Application as a PreDoc / Doctoral Preparation Programme

Cultural and Social Studies at the Max-Weber-Kolleg

Certificates may be issued for participation in the individual modules so that the participants receive corresponding proof of preparation for their doctoral studies. Participation in the programme does not guarantee admission as a doctoral student at the Max-Weber-Kolleg.

The doctoral preparation programme follows a modularized structure and is geared to the individual needs of the participants. It consists of the modules "Project Development", "Literature", "Colloquium", "Seminar" and "Competence". The first three modules are compulsory modules. The other two are elective modules.


Project Development

In the Project Development module, the topic and the question are enhanced out and refined together with the mentor as well as the next steps and the schedule. In consultation with the mentor, an individualized work plan is drawn up in which the methodological and content-related elements still to be acquired are diagnosed and the seminar and competence modules to be attended are defined. Likewise, the tutor also determines which colloquia are to be attended. In this module, the exposé of the proposed doctoral project is created which becomes the basis for the evaluation of the project. The tutor and the participant meet on a biweekly basis.


The module Literature is used for the development of a reading plan and the evaluation of the reading for the development of the proposed topic. In this module, a reading plan is developed with a specialist advisor. The student will practice concentrating on particularly relevant literature and discussing this literature in relation to the proposed topic. The goal is to create a clear and thoughtful description of the project including any relevant research gaps. This module provides consultations by appointment.


In the module Colloquium, projects of fellow Max-Weber-Kolleg colleagues are presented and critically discussed on the basis of a written submission which has to be sent one week before the colloquium date (maximum 20 pages). The colloquium serves to present, discuss and revise your work especially in an interdisciplinary context. The participants will become familiar with the Weberian Research Programme – they will learn to critically evaluate other research projects, to change their perspective and to participate in an interdisciplinary discussion culture. Participants in this programme must take part in five to seven colloquia per semester.



The application should be submitted by August 31 or February 28. A decision by the committee will be reached by, respectively, September or March and accepted applicants should expect to begin their studies in October or April. 


Financial support can be provided through student assistant jobs or stipends. It should be taken into account that periods as a student assistant with more than 10 hours a week or periods as a scholarship holder are credited to the doctoral period according to legal regulations (Wissenschaftzzeitvertragsgesetz, WissZeitVG). A workspace with appropriate infrastructure can be provided upon request.


In addition to the mentor, participants of the doctoral preparation programme can also turn to the doctoral spokespersons if they have questions and suggestions.


Admission to the doctoral preparation programme does not guarantee admission to the Max-Weber-Kolleg. Participation in MWK events is therefore only possible in consultation with the mentor.