Selection for entry to the DCGC programme is based on high academic achievement, the quality of the research proposal and an assessment of your potential and commitment to complete high-quality research.
Candidates will normally be expected to hold both a good bachelors degree (awarded the best or second best grade available in their national system) and a good masters degree (awarded the best or second best grade available in their national system).
However, because the programme is committed to a life-long learning culture and a diversity of access, candidates who can demonstrate appropriate learning and experience of an equivalent level will be considered on the basis of a detailed portfolio.
Applicants are encouraged to make contact with us in order to check that their proposed research fits in with the programme themes, as well as to check supervisory arrangements and the mobility pathway.
Applicants will submit a dossier comprising the following:
- DCGC Application Cover Sheet (see below)
- detailed transcripts with grades and degree classification*
- a copy of your degree certificates*
- a certificate of recognised qualification showing proficiency in English (see DCGC language policy )
- a current curriculum vitae (European format);
- a statement of why you wish to be considered for admission (maximum 500 words);
- a research proposal (maximum 2000 words, excluding bibliography)
- the names of two referees who will attest to your academic standing and potential;
(*Candidates who can demonstrate appropriate learning and experience of an equivalent level will be considered on the basis of a detailed portfolio. Please contact us for further guidance.)
You will be asked for all these documents during the electronic application process, so make sure you have them available in a form that can be uploaded onto the web. Please also consult the application guidelines below. All candidates will also be expected to indicate that they have understood, and are committed to, the integrated mobility. Please also remember that Erasmus Mundus guidelines state that candidates are not allowed to apply to more than three different EMJDs in any one round.
The DCGC consortium wants you to make the best possible case for you and your project in your application.
The most important of the documents you are asked to submit is your research proposal. The assessors of your application will scrutinize this very carefully, so make sure that it represents your project and your ideas as accurately and as convincingly as possible.
We also place great emphasis on your CV, on your statement of purpose, and on your previous experience. There is no single route to a place on this programme; indeed, there are many experiences, academic or otherwise, that may have prepared you for a DCGC doctorate. We value diversity very highly and will honour all the knowledge and skills that you have acquired in a variety of different contexts.
Also important at the interview stage in the selection process will be the judgement of your referees: they will have to attest to the quality of your work and to your potential as a researcher, so select them carefully. Throughout the application we will be assessing the quality of your written expression, so we want to see you use the best English that you are capable of.
Our selection criteria are specified in the tab on The selection process (on this page). In what follows we give you some further advice on the individual documents you will be asked to submit as part of your application. All of them will have to be uploaded onto the web during the electronic application process (see the How to apply tab on this page), so make sure you have these documents in a format that allows easy uploads.
Please note: You will be applying through the University of Kent online application system. There is a generic online ‘application checklist’ available on the general admissions page which you are encouraged to consult for further advice on the various stages of the application. But please be aware that this checklist is used for over 200 different programmes of study within the University of Kent, so it may not at all points correspond to the advice given on this page. If you encounter any differences, the information on the DCGC pages is to be considered authoritative.
DCGC Application cover sheet (download here)
This cover sheet is mainly informative and will ask you for your personal details, your main places of residence in the past five years (required to check your eligibility in case you are applying for an Erasmus Mundus Fellowship), for your two preferred supervisors from two different institutions, and for your suggested mobility pathway. You should indicate one alternative to your preferred pathway in which at least one of your chosen universities is a different institution. This also means choosing a different supervisor for the different institution. Please take particular care to give us your accurate contact details for the interview date on 11th - 15th February (skypename and phone number including international dialling code from the UK). See also Important dates.
We will require these transcripts with a clear indication of your grades and degree classification. Please give us as much information as possible on your past academic experience to enable us to compare your record fairly with that of other candidates. Please also make sure that your record of transcripts is available in a format than can be uploaded onto the web during the online application process (preferably pdf). If you need to submit multiple documents you will have to put them into a single file first, as the system won't allow you to upload more than one file under this heading. Finally, if your transcripts are in a language other than one of the four consortium languages (English, Hungarian, German, Dutch), you are required to submit certified translations in English.
We also require copies of your degree certificates. Please proceed as above with your transcripts (ie, put all documents into a single file and, if required, include certified translations).
Your CV should include all relevant information about your previous education and work experience. Please use the European CV format . We would also like you to include a list of publications in an annex to the CV, in case some of your work has already been published.
