HomeEuropean University Institute (EUI) funded PhD programme

HomeEuropean University Institute (EUI) funded PhD programme

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Published on Wednesday, November 17, 2021


The call for applications for the European University Institute (EUI) funded PhD programme is opening on 1 November 2021. The EUI Department of History and Civilization offers exceptional opportunities to study global connections within early modern and modern European history in a unique international context.


Programme Description

The Department of History and Civilisation offers a distinctive four-year Ph.D. programme of transnational and comparative European history supported by a uniquely international and multicultural faculty.

Our vision

We encourage Ph.D. researchers to think beyond boundaries, offering them exceptional opportunities to study global connections within early modern and modern European history.

Our Department encourages a culture of conversation among researchers and faculty. Professors and researchers work together to develop ideas and each year we invite experts from around the world in numerous fields to visit our department to discuss their research.

We have a strong commitment to equality, diversity, and above all, to inclusivity in all aspects of life. The international character of our community of scholars with its amazing wealth and diversity of academic interests and training is our particular asset. Researchers are challenged to rethink their background assumptions in a fascinating learning experience.

Structure of the programme

In the first and second years doctoral researchers study historiographical and methodological issues and focus on an in-depth exploration of selected central themes of European history. In the third and fourth years, researchers focus on their individual research, and are invited to present the results of their work at seminars and workshops

  • Supervision: Researchers are followed by a supervisor in the development their own doctoral project. The supervisor is responsible for advising on research and career development while a second reader is also appointed to offer another perspective on the researcher's work. In order to help researchers in the process of designing and writing their PhD thesis, the Department provides a series of individual thesis monitoring sessions.
  • Seminars: The first and second years of the doctoral programme are based on a combination of coursework and research activities. Interdisciplinary and training skills, and academic writing courses are organised Institute-wide. Within the Department the teaching programme includes Departmental, Research, and Training Seminars, and other academic activities (conferences, workshops, lectures, courses on digital tools for academic research).
  • Fieldwork: Historical research is essentially based on consultation of sources and archives. In order to foster fieldwork and the exchange of ideas the Department contributes to the expenses for research trips or for the participation in international conferences.
  • Working groups: Researchers are encouraged to join and set up working groups in order to share common interests. Working groups give the opportunity to contemplate the fields covered by research seminars but also to profit from the possibility of peer-to-peer learning and open and flexible working conditions.

Faculty areas of supervision

Prospective applicants should look closely at the research interests specified by the professors in their personal Web pages. These will provide the clearest idea of the kinds of research topics that are supervised at the EUI. It should not be assumed that the interests listed are the only topics those professors will supervise, but they should serve as a useful guide. Specific research interests of the professors who are available to supervise new researchers are set out below.

In the application form you are asked to list the names of potential supervisors for your research. Faculty members will then become aware that you consider them as potential supervisors. However, you should not contact them and ask them for advice, as this could undermine the competitiveness and fairness of our selection procedure.

How to Apply

You must submit your application and all required documents via the interactive online application form which will be available on 1 November.

The deadline for completing the application form and for the submission of references and all required documents is: 31 January.

Applications may be submitted until midnight (24:00 - CET) on that day.

There are two distinct phases in the application process:

  1. Register as early as possible

You are encouraged to register, inserting your personal and referee details as soon as possible after the application form will be activated on 1 November. This is important to allow sufficient time for your referees to submit the reference letters before the deadline. Reference letters will not be accepted after the deadline 31 January (24:00 - CET).

  1. Complete and submit your application by the deadline 31 January (24:00 - CET)

Once you have registered you may continue to work on your application (including required documents) until the deadline. Submit the application only when you have filled in all the information correctly and have successfully uploaded the final version of the required documents. References can be submitted at any time up until the deadline, before or after you submit your application.

By registering/submitting an application, you give your consent for processing the data as specified in the Privacy Statement for Application and Selection Procedures for EUI Post-Graduate Programmes and in accordance with the EUI’s Data Protection Policy outlined in the Decision of the President No. 10 of 18 February 2019 (EUI Data Protection Policy)

Degree Requirements

You must meet the minimum degree requirements set by the funding authority of the country for which you are applying. As a general rule, you should fulfil the minimum degree requirements by 31 August, but please note that this is not valid for candidates applying for some national funding programmes whose eligibility requirements include conditions regarding the degree and its time of award.

