The Berlin Graduate School for Transnational Studies (BTS) is a joint endeavour of the Freie Universität Berlin, the Hertie School of Governance, and the Social Science Research Center Berlin. 

It offers a rigorous and intense English-language PhD programme for exceptionally talented graduate students in the field of transnational and international relations, defined as an interdisciplinary field of research encompassing political science, history, economics, law and adjacent disciplines. [more]

Do you have a question?

BTS Coordination Team

Stefanie Fischbach, Katinka von Kovatsits
Phone: +49 (0)30 - 838 - 57052
Email: info(at)

How to apply

We accept new PhD candidates and researchers in a number of different categories. Application guidelines vary depending on the category of the applicant:

Master´s graduates

Master’s Graduates are eligible to apply for the PhD programme after completing a university master’s (postgraduate) degree in political science, international relations, sociology, economics, law, or a related discipline. [more]

PhD "Fast Track" applicants 

PhD "Fast Track" applicants are students who have begun the Master of Arts in International Relations (MAIR) programme offered by FUB, Humboldt Universität Berlin, and Universität Potsdam. [more]

Research affiliates 

Research affiliates are already working as research assistants in externally-funded research projects at FUB, the Hertie School of Governance, WZB or the Governance in Areas of Limited Statehood Research Centre while completing their doctoral theses. Successful applicants will gain access to the extensive thesis supervision, international networks, and support offered through the programme at BTS. [more]

Guest PhD applicants

Guest PhD Applicants are already PhD candidates from abroad or Germany who wish to spend a limited period visiting BTS and have their own funding. [more]