A certificate of language ability
Please have a look at our language policy. Applicants who are non-native speakers of English must demonstrate, through the acquisition of a recognized qualification, proficiency in English at level C1 (‘proficient user’), as defined in the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR). You can demonstrate this in various ways, for example with an IELTS (International English Language Testing System) certificate at level 7.0, or through a score of 100 (including a minimum 22 in both writing and reading) in the internet-based TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language). Please note that the paper-based TOEFL is not acceptable. Please ensure that the documents attesting to your language skills are available in a format that can be uploaded on to the online admissions software.
Letter of purpose/motivation
In this letter you should try to explain why you want to study in the DCGC and what you expect from the programme. There may be all kinds of reasons why you are interested in this doctorate – personal, academic, or otherwise – and the assessors will have no preconceptions about the ideal career path of a DCGC candidate. Every case will be assessed on its own merits, so please tell us in your own words what motivated you to put in an application for this programme – but make sure not to exceed the limit of 500 words. You should include in this letter a justification of your choice of mobility (i.e. the two co-supervising universities), so make sure you also consult the individual research profiles of the four degree-awarding institutions.
In this proposal you should set out as precisely and clearly as possible the the research you propose to undertake on the DCGC programme. Supported by a focused review of the relevant literature, you should clearly state your main research question(s), justifying originality and critical relevance, and give a brief outline of your proposed methodology. Please read carefully about the DCGC research themes to ensure that your research fits with the objectives of the programme. If you have any questions about this please get in touch with us. The maximum length of this proposal is 2000 words (excluding bibliography), and we don’t expect proposals to be significantly shorter than this.
The academics on the DCGC are willing to give general guidance about whether or not a research proposal falls within the themes of our programme and may help you with further with academic orientation, identifying supervisors and mobility pathways. However they will not collaborate with you on developing the details of the proposal because this is evaluated as part of the application process.
We will require the names of two referees who will attest to your academic standing and potential. It is your responsibility as an applicant to ensure that your referees respond promptly to requests for a reference.
If you require further advice on the application process please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
The deadline for all applications in the Fellowship round is 8th January 2013, 23.59pm GMT. No applications for Fellowships will be accepted after that date.
Please note: If you are applying for another scholarship and the deadline date is prior to our closing date for DCGC applications then we can send an early letter/email to your scholarship organisation confirming that we have received an eligible application. By ‘eligible application’ we mean an application that fulfils the requirements of a suitable research proposal accompanied by the right documentation, which will be entered into our application process.
25th January 2013: Notification of ineligible applicants (candidates for scholarships with an earlier deadline date will be informed earlier).
5th February 2013: Short-listing of candidates complete. All applicants will be notified by email whether they have been selected for interview or not within two days of this date.
12th - 14th February 2013 (UK time zone): Selection panel meets in Kent to interview preselected candidates. Candidates will need to ensure their availability for a skype or equivalent interview on this day. Time slots for interviews will be agreed in advance. Please note that depending on your own time zone, your interview slot may fall late on 11th February or early on 15th February (time in your zone).
After these interviews, successful applicants and reserve applicants will be notified and asked to confirm that they are willing to accept a place on the DCGC programme. At the same time applicants placed on the reserve list will be notified and asked to confirm that they are willing to remain on the reserve list.
28th February 2013: Main and reserve lists of candidates submitted to EACEA for approval. Offers of Fellowships cannot be made by the consortium until the list of candidates has been fully approved by the EACEA.
A second deadline for non-Fellowship applicants may be set after the selection process if there is further interest and if there are still places available on the programme.
How to apply
The application is web-based and managed by the University of Kent admissions system. The following 6 STEPS will take you through the required stages of the process.
Please note that your application will be in the first instance for a place on the programme. You will have the opportunity to indicate on the Application Cover Sheet whether you are also applying for an Erasmus Mundus Fellowship. If you are, please note that offers of Fellowships cannot be made by the consortium until the list of candidates has been fully approved by the EACEA. Since the number of Fellowships is limited (see Fellowships and Funding) we may not be able to offer a Fellowship to all successful candidates. Wherever possible, we will in such cases assist candidates with applications to other sources of funding, or advise on issues related to self-funding.
Please note that the personal data of all applicants will be sent to the Agency (EACEA) and may be used by other bodies involved in the management of Erasmus Mundus (i.e. European Commission, Erasmus Mundus National Structures, EU Delegations, Erasmus Mundus Student and Alumni Association) for facilitating the student/doctoral candidate access to the joint programme.
