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Application Procedure

When should I apply?
Before starting to complete the application form, make sure you have all the necessary information and documents ready (see list). Careful preparation of these documents will take some time. After this preliminary work, you can begin your online application. This should be done – at the latest! – several days before the indicated deadline in case some information is missing or has to be corrected. The closing date for applications is September, 15 2018.

What if I have technical difficulties using the online application system?
If you experience problems, try accessing the DLGS Application Form through a different browser, such as Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome. As the interface of the application form may not be compatible with some mobile devices, please use a computer/laptop. Refresh the browser if the form looks corrupted. If you still experience technical difficulties, please contact dlgsioer@ioer.de and describe your problem as well as any error message received or error observed.


PDF files: How can I create, merge, upload and re-upload them?
Use a PDF generator to create PDF files from different types of original files. Visit the web page www.wikihow.com/Merge-PDF-files to learn how to merge PDF files easily. Be aware that upload is limited to one file per section with a maximum file size of 32 MB (certificates and transcripts) or 20 MB (letter of intent, TOEOFL/IELTS score sheet). To change a file that has been already uploaded, you must: (1) delete the uploaded version by clicking the small red 'X' to the right of the file name, and (2) upload the new file. In case of any problems uploading, shorten the file name and delete any special characters in the file name. You should ensure that all documents are clearly legible.

Is it possible to send application materials by post?
In general, we do not accept application materials as hard copy either by post or by fax. The entire application should be made online. However, exceptions may be made in certain circumstances. For more information, please contact the DLGS Office (dlgsioer@ioer.de).

Can I change / withdraw my application after submission?
A link will be provided in a confirmation email after submission of application. By clicking this link, you can re-access your application to make changes before the closing date. However, please note that it is impossible to change the original email address that you have provided! No further changes can be made after the application deadline.
To replace files after submission, you should:(1) Access your account in edit mode. (2) Delete the originally uploaded incorrect file by clicking the small red 'X' to the right of the file name. (3) Save your changes (preview / submission). (4) Access your account once again. (5) Upload the newly corrected file (short file name, no special characters!) and save your changes (preview / submission). 

Academic and Professional Qualifications

Who is eligible for application?
The announcement is aimed at excellent graduate with an M.A., M.Sc. or equivalent in Spatial Planning and Development (including City and Regional Planning and Landscape Planning), Economics, Sociology, Geography or Environmental Sciences. Applicants from other disciplines are welcome if they are able to convincingly relate their area of interest to the DLGS research lines and topics. Applicants must hold a Master’s degree (at least a two-year Master’s programme and a Master’s thesis) from a recognized university. No more than four years should have passed since the applicant gained his/her Master’s level degree.

How do I know if my university / degree is eligible for consideration?
We will assess your qualifications after the closing date. If you have doubts about your degree, you are welcome to contact the International Office of the TU Dresden for their opinion (see details here).

What documents do I have to submit?
You are required to submit a PDF file with: Electronic/scanned versions of original certificates and transcripts documenting your academic background (Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree). Documents must be issued by the institution where you studied, with their official seal and/or stamp and the signature of their representatives. Photographs of documents will not be accepted. Whenever official documents are written in a language other than English of German, applicants must submit both the original version and an authorized translation provided by an official institution. Certified true copies of these documents are to be sent to the DLGS Office at a later stage of the application process.

Can I submit my application form without a final Master’s transcript / certificate?
If Master’s transcripts and certificates (for candidates who expect to finish their Master’s degree before the application deadline) are not yet available, you are requested to upload transcripts of records or mark sheets recording your study activities. Applicants nearing completion of their Master’s degree may be provisionally accepted. Note that registration at the TU Dresden is contingent upon completion of all requirements before the DLGS Programme starts.

Do I need to send transcripts with my application?
Yes, you must upload copies of the originals of your transcripts in the online application form from all institutions you have previously attended. Additionally, add any Diploma Supplement or Certificate Supplement received. This gives us a better idea of the content and level of your qualification.

English Proficiency / TOEFL & IELTS

Do I need to submit a TOEFL/IELTS score, or other evidence of English proficiency? 

Applicants who are not citizens of English-speaking countries, or who did not receive an academic degree in one of these countries, are required to demonstrate their level of English language proficiency in either the Test of English as Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). We do not accept any other test or evidence of language proficiency.
The DLGS programme is conducted and taught entirely in English.
The minimum accepted score for TOEFL is 600 for the paper-based test, 250 for the computer-based test, or 100 for the internet-based test. An IELTS test is accepted with a score of 7 or higher (academic modules) on a 9-point scale.