Language Requirements

The expected level of English proficiency is level C1 of the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR). Applicants are required to submit an English international language certificate to demonstrate their level. Candidates who are English native speakers, or have a degree from a university programme entirely taught in English and have written a thesis in English in such a programme, are exempt from submitting a certificate of English proficiency.

Applicants who submit a certificate with a test score below the threshold indicated hereunder may be conditionally admitted but will have to take English language courses during their first year. Sufficient progress in English language skills will be a criterion for admission to the second year.

The certificate of English proficiency must be attached to the candidate’s application form and submitted by 31 January. Unofficial copies of the above mentioned English proficiency certificates are also accepted.

Candidates who are unable to provide a certificate by 31 January must attach a personal declaration to the application form stating the reason for this. Exemption from the requirement to submit an English international language certificate may be granted in the case of extenuating circumstances. Where the certificate of English proficiency is missing and the applicant is still invited for interview, he or she must take an equivalent English Language Assessment test at the EUI in addition to the interview.

Other EUI Working Languages

Applicants who need to be proficient for their specific research project in another working language(s) of the EUI (French, German, Italian and Spanish) which is not their native language, will be asked to take a spoken and written test when invited for interview.

Required Documents

Before starting your online submission, prepare the required documents:

  • one or two page CV
  • research proposal of 2500 words (see below)
  • degree transcript(s) issued by your university listing the exams/courses taken at university, grades/marks awarded and (if applicable) the final degree result. You should also attach your degree transcript(s) from previous degree(s). Do not attach or send supplementary documents that are not strictly requested, such as traineeships diplomas etc.
  • International English language certificate (see above)
  • Copy of an identity document (such as passport or ID card) - JPG format. If you hold dual nationality, you should attach the copy of a second passport/ID card proving your second nationality. The copy of your ID document(s) will be only processed by the EUI Administration and the relevant funding authority(ies), it will not be distributed to the EUI Departmental selection committee.

Note that attachments must be PDF using standard international fonts (max size 1MB). Do NOT use macros, special characters, password-protected attachments, electronic signatures. The EUI reserves the right to verify the authenticity of the certificates you provide with the competent issuing authorities.

The policy of the EUI is not to offer individual guidance and advice on dissertation proposals. Do not contact potential supervisors but read the information on research themes and indicate one or more professors who could supervise your dissertation in the application form.

If you have any questions on the programme, grants, requirements, application and selection procedures, please contact the EUI Admissions Office – Email: applyres@eui.eu

Research Proposal

Applicants are selected for interviews on the basis of their academic record and their research proposal. Your research proposal shows that you are ready to write a PhD dissertation that can be supervised at the EUI. The proposal must be written in English or French and must be no longer than 2500 words (including footnotes, references and bibliography). Longer proposals may be excluded from further consideration.

The proposal should outline the project that you wish to pursue in your PhD dissertation. It should demonstrate command of the state of the art in the field (with references to the literature) and of research methodology within the discipline, formulate a research question and include a short bibliography. Where appropriate it should also include the theory or hypotheses that will be examined or a description of the empirical content and sources of the research project.

Please also consider the following points when framing your research proposal for a PhD in History and Civilization:

  • The Department focuses primarily on the History of Europe from XIV century to the present, and will not therefore consider proposals on the Classical World or the Early Medieval Period.
  • We particularly welcome projects on comparative history and transnational history, as well as global history (namely Europe and the World). This should be taken into account by prospective students when formulating a research proposal. Though not refused categorically, projects strictly dealing with national histories do not fit with our priorities.
  • You should identify a research question that you aim to explore and present your argument with clarity, while also attempting to demonstrate the feasibility of the project. Please remember that ours is a four-year programme and you will need to limit your subject, explain its rationale and clearly focus your research and writing.
  • The title of your proposal should be well-defined and fully express its content. It is equally important to produce a good abstract, which will be included in the summary of your application file. Your abstract will be read first and faculty members will often decide on that basis whether to read your full application more carefully.
  • You are expected to elaborate on the approaches, methodologies and tools that you are planning to adopt and explore. Besides giving an overview of the relevant bibliography for your topic and underlining why the project is innovative vis-à-vis the existing literature, you also are advised to briefly write about the nature and accessibility of the primary sources you will need.
  • We also encourage you to produce a brief statement detailing your particular historical interests, and the ways you think the EUI’s Department of History and Civilization—both individually and communally—is suited to support you in working towards your research goals.
  • The overall length of your proposal must not exceed 2500 words (including footnotes, bibliography and references). Longer proposals may be excluded from further consideration.

