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Application - Procedure

Before the selection procedure starts (Step 0)

Please make sure to start looking for a potential MCLS supervisor as early as possible. Once you found a potential supervisor make sure that he/she is ready to provide a MCLS Recommendation Letter for you via the online application tool (he/she will receive an e-mail with further instructions once you entered their contact information and submitted your application in the online application tool) by March 15.
Without an MCLS Recommendation Letter, your application can unfortunately not be considered for the further application procedure.

Program start is in October.

Selection Procedure

                             Step 1                                               Step 3                            Step 4                           Step 5
(Applicant & previous professor & MCLS member)  (Applicant & Program)    (International Applicants)          (Program)
                 Submit documents online                        Interview Stage       Submit documents (hardcopy)    Final decision
                           March 01                                             May                            end of May                    May/June
------------------------ O --------------------------------------- O --------------------------- O -------------------------- O 
Step 0                            l----------- review stage--------------l
(Applicant)                                         (Program)
Look for potential                                  Step 2
MCLS supervisor

Step 1: Application Stage - Submit complete documents ONLINE by March 01

  • Submit all required documents in the required format by March 01, 11:59pm (UTC+1) via the Online Application Tool.
    Your referee (previous professor) and your potential supervisor must upload their reference letter / MCLS Recommendation Letter by March 15 through the online portal


Step 2: Review Stage
We will review the applications based on the:

  • completeness of documents
  • submission of an MCLS Recommendation Letter (submission of application occurred by March 01 and upload from potential supervisor occurred by March 15 through the upload form in the application tool)
  • submission of a reference letter from a previous professor (submission of application occurred by March 01 and upload from referee occurred by March 15 through the upload form in the application tool)
  • quality of the research proposal
  • quality of the motivation letter

Step 3: Interview Stage

Successful applicants in the document review stage will be invited to an interview. The interviews will presumably take place in May. The interviews are conducted online.

In the interview, candidates have to deliver a short presentation of their master thesis research (or equivalent), as well as their proposed doctoral research project. The main criteria for evaluation are scientific skills, empirical research experience, and the relevance of the topic to the learning sciences field. The selection committee consists of MCLS members. English proficiency is also validated during the interview.

Step 4: Submit HARDCOPIES (for international students, who do not hold either German citizenship and/or do not hold a prior German degree: university entrance qualification, Bachelor, or Master; more info here):

  • If you are considered an international student and want to profit from assistance with your request for admission directed to the International Office (IO), please make sure to send the required hardcopies to the Program (not to the IO directly).
    We offer assistance for all applications we receive by May 31 (we confirm the arrival of the documents via mail). This typically means that you can wait with sending the documents until you have received the final decision.
    Should you not be able to hold this deadline, please contact the coordination. 
    More information on required documents here.

Step 5: Final Decision

We will inform you about the final decision regarding your acceptance or rejection (presumably in May/June; in July the latest).

If you are an international student, you need an additional acceptance letter from the International Office to start your studies (i.e. upon enrollment) and to apply for your VISA (the program acceptance letter is not always sufficient to get your VISA)

  • In case you have not sent the hardcopies to our program by May 31, please take care of this process yourself. In this case please check which documents you need in the International Office directly.