Frequently Asked Questions
Based on the experience with Chinese students interested in the FUB - CSC PhD Program in previous years, we have composed a FAQ section:
The choice is not limited to professors who contributed to the List of Open Positions. Generally, each professor of Freie Universität Berlin could become your PhD supervisor. To find out the names of potential supervisors you have to check the professor's individual research interests. A good starting point is the List the Departments of Freie Universität.
It is not necessary to contact a professor before making an application to the Beijing Office of Freie Universität. The FUB Beijing Office will contact the professors you would like to work with anyhow. This is part of the evaluation process. All decisions about the acceptance of individual candidates for a doctorate at Freie Universität Berlin are made by the potential supervisors in Berlin.
In terms of the number of availabe scholarships, the CSC's programs are certainly your best option. But there are some alternatives: The DAAD - German Academic Exchange Service - is offering scholarships for doing a doctorate in Germany, too. Check the details on the DAAD Beijing Office's homepage.
Some of the structured doctoral programs and research training groups of Freie Universität Berlin have their own scholarship programs. These scholarships are given away on a competitive basis. Calls for applications are open to German as well as international applicants. Calls are published yearly, in the case of some programs only every 2 to 3 years. For information about these scholarship opportunities, see the homepages of the individual programs. A suitable starting point is the List of Graduate Schools and Research Training Groups at Freie Universität Berlin.
Finally, in some cases, the German supervisor could be able to cover your living expenses from his own third-party funding.
A research proposal is not a letter of motivation, or a personal statement. It should describe a potential research project you might like to carry out.
In the research plan we would like to read about your ideas for doing research under the supervision of the professor you would like to work with. In writing a research plan, we want you to demonstrate that you are sufficiently familiar with a subject area to develop scientifically sound ideas for doing research. Please keep in mind that your proposal has to fit into the professor's research interests. Your research plan should not exceed 5 pages in length. It is not necessary to submit the research plan to the professor for approval first. You should send it directly to FUB Beijing Office together with the other application documents.
You may apply. The requirements given here are not strictly binding. If you fulfil them, you should be "on the safe side." However, the individual professor may also accept you with a weaker language test result. The chances of getting accepted depend on your subject area.
If you want to apply for admission to one of the structured PhD programs (click here to see the list), you don't need to apply to the Beijing Office of Freie Universität Berlin.
You have to apply to the program you are interested in, instead. In order to do this, you have to go to the homepage of the program first and check out their admission policy towards foreign PhD students coming with their own scholarship, i.e. in your case a CSC scholarship. Then you should write to the contact person of the respective program.
Admission requirements for doctoral studies vary depending on the departments. Students who are admitted to doctoral studies at Freie Universitaet Berlin with only a bachelor's degree are rather exceptional. In some departments admission to doctoral studies requires a master's degree. In other departments - especially in Mathematics and Computer Science, in part also in the Natural Sciences - admission for outstanding candidates holding a bachelor's degree might also be possible.