First or Second-Year PhD students from Europaeum member universities can apply to this programme. Applicants should make sure they know about the commitment that comes with being on the programme.
We recommend also checking out the FAQs (pdf).

Selection Criteria

Selection Criteria

Applicants should be enrolled on a relevant doctoral programme at a Europaeum university. This should be in the Humanities or Social Sciences (or a joint degree including Humanities or Social Sciences). Applicants should have at least two years of study left on their degrees at the point of application. The criteria for selection include outstanding academic ability, evidence of clear commitment to promoting the public good, and a high level of personal qualities that command respect. They are listed in more detail below.

Academic Criteria

Applications must demonstrate:

  1. Exceptional results in their undergraduate degree (usually a First Class degree or its equivalent). Please refer to the table below for guidance.
  2. Outstanding graduate work – either in the form of a Distinction in a Master’s course (or commensurate level of performance) and/or two academic references stating that the applicant is capable of performing exceptionally well at the doctoral level. One of these must be from the doctoral supervisor. Please refer to the table below for guidance.
  3. Evidence of a willingness to engage in interdisciplinary dialogue.
  4. An excellent command of English.

Non-academic Criteria

Applications should demonstrate:

  1. A clear and strong commitment to the public good and a high level of personal qualities that command respect.
  2. Good interpersonal skills, particularly the ability or potential to work well as part of team.
  3. A strong interest in connecting academic ideas with policy making and/or practice.
  4. The potential to lead and motivate others.
  5. Good time management skills that would permit the successful applicant to complete this programme while excelling in their doctoral studies.

European Relevance

Applications must demonstrate:

  1. Research interests that relate to the study of Europe (broadly defined).


  1. Evidence of personal experience or extracurricular activities that demonstrate a strong personal interest in European affairs
  2. (if applicable) the potential of their research or extra curricular activities to contribute to debates about issues of contemporary concern within Europe (broadly defined)

All successful applicants should demonstrate academic excellence and either leadership experience or that they have made a contribution of some sort to their community or society.

What do include with your application

Applications should include:


  1. A Personal Statement of no more than 500 words. This should explain how you feel you are suitable for the programme (both academically and personally) and your motivation for applying. It should include examples of what you consider to be the public good and why / how you are personally committed to promoting it.
  2. Your answers to the two questions (to be posted by 1 November) in no more than 200 words.
  3. Your CV (max 2 pages)
  4. Degree certificates for your completed undergraduate and postgraduate degrees. Where your university issues a transcript, we would also like you to supply a transcript.

These materials should be sent in a single email (plus all attachments) (i) to both your university contact and (ii) to by midnight on 1 December 2020. Details of university contacts will be posted here.

In addition, we require the following references to be sent directly to (i) to both your university contact and (ii) to by midnight on 1 December 2020:

  1. Two academic references. One must be from your supervisor.
  2. One reference from someone who can speak to your leadership potential. Ideally, this should not be from an academic. References from family members or people you are in a personal relationship with will be deemed ineligible.
  3. One personal reference. References from family members or people you are in a personal relationship with will be deemed ineligible.

Please make sure to ask your referees well in advance and ensure that they are aware of the deadline.

Please also complete a cover sheet for your application: download form here

Further information and guidance about the application documents follows. All documents should be submitted in English. The only exceptions to this are university transcripts/certificates and the personal reference, which may be submitted in any official language of the university where you studied (transcripts/certificates) and your current university (personal references).

The Personal Statement (500 words)

This should address two key areas. One is how your postgraduate research (and/or your extracurricular activities) fits with the study of Europe and the aims of the Scholars Programme. The other is your commitment to the public good. You may wish to draw connections between these areas. Good questions to ask yourself when drafting the statement are: How do your experience and interests make you suitable for the programme? Why are you applying? How does your doctoral research relate to the study of Europe? What have you done outside of your studies that is relevant to the Programme and its aims? What do you consider to be the public good? Why? How and why are you committed to promoting it? What have you done both in your studies and in your extracurricular activities to promote it?

