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The PhD training program combines mandatory elements that are required for all doctoral candidates within GEAS with courses and skill provisions that are based on individual doctoral candidates' training needs in the context of their dissertation research.

The scientific focus of the program, of course, also determines the curriculum which is offered to you and is designed to support your research. The core course of the GEAS graduate program are the GEAS Institutional Theory Course and Research Design in the first (or second) semester. The courses combine different approaches, domains and dynamics of institutional theory and are designed to give doctoral candidates a deeper understanding of the research focus of GEAS, the study of institutions.

In the course of the program, doctoral candidates will encounter different phases of work, ranging from periods where doctoral candidates will work in larger or smaller groups to phases where they will predominantly focus on their own research projects. While doctoral candidates will receive 30 credit points from course work during their training at GEAS, the amount of course work will be the highest in their first year in the program and decrease gradually over their second and third year to allow doctoral candidates to focus on their dissertations.

An advisory committee formed by three advisors will guide doctoral candidates. One advisor will be in a candidate's country specialization within East Asian Studies. To secure firm theoretical and methodological grounding in a discipline, at least one of the members of the advisory committee will be from the candidate's specialty discipline in the social sciences, history, humanities, business and economics, law or anthropology.

Advisors and doctoral candidates will sign a supervisory agreement that stipulates the rights and obligations of advisors and doctoral candidates as well as the procedures in case of non-compliance and the conditions for withdrawal from the program.

A framework of regular meetings and periodic progress reports at each stage of the training program forms the basis for interaction. In the course of the research work, advising and related mentoring is divided into three segments: research design (June paper) (year one), problems of ongoing research (fieldwork) (year two) and presentation of research findings (year three).

Doctoral candidates will have to submit progress reports for the first year, present in the Summer Symposium, the second year, prsent in Homecoming Symposium, and present a chapter draft in the third-year colloquium.

It is highly recommended to at least annually sign a meeting minute sheet provided by the Dahlem Research School. The meeting minutes will help both supervisor and supervised researchers to remember their meetings and to help and assure a good supervision quality. The Link below provides a short guideline and template for such meetings.

Requirements: Curricular planning (as of April 2021)

First year
  • Methods; Research Design and Institutional Theory (each 3 CP)
  • Research Seminar (Area) (3 CP)
  • Research Seminar (Discipline) (3CP)
  • Research Integrity (DRS) (up to 1 CP)
  • Two GEAS Colloquia (1st year) (each 2 CP)

Milestone 1: 28 February: Literature Review

Milestone 2: 1 July: "June" paper (evaluation report)

Milestone 3: Presentation in Summer Symposium (July)

Second year
  • Fieldwork Workshop or Methods Workshops (up to 1 CP)
  • GEAS Summer School (up to 4 CP)
  • Mobilitiy Phase (up to 4 CP)
  • (optional) Grad Conference (up to 2 CP)

Milestone 4: 1 July: Fieldwork/Progress report (evaluation) and first chapter draft

Milestone 5: Presentation in Homecoming Symposium (Winter)

Third year
  • GEAS Colloquium (2 CP)
  • Writing workshops, dissertation workshops, projects and co-teaching
  • transferable courses - i.e. career counseling, grant opportunities
  • Thesis Research

Milestone 6: Presentation and chapter discussion in the Colloquium

Fourth year
  • Thesis Writing and Submission
  • optional Colloquia/Courses

Defense of the thesis