How do I submit my TOEFL/IELTS score?
A screenshot of your TOEFL/IELTS results is sufficient in the first stage of application. You will be asked to mail original documents (or certified true copies) as soon as you have been pre-selected for the programme.

How long are my TOEFL/IELTS scores valid?
TOEFL/IELTS scores are valid for three years from the date of examination.

Do I need to submit evidence of English proficiency if my Master’s programme was taught in English but in a non-English speaking country?
Yes. If the Master’s Programme was conducted in English in a non-English speaking country (i.e. Germany or The Netherlands) you are required to demonstrate your level of English language proficiency. 

Dissertation Proposal

What form should my dissertation proposal take?
Applicants are required to submit an outline of a research proposal for their dissertation. The subject of the proposal should refer to one of the topics listed here. It should provide a description of the proposed research, including:

  • Current state of research (problem relevance and literature discussion)
  • Research questions or objectives
  • Hypotheses and methodology to be applied  

The proposal should be limited to max. 13 000 characters, incl. blank spaces. 

References & Letter of Recommendation

Do I need to submit a letter of recommendation?
No. You do not need to submit a letter of recommendation as part of the online application. However, you are required to provide the names of two academic or work-related referees in the DLGS Application Form. Both referees should know you well, they should be familiar with your chosen field of study and able to evaluate the quality of your work. 
List only those individuals who have already agreed to write a letter of recommendation on your behalf. Please note that we will contact your indicated referees for additional information as soon as you have been pre-selected for the programme.

Do I have to search for a supervisor at the TU Dresden before I apply?
No. Potential supervisors at the TU Dresden will be sought by the Selection Committee after the pre-selection of potential candidates.  

General Issues

What does the fellowship cover?
In general, the fellowship provides the following: A fixed monthly stipend to cover the fellows’ living expenses in Dresden (determined by the DFG - German Research Foundation), funds to attend the DLGS academic programme (including German lessons for non-native speakers), limited funds for project-related travel and other research expenses, and the round-trip airfare to Germany (both subject to approval by the DLGS Management Board). There is no additional family supplement provided to fellows accompanied by a partner and/or children.

Is there an age limit or other restriction on applications?
Admission to DLGS is without regard to race, gender, handicap, religion or nationality. Selection is based on academic qualifications and an applicant’s potential to succeed. DLGS does not have a strict age limit; nevertheless, the programme is tailored towards young graduates.

Can I re-apply if my application has been unsuccessful?
There is no barrier to re-application. Please mention in your letter of intent that you have already applied in the past. In your new application, you should demonstrate how the conditions for your application have improved. We may draw upon all information from your previous applications when assessing your suitability for doctoral study at the Dresden Leibniz Graduate School.

Can I get a feedback or comment on my application?

The DLGS Selection Committee assesses applications using four key criteria (research proposal, academic merits, impact of the work on the scientific discussion and development, and the research plan), and considers all of the information provided on the application form. Due to the high number of annual applications, the DLGS Selection Committee does not give feedback and cannot comment on individual applications or give reasons why an application was unsuccessful.

I don't need a scholarship. Is there a way to benefit from the DLGS without being funded?

It is possible to join the doctoral programme without applying for funding. However, all applicants must pass through the same admission procedure.

If I already have a PhD, can I still apply for a DLGS fellowship?
No. We do not admit applicants already holding PhD degrees (even if these are in a different research field).

I am already studying for a PhD at a different university / in a different programme. Can I apply for a DLGS fellowship and transfer to Dresden?
Yes. Applicants who are currently enrolled in another doctoral programme or who are studying at a different university are subject to the same review process as all other applicants. If you are offered admission to DLGS you will have to quit the other programme and / or scholarship and apply for acceptance as a doctoral candidate at the TU Dresden.

How will you notify me if my application is successful?
An offer will be emailed to you directly if you are selected for the programme. This will be done immediately after the decision has been taken by the DLGS Selection Committee. Please ensure that you provide a valid email address when completing the application form. All correspondence regarding the selection process will be sent to this email address. Please ensure that your inbox accepts these emails and that your check your emails regularly.

My specific question has not been answered by these FAQs. What should I do?
If you still have unanswered questions, please contact the DLGS Office: dlgsioer@ioer.de