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sowi:docs Fellowship Programme 2021.

sowi:docs is the doctoral fellowship programme of the Vienna Doctoral School of Social Sciences (ViDSS). sowi:docs fellowships give outstanding doctoral candidates in the social sciences the opportunity to devote full-time effort to their research and to writing their doctoral thesis in the vibrant research environment of ViDSS. 


The funding period of the sowi:docs Fellowship Programme is three years. An extension of the funding period is not possible. sowi:docs fellows are employed with the University of Vienna for 30h/week according to the applicable collective bargaining agreement. They are members of the academic staff and enjoy all rights and duties that come with such a position. sowi:docs fellows can apply for additional funding for research and travel expenses after the successful public presentation of their intended doctoral project at the Faculty of Social Sciences, which takes place in the first year.

sowi:docs fellows are enrolled on the doctoral programme in Social Sciences at the University of Vienna and become members of the Vienna Doctoral School of Social Sciences. As ViDSS students, fellows actively participate in the activities organised by the doctoral school and complete the milestones of the doctoral programme throughout their doctoral studies


We welcome applications in the fields of communication, demography, development studies, nursing science, political science, science and technology studies, social and cultural anthropology and sociology.


Application period: 14 December 2020–31 January 2021

The sowi:docs Fellowship Programme aims at recruiting the best candidates. All candidates are in direct competition with each other, regardless of their fields of research. Applicants need the support from a supervisor who is a member of the ViDSS and must provide a CV indicating their above-average qualifications in the discipline in which they intend to write their doctoral thesis and a research proposal, which is forwarded to international experts for review.


Applicants need at least one supervisor employed with the University of Vienna who is working in the subject area of the planned thesis and who is a member of the Vienna Doctoral School of Social Sciences. It is a requirement that the relevant supervisor has already accepted the applicant as a doctoral candidate when they submit their application.

Applicants do not necessarily have to be enrolled on the doctoral programme in the Social Sciences at the University of Vienna when they submit their application. However, they have to be granted admission in the winter semester of 2021/2022. If the applicant is already a doctoral candidate in the Social Sciences at the University of Vienna, they must have been admitted no earlier than in the summer semester of 2019. Applicants who have already been working on their doctoral thesis in a funded position for more than two years (at the University of Vienna or elsewhere) are not eligible for a sowi:docs fellowship.

sowi:docs fellows must comply with the rules and regulations for passing the public presentation at the Faculty and for concluding the doctoral thesis agreement with their supervisor/s as specified in the ViDSS.

Application documents

Letter of motivation: Describe your previous academic achievements, your mid-term career goals and your motivation for the subject area you chose. Name the member of the ViDSS who has accepted you as a doctoral candidate.
CV in tabular form (no more than 3 pages including a list of publications, if available)
Degree certificates (incl. transcripts) of previously completed university degree programmes
Abstract of the research proposal (no more than 250 words including a working title of the doctoral thesis project)
Research proposal (no more than 10 pages including a list of references, font size of 11pt, 1.5 line spacing): A research proposal for the sowi:docs Fellowship Programme must include:

• Current state of research and positioning of the research project
• Academic goals and methodological approach
• Work schedule and required financial and material expenses
• Preliminary bibliography

To facilitate double-blind review, please remove any identifying information, such as your name, from your research proposal before submission.
Positive statement/s from your (future) supervisor/s: Following the submission of your application, your supervisor/s at the ViDSS will be asked to complete and submit a form containing a set of questions about you and your doctoral thesis project. The deadline for the submission of this statement is 7 February 2021. Please note that your application is not complete and will not be considered without a statement from one of your supervisors at the ViDSS.

All documents have to be written in English. Only complete applications that fulfil the formal criteria will be considered for assessment. It is not possible to make amendments once an application has been submitted.

Applications have to be submitted via e-mail (in one single PDF file) to

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