PhD Scholarships, Saarbrücken Graduate School of Computer Science, Saarland University, Germany

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The Saarbrücken Graduate School of Computer Science provides an optimal environment for pursuing doctoral studies in computer science at an internationally competitive level. As a student, you undergo research-oriented training and experience a stimulating and scientifically challenging atmosphere. Advised by internationally renowned scientists, you can participate in one of the many research groups and find your way into top-notch research.

Who can apply?
Talented students with strong interest in research who hold a Masters or an excellent Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science or in a related field.

[At the time of application the degree need not be conferred yet.] Please note that this is a highly competitive program and you should only apply if you are among the best students in your class. We are looking for academic excellence and strong research potential.

What is the working language?
All courses, exams, etc. are in English. Good English skills will be essential for your success here.

How does it work?
After your successful application, you first undergo (depending on your degree) a three semester preparatory phase which consists of research-oriented, broad course work adjusted to personal interests. You may choose from all our courses at the Masters level. We provide common office space especially for students in this phase. You have ample opportunity to acquaint yourself with the many computer science research groups in Saarbrücken and to find a group and an advisor matching your interest.

After passing a qualifying exam, you enter the research and dissertation phase which you spend as a member of a research group. During the entire program there is a comprehensive offering of so-called Soft Skills seminars and courses.

In justified cases, you can be exempted from parts of or even the entire preparatory phase. Also, the courses you take in the preparatory phase can be used towards a Masters degree, if this is desired and all formal requirements are met.

Can I obtain financial support?
We provide financial support during both phases (of course assuming adequate progress). During the preparatory phase starting after your BSc degree, this support comes in the form of scholarships (800 € per month) or teaching and research support contracts. During the research and dissertation phase, you are supported in the form of fellowships (rarely) or of research or teaching assistantships (about 1400 € per month in all cases).

There are currently no tuition fees, only a student fee of 146 € per semester which gives you free access to public transportation and reduced student rates at the university cafeteria and for many other public services (museums, concerts).

Which are the participating research institutes?

All these institutes are housed right next to each other on the Saarland University campus in Saarbrücken, an unparalleled concentration of computer science research expertise in Europe.

How can I apply?
We ask for the following materials

  • CV
  • full transcripts of all academic records, including all university and high school diplomas (please provide certified English, German or French translations, if your documents are in another language)
  • a brief statement (1 or 2 pages) explaining your motivation for pursuing a doctorate in computer science
  • 2 letters of recommendation (to be sent to us directly by the referees, as prompted by the OAS * please note that only official affiliation e-mail addresses will be considered valid; the letters should be very clear about your overall ranking)
  • if available, TOEFL scores, or equivalent record of English proficiency (TSE, Cambridge Certificate scores), otherwise a short personal statement with respect to your English qualifications. (Please keep in mind that very good understanding of English will be essential for your success.)
  • if available, GRE scores

Next deadline: 28 October 2011 for uptake in the Summer Semester 2012 (April).

Please use the online application system: OAS, and follow the instructions there. We cannot guarantee evaluation of applications not submitted via the OAS.

*Only* in exceptional and pre-approved cases can they be sent by traditional mail to:
Saarland University
Saarbrücken Graduate School
of Computer Science
Campus E1 3
D-66123 Saarbrücken

or via email as a single pdf-document (except for the letters of recommendation) to applications “at”

For further questions contact:
Dr. Michelle Carnell,
email: carnell at, Tel.: +49 681 302 5523

For more information, please visit official website:


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