Please also note that you will be required to write a Short Abstract of your research proposal (max 1000 characters) directly on the online application form.

Applicants should register two academic referees in the online application form and ensure that their reference letters are submitted online (directly by the referees) by the applications deadline of 31 January. References will not be accepted after the deadline.

References are accepted until 31 January. Kindly note that the EUI encourages candidates to apply and register their referees as early as possible: the EUI post-graduate application process is open from early November to 31 January.

Selection process and schedule

  • 1 November: Application procedure opens.
  • 31 January: Deadline for applications and references. Applications are screened for completeness by Academic Service. Professors of the Department start to check the application files and to identify the most promising ones. Funding authorities start assessing the candidates' eligibility for funding.
  • Early March: National pre-selection committees composed of the funding authorities, EUI faculty and representatives of PhD students shortlist candidates for interviews for specific countries or groups of countries.
  • Mid March: Invitations for interviews for shortlisted candidates are sent by e-mail. Candidates who are not shortlisted are also informed by e-mail.
  • 28-31 March: Shortlisted candidates are interviewed by the Departmental panels.
  • Early April: EUI’s ‘Entrance Board’ decides which applicants will be offered admission on the basis of the Departments’ proposals. Candidates are informed of the admission results by e-mail.
  • May to July: Formal admission letters are sent by e-mail. Practical information for selected candidates is posted on the Academic Service's web pages. Reserve candidates may be contacted during this period if selected candidates withdraw.
  • End of August: Registration of new researchers.
  • 1 September: Academic Year begins.

Do not contact us about the outcome of your application or interview. We will keep you informed by email of all developments in your application.

Selection criteria

  • Academic record: National pre-selection committees have the expertise to interpret academic grades, degrees and rankings of departments and universities and make sure that comparable standards are used for assessing all applicants. Candidates are expected to have sufficient background in theory and research methodology relevant to their discipline and research project.
  • Quality of the research proposal: The originality and feasibility of a PhD proposal play a crucial role both in the initial pre-selection by the EUI Professors and in the interviews in the Departments of History, Law and Political and Social Sciences. Applicants for the Economics Department provide a short research statement rather than a full research proposal.
  • Potential supervision: The department carefully examines whether it can provide suitable supervision for the candidate, taking into account the profile of the department and distribution of supervision among its academic staff for the whole of the period concerned.
  • Language abilities: All candidates must have a good knowledge of English. The expected minimum level of English language proficiency is C1 of the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR).
  • GRE: Candidates for the Economics Department must submit a GRE test score.

Complete information on the selection procedure are available in Academic Rules and Regulations for the EUI Doctoral Programme.

Contact For any question about the programme, grants, requirements, application and selection procedures, please contact the EUI Admissions Office – Email:  applyres@eui.eu


You may find more information on the links below:

EUI History and Civilization PhD programme

EUI PhD programme general information



  • Florence, Italian Republic

Event attendance modalities

Full online event


  • Monday, January 31, 2022

Attached files


  • Fabrizio Borchi
    courriel : fabrizio [dot] borchi [at] eui [dot] eu

Information source

  • Fabrizio Borchi
    courriel : fabrizio [dot] borchi [at] eui [dot] eu


CC0-1.0 This announcement is licensed under the terms of Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal.

To cite this announcement

« European University Institute (EUI) funded PhD programme », Scholarship, prize and job offer, Calenda, Published on Wednesday, November 17, 2021, https://doi.org/10.58079/17ng

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