Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Kultur-, Sozial- und Bildungswissenschaftliche Fakultät - Institut für Asien- und Afrikawissenschaften

Betreuung von Promotionsprojekten

Research Areas / Topic Clusters for Theses
Please consult the website of the Department for Society and Transformation in Asia and Africa for inquiries about disciplinary, theoretical, methodological and geographical parameters. You can apply for a Doctorate (Dr. phil.) in Global and Area Studies, Sociology or Southeast Asian Studies.

Certified language proficiencies (see Common European Framework for Languages)
The thesis has to be written in German or English. The required level is C1/proficient user.

Admission Requirements
Please consult the faculty website of Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin detailing all information on admission criteria (in particular equivalence certificate procedure for international students) as well as the application process, which is four-tiered for students without an MA/MPhil degree from a German university and three-tiered for students with an MA/MPhil degree from a German university.

Students without a MA/MPhil degree from a German university are required to provide a certified Statement of Comparability for Foreign Higher Education Qualifications from the ZAB/Central Office for Higher Education before asking recognition as potential PhD candidate in Global and Area Studies, Sociology or Southeast Asian Studies.

After this, there is a three-step admission process. First, you have to find out whether your choice of supervisor makes sense for both parties. In order to do so, you should submit the documents listed below. If an agreement with the supervisor is reached, you need to officially apply for admission to the doctoral program at the faculty. If successful, you need to enroll as a PhD student at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin within a month of notification.

Selection by the Professor
All PhD applicants are requested to submit the following documents (incomplete or short-notice applications will not be attended to!) via email as PDF attachments:

  • a completely filled out application form sheet with your key information
  • your curriculum vitae (CV), transcript of records, graduate degree certificates as well as the ZAB certificate in one PDF file
  • a concise, properly proofread research proposal (maximum 5 pages, in German or English) outlining
  • a problem statement and justification of the project with a clearly stated, precise research topic

  •  a research question/argument/hypothesis

  • a compact literature review in terms of the current state of the art (i.e. theoretical, methodological as well as empirical studies related to your research topic and case(s) under review)

  • a preliminary theoretical framework

  • a preliminary research methodology

  • a preliminary milestone timeline for the intended duration of your doctoral project, outlining key steps of your research process, its main objectives and goals as well as their duration in a detailed, calculated and feasibility-oriented manner

  • a selected bibliography of academic literature (see literature review)


We will then review your application and invite you for an appointment, either face-to-face if based in Germany, or via Skype.


In case of our confirmed intent of supervision, the next step is the admission procedure with the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. All applicants are requested to

  • read the FAQ section first
  • prepare the application forms/documents required (which basically comprise those submitted to us beforehand)
  • seek in a timely manner an appointment – either via email, phone or in person – with the Desk for Doctoral Studies (Global and Area Studies, Southeast Asian Studies: Ms Sarah Affenzeller; Sociology: Ms Kerstin Ludwig)