Elite Network: Q&A

Q&A

The Elite is an initiative of the State Ministry of Science and the Arts and works to promote and support talented young students and researchers. This page provides answers to frequently asked questions.

General questions

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The Elite Network of Bavaria is an initiative of the Free State of Bavaria to support talented young stu­dents and offers the following program lines: Elite Graduate Programs, International Doctorate Pro­grams and Junior Research Groups offer highly motivated and academically outstanding students, doc­to­ral researchers and graduate excellent conditions for study and research. Through the Max Weber Program and by offering Research Scholarships, the Elite Network of Bavaria provides outstanding stu­dents and doctoral researchers with financial support.

All of this makes the Elite Network of Bavaria a unique concept in Germany; it works to promote ta­len­ted young students while simultaneously acting as an attractive counterbalance to leading of­fe­rings abroad.

All information about our funding program

As an initiative of the Free State of Bavaria, the Elite Network of Bavaria with its five program lines is exclusively financed by state funds. It receives funding in the region of €22 million per year.

 

No, the Elite Network is independent in terms of politics, ideology and de­no­mi­na­tion. This neutrality also applies to the German Academic Sponsorship Foundation, which operates the Max Weber Program on behalf of the Free State of Bavaria.

 

The Elite Network of Bavaria supports highly motivated, academically outstanding and talented young students and researchers; the earliest we can provide funding is when a student is admitted to a Ba­va­ri­an university. The Elite Network of Bavaria does not operate a funding program for particularly gif­ted school pupils.

The earliest route to membership of the Elite Network of Bavaria is to take the Abitur school-leaving exams at a Bavarian Gymnasium and then apply for admission to the Max Weber Program.

Read the answers to your questions about the Max Weber Program

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Questions about program lines

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The Max Weber Program offers gifted students at Bavarian universities both a scholarship and a pro­gram to assist their development alongside their studies. The Max Weber Program works to pro­mo­te students and is funded by the Free State of Bavaria. State authorities entrust program’s im­ple­men­ta­tion to the German Academic Sponsorship Foundation. The Max Weber Program is one of several program lines under the umbrella of the Elite Network of Bavaria.

All information about the Max Weber Program

Elite Graduate Programs extend beyond conventional disciplines and structures, allowing Bavarian uni­ver­si­ties to expand and differentiate their range of courses. Elite Graduate Programs guarantee ideal con­ditions for highly motivated, aca­de­mi­cal­ly outstanding students to develop and progress. In ad­di­tion to excellent subject-related supervision and personal guidance, they also offer ambitious, re­search-focused curricula. Thanks to their international and often inter­dis­ci­pli­nary approach, Elite Gra­duate Programs also incorporate a diverse range of inter-institutional collaborations. An array of attrac­tive additional events and measures also allows students to develop beyond the confines of their own discipline.

All information about Elite Graduate Programs

International Doctorate Programs are a program line that offers Bavarian uni­ver­si­ties a testing ground upon which to develop unconventional formats of study and forge their own paths in the field of cut­ting-edge research. This approach not only benefits the universities but also supports talented young academics: the Doctorate Programs offer structured courses with an inter­na­tio­nal ori­en­ta­tion as part of a highly ambitious program of study and research, as well as intensive supervision and a pro­fes­sio­nal university position. This ensures that outstanding graduates are afforded the best starting position from which to launch an academic career or under­take positions of responsibility in the private sector, politics or wider society.

All information about International Doctorate Programs

The Marianne-Plehn-Program aims at outstanding young scientists. It com­bines a PhD scholarship by the German National Academic Foundation with a part-time employment of 25% funded by the Elite Network of Bavaria, at any university in Bavaria.

All information about the Marianne-Plehn-Program

Junior Research Groups are a program line which smooths the way for out­stan­ding postdocs from around the world to forge their path toward academic independence. Funding for Junior Research Groups is provided for a period of up to six years and covers the Head of the Group as well as two full-time doctoral positions. In addition, the Research Groups can access an attractive range of funding for research materials and equipment, allowing them to conduct internationally competitive research.

All information about Junior Research Groups

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Questions from students and doctoral researchers

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The Max Weber Program accepts applications from both Bavarian school leavers and current students. Students at Bavarian universities who have attained outstanding academic results can apply to the Max Weber Program via the following routes:

  • Direct application
  • Nomination by a university professor
  • Nomination by the Head of an Elite Graduate Program

All information on applying to the Max Weber Program after taking school-leaving examinations
All information on applying to the Max Weber Program while studying

High-achieving and highly motivated students interested in enrolling in an Elite Graduate Program should apply to the respective Graduate Program directly. The selection process will take place at the corresponding university campus.

 

If you have any queries relating to your application, please get in touch with the contact person for the respective Elite Graduate Program.

 

An overview of all Elite Graduate Programs

 

High-achieving and highly motivated doctoral researchers interested in enrolling in an International Doctorate Program should apply to the respective Doctorate Program directly. The selection process will take place at the corresponding university campus.

If you have any queries relating to your application, please get in touch with the contact person for the respective International Doctorate Program.

An overview of all International Doctorate Programs

You can submit your application for the Marianne-Plehn-Program any time. The selection procedure is organized by the German National Academic Foundation.

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Questions from academics

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All state universities in Bavaria plus the Catholic University of Eichstätt-Ingolstadt can apply to set up an Elite Graduate Program or an International Doctorate Program. Universities of applied sciences, art col­le­ges, the Bundeswehr University Munich and non-university research institutes can participate in an Elite Graduate Program or International Doctorate Program by collaborating with one of the afo­re­men­tioned universities.

All information about setting up Elite Graduate Programs
All information about setting up International Doctorate Programs

Postdoctoral researchers who graduated in the last two to five years and who have not worked at their host institution in the past two years are eligible to apply. In addition, an application to set up a Junior Research Group can only be submitted following consultation with the Head of a relevant Elite Gra­dua­te Program or International Doctorate Program, as each Junior Research Group must be affiliated with a related Elite Graduate Program or International Doctorate Program. As well as evidence of outstanding academic achievements, we also expect applicants to submit innovative, original applications based on research at the limits of knowledge in their respective disciplines.

All information about setting up Junior Research Groups

The Elite Network of Bavaria issues regular calls for applications. Applications to set up Elite Graduate Programs, International Doctorate Programs and Junior Research Groups can be submitted at that time. All calls for applications are publicized accordingly.

 

Decisive criteria include the proposed International Doctorate Program’s inno­va­tive potential, the international and interdisciplinary nature of its approach, an excellent supervision and support concept for doctoral researchers, as well as the academic excellence of the proposed teaching staff.

All information about setting up Elite Graduate Programs

Decisive criteria include the proposed International Doctorate Program’s inno­va­ti­ve potential, the international and interdisciplinary nature of its approach, an excellent supervision and support concept for doctoral researchers, as well as the academic excellence of the proposed teaching staff.

All information about setting up Elite Graduate Programs

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

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.

External expert committees made up of pre-eminent figures examine the ap­p­li­ca­ti­ons which suc­cess­fully passed the first selection phase. 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 of Science and the Arts.

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Questions about the Max Weber Program

Other questions

If you have any further questions, please contact us via email. We’ll be happy to answer your queries.