Questions and Answers

The below mentioned questions may be in your mind. Please, check the answers of the previous students and researchers who stayed or are still here.

What should I do when I do not know what to do?
First of all follow the already received guidance and links carefully. If there is no solution, you should contact the IGS management by sending an email to


Preparation of Application

How will be the PhD process organised in Germany and in the IGS?
General information about the German education system has been provided by the DAAD. You can download brochures here. The DAAD offers specific information for doctoral candidates as well. The IGS is pursuing a structured doctoral training programme with some features of a the traditional individual path to a doctorate.

Why do I have to choose a professor and a research topic for my application?
The applicant’s preliminary research proposal must meet the research programme of the IGS and must be in line with the research interests of one of the professors’ working groups. This way we can make sure that we can provide the participant with the needed resources and knowledge to end the programme successfully. Please, do not contact the professors in advance.

Why is the research proposal important?
The applicant’s preliminary research proposal must meet the research programme of the IGS. This way we can make sure that we can provide the participant with the needed resources and knowledge to end the programme successfully.

What should a research proposal include?
There is no perfect research proposal form but it should be at least two A4 pages long and include:
(1) A problem definition,
(2) Research questions,
(3) Proposed methodologies (linked to the research questions), and
(4) Up-to-date literature references.
The research proposal must demonstrate that the applicant is competent in independent scientific research and has the qualities necessary to be enrolled in our doctoral programme.
For further ideas you can gather information from the following pages:
Guidelines on writing a Research Proposal
Preparing a Research Proposal
Rules and Conventions of Academic Writing
How to write a Research Proposal

Should I contact the professor during or before the application process?
Please do not contact the professors during or before the application process. If you have questions about the programme or the individual research fields feel free to contact us via email to info(at) and we will try to provide you with further information.

What are the minimum requirements to apply for the IGS programme?
The IGS addresses researchers holding a Masters or Diplom at Germany university level, in one of the following fields: industrial engineering, production engineering, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, computer science, mathematics, physics or economics. The applicant has to have graduated with exceptionally good marks, and should not be older than 28 years of age. Furthermore, s/he should have a very good command of the English language and be familiar with basic German.
If you do not meet one of the minimum requirements you are still invited to send us your application and we will look for a solution if possible.

Is it possible that the recommendation letters are send by Email since a sealed letter is not possible for me?
Generally we expect the recommendation letters in sealed envelopes. If this is completely impossible for you, the recommendation email must be personally send by a professor to info(at)

Is there an application deadline? / What is the ideal time for applying?
There is no application deadline and no ideal time for applying at the IGS. Applications are considered all year long.

I have got a Bachelor of Engineering. Can I apply for the IGS?
The IGS addresses researchers holding a Masters or Diplom at Germany university level only. With a Bachelor degree there is sadly no possibility to commence the programme.

Is it possible for foreign students to apply for the PhD programme?
Since 2005, the IGS has been offering researchers from around the world – especially from the so-called "emerging logistic markets" in China, Southeast Asia, Latin America, as well as Germany – the opportunity to complete an efficiently structured doctoral training programme at a logistic location of long standing tradition and within the Bremen research cluster LogDynamics. Therefore we highly encourage you to apply.

Can I apply if I do not have a full work-permit or if I am not an EU citizen?
Anyone who meets the minimum requirements can apply for the IGS –to commence the programme with us your degrees will be evaluated from a governmental office as soon as your application is complete and your research proposal has been accepted by the IGS.

I have no publications until now. Is it possible for me to apply?
Publications are not required.

I am over the age of 28, can I still apply?
Yes, you can. Your age is not a hard criterion. It depends on the scheme of your scholarship you are looking for. Please, be aware that the IGS is not granting any scholarships.

Which documents are mandatory for my application?
A complete application to the IGS consists of the following documents:
1. Letter motivating the application
2. Curriculum Vitae
3. Preliminary research proposal
4. Photocopy of a certificate of higher education at university’s level
5. Certificate of proficiency in the English language
6. Proof of (at least basic) knowledge of the German language
7. Photocopy of the applicant's valid passport
8. References from at least two supervisors/professors
Click here for further information and details.

Can I apply by post rather than by email?
If it is possible, please send us your application by email.

Where can I apply for a scholarship?
There are several options to find a source of funding. Please, have a look at this scholarship database.


Is fluent English mandatory for applying at the IGS?
Fluent English is mandatory for applying and candidates must be able to proof their language skills by for example:
(1) TOEFL: 600 points on the written TOEFL, 250 on the computer based TOEFL and 100 on the TOEFL iBT
All of them are to be supplemented by results of the Test of Written English (academic TWE). The minimum required score is 5.0.
(2)IELTS: 7.0, with a minimum of 6.0 for each (academic) module.
Alternatively, by any other significant test. Test results may not be older than 24 months.
Candidates who obtained a degree of higher education in an English- speaking country are not required to present test results.

Is fluent German mandatory for applying at the IGS?
Applicants must bring a proof of their German language skills. Fluent German is not expected but applicants should be willing start or to continue their German studies during their doctoral programme. Please, also be aware that you need to proof your English language skills.

Will the complete programme include classes and will the dissertation be in English?
The general working and research language at the IGS is English. In Germany, a PhD does not include lectures.


Preparation of your stay in Bremen

Will the accommodation be organised by the IGS?
Your accommodation will not be organised by the IGS. Please have a look at the website of the Welcome Centre of the University of Bremen. They are offering support for PhD students. You can find them here.

Will the IGS offer me any support with the authorities upon my arrival?
The University of Bremen is running an excellent website, where you can look for support.
It is also a good idea to get in touch with the IGS doctoral candidates already staying in Bremen. They can offer a lot of information, as they have gone through the same procedure already. You can find them here.

How can I register as Doctoral Candidate at the University of Bremen?
Usually, you start the registration after arrival. You can start with the enrollment procedure already in advance.The most important document in the beginning is the Letter of Confirmation.

After Arrival

How can I register for courses offered by the IGS?
The IGS offers several courses on various topics. See the link for the current offers. You can register for them by sending an email to

How to register as Doctoral Candidate at the University of Bremen?
There are three different levels of registration. The first and most important task in the beginning is to enrol as doctoral student at the University of Bremen to receive a Semester Ticket and other benefits. You can start with the enrolment already before you arrive in Bremen, see here. The second registration will be the acceptance as doctoral candidate of the IGS. Please, stay in contact with the management of the IGS.
The third task will be the application for admission of your doctorate project within your core faculty. You will do it in agreement with your supervisor in the first 6 months of your stay.

How can I get the official admission as Doctoral Candidate in a faculty of the University of Bremen?
The different faculties have different sets of rules for doctoral candidates. Please, see the example of Faculty Production Engineering (FB4). This set of rules is valid for a doctorate in Computer Science (FB3) as well. But in FB3 the interpretation may differ.

Are there any additional guidelines to understand the set of rules for the admission as doctoral candidate in the different faculties?
You should ask your supervisor or a colleague if you need any advise. Faculty Production Engineering (FB4) published an according guideline to make life easier for you and for the doctoral commission of FB4.


During your stay in the IGS

What is a good scientific practice in Germany?
Answers to questions about working correctly are provided in the eLearning course "Good Academic Practice during Doctoral Studies" in German and English. More information can be found here.

How can I avoid Predatory Publishing?
The SuUB of the University of Bremen is offering support in selecting a respectable Open Access Journal. See the offer here. The Open Access Journal Finder can also help to avoid falling into the trap.
If you want to find a serious publisher, please use the Directory of Open Access Journals. You will find a black list of publishers (those, you cannot trust) here.