The Elite Network of Bavaria promotes innovative, international and interdisciplinary courses which offer the perfect conditions for gifted young people to pursue their studies. Setting up Elite Graduate Programs can help Bavarian universities to expand and differentiate their range of courses and to refine and enhance their profile. The State Ministry of Science and the Arts promotes Elite Graduate Programs for up to ten years, after which time universities can continue them independently.
Applications are selected by the International Commission and external expert committees in a multi-stage process.
Bavarian universities can apply to set up an Elite Graduate 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 Elite Graduate 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 Elite Graduate Program’s teaching staff.
External expert committees made up 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 Elite Graduate Programs under the umbrella of the Elite Network of Bavaria is initially limited to a period of five years. Universities can then apply for a second funding period of a further five 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 purely academic criteria.
As part of the Elite Network of Bavaria, a newly-established Elite Graduate Program can receive funding from the Bavarian State Ministry of Science and the Arts for a maximum of two funding periods (ten years).
Since 2013, Bavarian universities have been given the option of continuing to offer their Elite Graduate Programs under the umbrella of the Elite Network of Bavaria for two further five-year periods, provided that the university covers the financing requirements. For this to be approved, it must firstly retain the concept and facilities from the two preceding funding periods and, secondly, pass a review by an external expert committee before the application is finally approved by the International Committee.
Extended Elite Graduate Programs continue to be subject to the Elite Network of Bavaria’s quality assurance measures.