Bremen International Graduate School of Social Sciences (BIGSSS)

  • Description
  • Purpose

    Bremen International Graduate School of Social Sciences (BIGSSS) integrates excellent areas of graduate education and research at the University of Bremen (UB) and Jacobs University into a synergetic inter-university institution designed to become an internationally competitive model of graduate education. BIGSSS guiding principles are education to excellence, quality assurance, and effective funding.

    BIGSSSbuilds on the experience and institutional structure of both UB's Graduate School of Social Sciences (GSSS), funded as a model institution for the reform of advanced graduate education in Germany, and Jacobs' interdisciplinary social-science graduate programs.

    Founded upon the core disciplines of political science, sociology and psychology (but also integrating bordering disciplines) and supported by a solid foundation in social-science methodology, BIGSSS offers advanced interdisciplinary training, thus preparing fellows for leading professional positions inside and outside of academia, both nationally and internationally.

    BIGSSS graduate education and research is built around thematic fields which are integrated by the umbrella theme “Changing Patterns of Social and Political Integration“. The umbrella theme is used to achieve the degree of coherence necessary for fruitful cross-fertilization. The three thematic fields are: “Global Governance and Regional Integration“, “Welfare State, Inequality and Quality of Life“, and “Changing Lives in Changing Socio-Cultural Contexts“.

    BIGSSS is based on the collaboration among a number of outstanding research institutes at the two universities and can draw on a prodigious social-science landscape both at UB and Jacobs. This cooperation facilitates the early integration of doctoral students into a strong research environment, and ensures a cutting-edge research orientation in BIGSSS curricular and thematic development.

    Origin of BIGSSS

    BIGSSS is a two-university institution supported by Universität Bremen (UB) and by Jacobs University Bremen. It has three founding institutions: UB's Graduate School of Social Sciences (GSSS), the School of Humanities and Social Sciences (SHSS) and the Jacobs Center for Lifelong Learning and Institutional Development (JCLL) at Jacobs University.

    The GSSS has a long-standing tradition in Graduate education at UB and goes back to the foundation of the Collaborative Research Center 186 "Status Passages and Risks in the Life Course" in 1988. With the financial support of the VolkswagenStiftung, the CRC then turned into the Graduate School of Social Sciences in 2002. Both JCLL and SHSS add considerable expertise in their respective research areas and complement GSSS' experience to make BIGSSS a unique institution.

    2007 saw the creation of BIGSSS which is funded by the Excellence Initiative of the German Federal and State Governments, with additional financial support from both universities.

    We aim at offering our Ph.D. fellows the best possible support to become independent and successful members of the international scientific community - a goal we achieve i.e. by offering our fellows full financial support, an impressive network all around the globe, interdisciplinary and methods training, as well as the benefits of a close supervision.

    Feel free to browse our pages to find out more about our academic programme, the people involved in BIGSSS and the purpose of our institution.


    Our institution is able to pursue its goals only through the partnership with its generous sponsors:


    Phone +49.421.218-664.30
    Location ,
    Address Celsiusstraße

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