Please read carefully through the Application guidelines (see tab [link] on this page). Make sure that your application documents contain all the information required by the selection panel. If vital documentation is missing, the consortium will make every effort to contact you and give you a chance to amend your application, but we can only do so prior to the deadline of 8th January, 2013. So the earlier you apply the better your chances are of having the application completed on time.
Please complete the DCGC Application Cover Sheet. You will need to complete this sheet electronically, print it off, sign it, get it scanned, and then have the scanned version ready to be uploaded on to the electronic application form under section 8 (where you will be prompted to do so).
In addition to the Application Cover Sheet, you need to have the following documents ready on your computer to be uploaded onto the web. Under each heading you will only be allowed to upload one single file, so in case you have to include more than one document (for example, original plus translation) you will have to put all these documents into a single file first. Please ensure that each file is no bigger than 5MB and that you use only the following formats: .txt, .doc, .docx, .pdf.
- Research Proposal (maximum 2000 words, excluding bibliography);
- Statement of why you wish to be considered for admission (maximum 500 words);
- Your most recent curriculum vitae (European CV format);
- Your degree certificates* – plus certified translations into English
- Your transcripts (interim or final)* with grades and degree classification – plus certified translations into English if not in one of the four languages of the consortium (English, Hungarian, German, Dutch)
- A copy of your passport or identity card
(*Candidates who can demonstrate appropriate learning and experience of an equivalent level will be considered on the basis of a detailed portfolio. Please contact us for further guidance.)
Log on to the University of Kent online admissions system. This link will take you directly to the DCGC programme:
DCGC online application form
You will be asked first for your name, your date of birth, and your email address. Once you’ve submitted this information, an email will be sent to you with another link that takes you to the application form proper. (Note that as a security measure you will have to submit your date of birth a second time before you have full access.) Once your name and date of birth are on the system, you can interrupt the process of completing the online application form at any point by pressing the ‘Save for later’ button at the bottom of the form. The data you have already entered will be automatically saved.
The online application form has 8 sections.
Section 1: Personal Details. Please provide the information requested. Note that in cases of dual or multiple nationality, you must decide under which single nationality you are applying to this programme.
Section 2: Contact Details. The form asks you for both a current address and a correspondence address (these may of course be identical). Your correspondence address should be valid for the period between the submission date of your application and the start date of the programme (September 2012).
Section 3: Kent Study Details. If you have accessed the application form through the link provided above, this section will be prepopulated with DCGC data. You will be asked ‘how you are intending to fund your studies’. If you are not applying for an Erasmus Mundus Fellowship please tick ‘Private Finance’ here or select another source of funding from the options available.
Section 4: Professional and Academic Qualifications. Here we first of all need information on your language abilities. Indicate your native language, and then upload your language certificates that show how you meet the requirements of the DCGC language policy Under the info sign on the left there is a further reminder of the details of this policy and the required certificates. We then need information on your previous academic qualifications. In the table provided, please enter the name of the institution, the duration of your studies, etc.
If you have transcripts and final degree certificates of your results from any of these institutions, you should have them ready to be uploaded under section 8 below. If you do not have any transcripts and certificates available, you must get the institutions where you obtained them to send copies directly to Kent, using the address provided.
Candidates who can demonstrate appropriate learning and experience of an equivalent level will be considered on the basis of a detailed portfolio. You should attach this here.
Section 5: Work Experience. Please provide details in case you have any prior work experience.
Section 6: Information Source. Please tell us where you first found out about this programme.
Section 7: References. We require the names of two referees who will attest to your academic standing and potential. Referees will be sent an automatic reference request using the contact details you have provided. It is your responsibility as an applicant to ensure that your referees respond promptly to requests for a reference.
Section 8: Further Documents. Your application will not be complete without the further documents specified in STEP 3 which have to be uploaded to the web under the headings provided in this section. Only one file can be uploaded under each heading. Please ensure that each file is no bigger than 5MB and that you use only the following formats: .txt, .doc, .docx, .pdf.
Check through the application form again and make sure that you have provided all the required information. If you’re certain that the form is complete, press ‘Submit the application form’ and you’re finished. Congratulations!
How do we select successful applicants and nominate for Erasmus Mundus Fellowships?
