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Doctoral Degree

Doctoral studies at the LAI

At the LAI, studying for a doctorate is possible either in one of the departments represented at the Institute (Cultural and Social Anthropology, History, Literatures and Cultures of Latin America, Economics, Political Science, Sociology) or within a structured programme. Both models offer optimal supervision and a comprehensive programme of colloquia, workshops and other academic activities. 

Individual doctorate

An individual doctorate (“Individualpromotion”) requires you to make arrangements with an advisor who is either a Professor or Junior Professor ("Professor*innen" or "Juniorprofessor*innen"). If they agree to supervise you, you must apply for admission to the doctoral programme in the corresponding discipline through the Examinations Office (Promotionsbüro). The individual doctorate is the most common form of doctoral studies, as it allows more flexibility in determining the research topic. However, its success depends on the amount of independent effort invested in maintaining working relationships with both the supervisor and the other doctoral students.

Structured doctoral programme

Structured doctoral programmes provide a pre-established thematic framework into which an applicants’ research interest must be adapted. Graduate schools and other structured programmes focus on providing doctoral students with a better integration into both the structured programme group and the academic community.

Since 2008, the doctoral programme Latin American Studies from a Comparative and Transregional Perspective has been part of a select group of structured programmes at Freie Universität Berlin that are advised by the Dahlem Research School (DRS). The DRS offers doctoral students a wide range of services, including advice and support for research trips and the organisation of conferences and congresses.

Doctoral students with a supervisor from the LAI may apply for admission to this programme, part of which is the German-Mexican International Research Training Group (IRTG) "Temporalities of the Future. Dynamics of Desire and Anticipation". The IRTG is supported by the German Research Foundation (DFG) and offers its own research programme on Latin America. The next call for applications will be published in autumn 2024.