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Doctoral Program

The Ph.D. training program is designed to develop core competences that are central for conducting discipline-based research in and on East Asia as well as a set of transferable skills that enable doctoral candidates to develop successful careers either in academia or in policy relevant employment. Moreover, the doctoral training program is characterized by a high level of international exchange. All doctoral candidates are encouraged to a minimum of six months of conducting original research in the region based at a partner university in East Asia and to participate in a two week Summer School.

Core competences for research include the following:

  • excellent area expertise on one country in East Asia (China, Japan, Korea)
  • broad regional competence in East Asia
  • high competence in at least one East Asian language
  • strong methodological skills in a discipline
  • interdisciplinary competence
  • international network within East Asian Studies and the relevant discipline
  •  transregional and transcultural expertise

GEAS also strives to train doctoral candidates in transferable skills and to provide them with professional development opportunities that also enable them to pursue a career outside of academia in a policy-related area. Doctoral candidates will further be able to take advantage of the resources for interdisciplinary work and exchange support through the Dahlem Research School (DRS) at Freie Universität Berlin.


Transferable skills of high relevance to GEAS are:

  • intercultural competence related to East Asia
  • writing and presentation skills for both academic conferences and policy-related project presentations
  • teaching experience
  • interdisciplinary learning experience to foster research partnerships with scholars from the social sciences, history, economics and business, law, and anthropology and the humanities
  • teamwork in formal and informal research groups
  •  skills in fund raising and project management