For each application round the DCGC Selection Committee is appointed specially by the Academic Board of Studies, and will include at least one member from each consortium partner. The Committee will evaluate applicants in a nine-stage process. The aim of this process is to identify the successful applicants who are offered a place on the DCGC programme in this round and then to rank successful applicants in order to nominate them either for Erasmus Mundus Fellowships or for a Reserves List. The nine stages are as follows.
- An initial collective decision on the eligibility of applicants (see notes below).
- An initial quantitative scoring of eligible applications conducted by all four partners. At this stage a further ineligibility judgement is possible.
- A discussion of the eligible applications by the Selection Committee, thus adding qualitative evaluations to the quantitative scores.
- A short-listing decision for Category A (including those who are may be considered in any special ‘window’ identified by the EACEA) and Category B applicants.
- Interview of short-listed applicants by Skype; they will be interviewed by at least two different members of the Selection Committee.
- Selection Committee discussion leading to the identification of successful applicants who will be offered a place on the DCGC programme in this round.
- Ranking of successful applicants. The top-ranked successful applicants in each Category will be given the opportunity to be nominated for Erasmus Mundus Fellowships. The remaining successful applicants will be given the opportunity to be nominated (in rank order) for the Reserves List in each Category.
- The Committee will write to the nominees in the Fellowships and Reserves list and ask them to confirm their nominations. If any nominee does not take up the offer, the ranked lists will be adjusted accordingly and a Reserve candidate will be nominated for the Fellowship. A final Selection Committee decision will follow.
- The Committee will inform the DCGC Programme Coordinator of the final decision and the Coordinator will make the nominations of Fellowship and Reserves List (both in rank order) to the EACEA. The DCGC Programme Coordinator will also give to the Agency aggregate statistics on the nationality and gender of non-selected applicants. These statistics will not identify the non-selected applicants.
The overall evaluation of applications combines, first, a quantitative scoring of key application documents; second, a discussion of the applications by the Selection Committee where qualitative considerations will make an important contribution; and, finally, interview. The initial quantitative scoring will take account of the Research Proposal (50%), the Letter of Motivation/Purpose (20%), the CV plus grading of degrees and transcript marks (20%), and the quality of the written expression (10%). The quantitative scores, together with qualitative judgement by the Selection Committee, will contribute to subsequent stages of the evaluation.
At the interview stage, the letters of reference from your chosen referees will also be considered.
Nominations for Fellowships must be approved by the EACEA. This approval will normally take place in mid-April (about 45 days after the end-February deadline for the submission of nominations by the consortium to the Agency). The Agency emphasises that for all Erasmus Mundus doctoral programmes, the final number of Fellowships awarded at the end of the application and selection process depends on budget availability. In other words it is possible that the Agency, due to budgetary constraints, may not give Fellowships to all those nominated by Erasmus Mundus doctoral programmes.
Notwithstanding their status on the Reserves List, those applicants offered a place on the DCGC programme in this round but not nominated for Fellowships will be encouraged either to self-fund or to apply for External Funding and given appropriate support by the DCGC consortium.
Applicants of a sufficient quality who have identified, or intend to identify, External Funding but who have not been short-listed for interview or have not been offered a place on the DCGC programme after interview will be encouraged to apply again in a subsequent External Funding Round, the date of which will be announced by the consortium. Again, appropriate support will be given in the application for External Funding by the DCGC consortium The application process will follow a similar procedure, and applicants will be expected to improve their applications in order to meet the same quality threshold if they are to be offered a place in the DCGC programme on an Externally Funded basis.
Appeals will only be considered if the applicant believes there has been a failure in the admissions procedure or that they have been discriminated against unlawfully. All appeals should be made in writing to the DCGC coordinator, unless the appeal is regarding the coordinator, in which case the written appeal should be directed to the DCGC Management Board. Any appeal will be accorded thorough consideration and will normally be addressed within 28 days of receipt. Where an appeal does not produce the outcome sought by the applicant, reasons should be given for any decision. DCGC staff are encouraged to acknowledge when an error has been made and to take steps to ensure that similar problems do not arise in future.
Please note that due to the requirements of data protection, the DCGC Academic Board of Studies will only correspond on any issue regarding an application with the applicants themselves, unless the applicant has provided written permission for the DCGC consortium to discuss it with another person.
IELTS > http://www.ielts.org
TOEFL > http://www.ets.org/toefl/
Europass > http://europass.cedefop.europa.eu/europass/home/hornav/Introduction.csp