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Admission and Application

The DPDS is open to outstanding doctoral students who:

  • Are interested in democracy issues,
  • Hold a MA in political science, media science, philosophy or a related social science discipline,
  • Are fluent in English,
  • Have not yet started with their Ph.D. or are in an initial phase,
  • Intend to do their doctorate within a structured doctoral program,
  • Bring their own funding (hold a job, a fellowship or other).

The three steps of the DPDS application process


1. Submission of application dossier (in ONE pdf file) to the DPDS program coordinator (no deadline)

  • A letter of motivation,
  • A written statement on how your individual funding (to cover your living expenses) is intended to be assured,
  • PhD outline / outline of research idea (max. 2 pages),
  • CV,
  • Copy of diplomas,
  • Summary of courses in quantitative and/or qualitative research methods,
  • Two letters of recommendation (not older than 2 years, provided by professors).
2. Selection of supervisor

On the condition that the DPDS board of directors (BoD) supports your application, it will assist you - if needed - to find a supervisor at the University of Zurich or at any other university in Switzerland.

3.  Submission of proof of individual funding
On the condition that a professor is willing to supervise you, the DPDS BoD will request you to submit a proof of your individual funding (e.g. scholarship, working contract etc.) by 31 May. If the BoD receives this confirmation in time, you will become a new member of the DPDS with the start of the fall semester (1 August).
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