Please note that by Europe we do not just mean the EU. Applicants working on topics related to the EU would of course be eligible, but we define Europe very broadly. We also understand the study of Europe to include the history and culture of Europe and its constituent parts, as well as its politics and finances.

Your answers to our questions

By 1 November (when applications formally open) we will post two questions and will ask you to answer them as part of your application. Please confine your answers to no more than 100 words per question.

Your CV

This should be a maximum of 2 pages. It must include information about your educational qualifications and results to date. It must also make clear that you are studying a humanities or social science subject or a joint degree that comprises a humanities or social science element. It should also include details of your academic achievements. These could include scientific presentations, grants, prizes and awards, and publications. We appreciate that applicants will have a wide range of experience both within and without formal education. If you have worked outside the academy, please give brief details of your employment record. Please also note any relevant internships, volunteer work, other work experience, or leadership positions. If you have undertaken fieldwork as part of your studies, you may also wish to give brief details.

The University Transcript and Degree Certificates

Where your university issues a transcript, we would like you to supply a transcript in the original language. We would also like you to supply a copy in English if the original language is not English, French, or German unless your university asks you to supply a copy in English too. The English copy does not need to be a notarised copy.  Similarly, we require that you supply university certificates for completed degrees, especially in cases where your university does not issue a transcript. If you have any questions, please contact:


Two Academic References

One of the academic references MUST be from your doctoral supervisor or, if you have not yet been appointed a supervisor, someone who has been responsible for overseeing your postgraduate studies to date. Both references should come from academics who know your academic work, particularly your postgraduate work, very well. Academic referees should comment primarily on three areas: i) your academic track record to date and how your achievement compares to that of your cohort; ii) the quality and potential of your postgraduate research; and iii) their assessment of your future potential. Please also ask them to comment on your academic suitability for the programme and your potential to balance the programme with the demands of your doctoral research. Please make sure that your referees know about the Scholars Programme, so that they know what we are looking for. It may be useful to send them the brochure if they have not seen it. You may also wish to send them your personal statement.

Academic references MUST be submitted in English.

The Leadership Reference

This should be from someone who can either speak to how you have performed in a leadership role in the past or who can comment upon your leadership potential. This could be a former employer or co-worker, or someone involved in an organisation, network, or event you have helped to organise. They may also want to comment on how you work with others. Please do NOT ask a relative to write this reference for you, as references from relatives will be considered ineligible and may render your whole application ineligible. These should be submitted in English. If that is not possible, they should be submitted in an official language of your university.

The Personal Reference

These should be from someone who knows you very well and can comment upon your character. They may also want to comment on how you work with others. Think about who knows what sort of person you are and what your attitudes are towards the public good. This could be a friend who has known you for a long time, or someone from a local organisation or club you go to or a sports team you are part of. The important thing is that they can bring in a different perspective to your academic referees and whomever you have asked to write your leadership reference. Please do NOT ask a relative to write this reference for you, as references

Personal references can be submitted in any official language of your university, although references in English are preferred whenever possible.

Come to an Information Session at your university

Information sessions about the programme for prospective applicants will take place in the following universities. We will update this list as the meetings are confirmed, so please check back if the date for your university’s information session has not yet been posted. For details of where and when the information session will take place, please contact your university contact.

Universitat Pompeu Fabra Barcelona: TBC

Freie Universität, Berlin: 6 November

Alma Mater Studiorum – University of Bologna: TBC

The University of Copenhagen: TBC

The Graduate Institute, Geneva: 21 November

The University of Helsinki: TBC

The Jagiellonian University, Krakow: 14 November

Leiden University: TBC

KU Leuven: TBC

The Catholic University of Portugal, Lisbon: 30 or 31 October (TBC)

The University of Luxembourg: TBC

The Complutense University of Madrid: TBC

Ludwig-Maximilians Universität, Munich: 7 November (TBC)

The University of Oxford: TBC

The University of Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne: TBC

Charles University, Prague: 13 or 15 Nov (TBC)

The University of St Andrews: TBC