Funding Opportunity: 2 Scholarships for International Doctoral Candidates (U. of Passau)

Deadline for Applications: September 04, 2017


The interdisciplinary and inter-faculty DFG Research Training Group 1681/2: Privacy and Digitalisation, co-embedded at the Faculty of Arts and Humanities and the Faculty of Law of the University of Passau, in co-operation with the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), invites applications for 2 scholarships for international doctoral candidates (€1,000 per month) to start 1 April 2018. The three-year funding line is provided by the DAAD. In addition to the stipend, the scholarship holders will be awarded a fixed sum for travel expenses, health, accident and liability insurance as well as a contribution towards their research expenses.

About the Research Training Group (RTG)

The doctoral programme focuses on the privacy-related aspects of digitalisation and thus engages in a highly topical and politically relevant theme of outstanding social and academic importance. The aim of the doctoral programme is to assess the significance of privacy under the conditions of digitalisation and increasing informational heteronomy and to evaluate the existing privacy concepts in this context. This takes place in the three fields of enquiry ‘digitality’, ‘surveillance and control’ and ‘self-determination and responsibility’.

Doctoral candidates enrolled at the Faculty of Arts and Humanities may conduct their research in the following research areas: Literature and Media Studies; Linguistics; English and American Studies; Slavic Studies; General and Applied Ethics; Political Philosophy; and Pedagogy.

Alternatively, doctoral candidates may enroll at the Faculty of Law, where they will gain access to the fields of Media and Information Law; Security Law and Internet Law; Data Protection Law; and Legal Theory.

Examples of potential thesis topics from the various subject areas:

•       Commercial exploitation and mobility of privacy on the internet / effective protection of personal profiles and customer data
•       Data privacy in contrasting legal cultures
•       Opportunities and risks posed by Big Data
•       Autonomy and automation: self-determination in human-machine interaction
•       Educational and social approaches to imparting private data literacy
•       Public displays of privacy and their reception: an intercultural comparison
•       Linguistic properties of self-portrayal in chat rooms and internet platforms
•       How society changes as a result of observation / new models of governmentality in the Digital Age
•       Types of self-determination in different political systems (democracy versus dictatorship)
Applicants whose background is in another research discipline are welcome to apply; however, their application will only be successful if a suitable doctoral supervisor can be found within the RTG – please visit for a list of participating scholars.

As part of its structured doctoral programme, the RTG provides training in the core competencies of research methods, content-related expertise and interdisciplinary research skills; furthermore, it places the emphasis on competencies which give its doctoral candidates a competitive edge across research areas and occupational fields as well as those that enhance their ability to assume executive functions.

Eligibility criteria

The RTG is designed as a structured academic programme for German and international graduates whose academic profile and outstanding interdisciplinary research proposal sets them apart from the rest; the proposal must be feasible within the funding period and promise excellent research results.

The successful candidates will have an above-average master’s degree that formally qualifies them for doctoral study (for more details, read the doctoral degree regulations of the Faculty of Arts and Humanities and the Faculty of Law, available from; please note that the regulations are only available in German). In their previous studies, candidates are expected to have acquired relevant discipline-specific and methodological knowledge in their field of expertise that enables them to successfully complete their research project.

Beyond the formal qualifications, seeing a research project through from beginning to end requires a great deal of dedication, the ability to deal with conflicts, self-management skills, the ability to think and act strategically, self-motivation, well-developed communication skills and the ability to work together with others.

Your application

To apply, send them the following documents:
•       the completed application form (available in German from their website,
•       a copy of your university degree certificate and transcript of records (accompanied by a certified German translation, unless the original documents were issued in German or English)
•       a curriculum vitae with specific information about your academic career to date
•       a letter of motivation that explains what you believe makes you eligible for both the RTG’s research interests and its training programme and how you intend to contribute to the RTG
•       a research proposal (5–10 pages) which contextualises the project within the RTG and provides details on who should be your supervisor (see our website for the respective disciplines and scholars)
•       one sealed letter of reference written by a university teacher (may be sent directly): this letter must provide information about your academic potential
•       candidates from foreign universities must hold an equivalent of the corresponding German university degree and give proof of good German language skills at level B2 CEFR (e.g. a DSH-1, TestDaF 3 or equivalent language certificate)
•       They regret that they are unable to consider applicants who have or will have resided in Germany for more than 15 months at the time of nomination by the RTG.

The University of Passau wishes to increase the proportion of its female staff and, by offering a family-friendly work environment with flexible working hours, maintain a good work-(family) life balance. The University expressly encourages women and candidates with children to apply. Moreover, these posts are suitable for candidates with disabilities, who will be given preference if their personal aptitudes and qualifications are otherwise equal.

Please send your application by 4 September 2017 (postmark) to:

Professor Hans Krah
University of Passau
DFG-Graduiertenkolleg 1681/2 „Privatheit“
Innstr. 25
94032 Passau

Applications are accepted by e-mail ( If you send your application by e-mail, please make sure your full application is attached in a single pdf file. Remember that applications by e-mail should be just as convincing and professional as paper-based applications. Please visit their website for further details on the available scholarships:

For general questions and enquiries concerning the programme, please contact:
Mr Kilian Hauptmann
University of Passau
Nikolastr. 12
94032 Passau
Phone: +49 851 509 2372


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