Setting up an International Doctorate Program

By funding and supporting International Doctorate Programs, the Elite Network of Bavaria offers outstanding graduates structured courses of doctoral study with an international orientation, ensuring that doctoral students can study at the highest academic level. Bavarian universities can apply to set up International Doctorate Programs in a multi-stage process.

Application selection

Applications are selected by the International Commission and external ex­pert com­mit­tees in a multi-stage process.

Outline phase

Bavarian universities can apply to establish an International Doctorate Program when a call for applications has been issued. In the outline phase, the applicants first need to submit an outline of their proposed project.

Having examined the submissions, the International Commission selects the most promising project outlines and asks the respective applicants to flesh out their proposals in further detail.

The International Commission selects project outlines purely on the basis of academic considerations. In both the outline and subsequent phases of the application process, decisive aspects include the proposed International Doctorate Program’s innovative potential, the international and interdisciplinary nature of its approach, an excellent student supervision and support concept, as well as the academic excellence of the proposed International Doctorate Program’s teaching staff.

Application phase

External expert committees of pre-eminent figures examine the applications submitted. International Commission members oversee the appraisal of applications relating to their respective disciplines and communicate the results of the expert committees’ votes to the International Commission. On the basis of these recommendations, the International Commission then makes its final decisions on the applications received and issues its recommendation to the Bavarian State Ministry for Science and the Arts.


Funding for International Doctorate Programs under the umbrella of the Elite Network of Bavaria is initially limited to a period of four years. Universities can then apply for a second funding period of a further four years. For a second funding period to be ap­pro­ved, the Elite Graduate Program must pass a review by an external expert com­mis­sion; the International Commission must then recommend the program to the State Ministry for Science and the Arts. The expert committees’ votes and the recommendation of the International Commission are based exclusively on academic criteria.