA certificate is accepted. You should upload a scan together with your other application documents.

Do I need to understand German if I want to apply?

No. In case of admission you will attend a German language class.

How / by whom should the letters of reference be sent to BIGSAS? Do they have to be translated? In which language?

You need two letters of reference by persons in charge for your academic education. The letters should be written in English, French or German and include name, title, university/institute, department and the signature of the author.

In which language can I apply?

You can apply in English, French or German. If your Master’s thesis (or equivalent) is written in any other language, please upload an English or French summary (5 to 10 pages) together with your thesis.

In which language can I submit my doctoral dissertation?

In general, you can write your doctoral thesis in English, French or German. Nevertheless, you should also discuss this question with your supervisor.

Is Cotutelle possible within BIGSAS?

Yes. If you intend to have a supervisor of your home or another university besides the University of Bayreuth, please contact the BIGSAS Administration Team. We will find out whether such an arrangement is possible.

When and for how long do I have to be present in Bayreuth during the PhD programme?

BIGSAS has a structured PhD programme with disciplinary, interdisciplinary and language classes as well as colloquia and other academic events (see Studies Programme). Our graduate school subsists on the participation and contributions of Senior Fellows and Junior Fellows. Therefore, we expect that all BIGSAS fellows are present in Bayreuth except for:

  • Semester breaks

  • Field research

  • Attendance of conference(s)

Who can apply for BIGSAS?

You can apply to BIGSAS if you hold a Master’s or equivalent degree in the Humanities with a very good result and if you plan a PhD project on Africa - regardless of nationality, place of residence, age etc.

How can I confirm that I will be funded for the time-to-degree?

Confirmation of funding means a proof of financial resources for the duration of the doctoral studies (at least three years) which shows that you are able to support yourself. At present, you will have to account for a sum of EUR 8,640.00 at your yearly disposal (please see also: www.study-in.de, www.germany-visa.org and visaguide.world). Otherwise, you will not be successful when applying for a student visa.

BIGSAS accepts the following forms of financing your studies:

  • Confirmation of employment, e.g. by a working contract,

  • Scholarship award notification from a recognised scholarship provider.

My question has not been answered yet.

Please contact bigsas-application@uni-bayreuth.de