Setting up an Elite Graduate Program

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.

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 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.

Application phase

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 and extension

Funding phases

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.

Extension phases

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.