Merit-based recruitment process

The Admissions Process

The Admissions Commissions

The Admissions Process

Admission to GSSR’s PhD Programmes is competitive and consists of two stages. A candidate must successfully pass Stage I to qualify for Stage II of the admission process.

Assessment in both competition stages is conducted by an Admissions Commission from one of the School’s constituent institutes – IFiS, ISP andr IP, respectively – depending on the candidate’s choice of doctoral programme. The Admissions Commission is appointed by the Director of the respective institute.


Stage I. The Admissions Commission evaluates on formal grounds the documents that constitute the Application Package (see Documents Checklist). If formal requirements are met, the Commission assess the potential contribution of each candidate to the Doctoral School, as reflected in the following documents:

  1. The description of the planned research
  2. The letter of intent
  3. The MA thesis or scientific publication
  4. The recommendation letter(s)

Based on these documents, the Commission also evaluates the degree to which a candidate’s research project matches the research themes and academic profile of IFiS PAN, IP PAN or IPS PAN, respectively.

Following the evaluation conducted at Stage I, the Commission selects the candidates who continue to the admission process’ second stage.

On July 27, 2022, GSSR sends out notification emails about the Stage I evaluation outcome to the email addresses that candidates provide in the Application Package. Candidates who have successfully passed the selection process’ 1st Stage receive details about the date of the interview, and, if applicable, the time and mode of the Psychology test (cf. details below).

Stage II. Interview conducted in English

Interviews are scheduled in the interval July 28 – August 3, 2022. They are conducted generally online.

Candidates who choose Psychology as their doctoral dissertation discipline when this is not the discipline of their previous studies must, prior to the interview, take a test about core issues in psychology. The test date is July 28, 2022. Testing details are decided by IP PAN and communicated via GSSR’s and IP’s websites. During the interview, the IP Admissions Commission may refer to issues covered in the test.

During the interview, each PhD candidate will be asked questions related to their research project and academic achievements. Regardless of a candidate’s academic background, the Admissions Commission of the respective Institute may also test a candidate’s knowledge of concepts and issues fundamental to the discipline within which the candidate seeks a PhD degree.

Candidates who fail to attend the scheduled interview without prior notification of the School and documented justification are considered to have withdrawn their application.




The Decision Process

Following each interview, all members of the Admissions Commission, independently and via secret ballot, score the candidate’s performance on a scale from 0 (lowest) to 10 (highest) points. A candidate’s final score is the arithmetic mean (average) of these scores.

After completing all interviews, the Admissions Commission uses the final score each candidate received (i.e. the score based on the arithmetic mean) to rank interviewed candidates. The Commission uses secret ballots to vote on the resulting ranking, records the outcome of the voting, and communicates the results to GSSR. It also proposes supervisors for the candidates it recommends for admission to PhD studies.

On the basis of the Admissions Commission’s recommendation and the minutes of the evaluation process, the Director of IFiS, ISP and IP, respectively, decides whether a candidate is admitted to GSSR.

GSSR announces admission results after both competition stages are complete. Accepted candidates will need to indicate by Wednesday, August 31 if they take GSSR’s offer.

GSSR notifies candidates of the selection results (protocol of admissions) by email and by post, and by means of a protocol posted on GSSR’s website, in compliance with GDPR (RODO) provisions. The administrative decision about admission or not to the Doctoral School is sent by post (registered mail) or by other means indicated in the Code of Administrative Procedure.

Possibility to Appeal

The decision of the Director of IFiS, ISP or IP, respectively, to refuse admission to a doctoral program may be appealed against within 14 days of receipt of the decision. The written appeal must be submitted to GSSR’s office electronically ( or in hard copy.

The Director of the respective Institute shall appoint an Appeals Committee that shall consider the candidate’s appeal and make a written recommendation as to whether the original decision should be upheld or reversed. Such recommendation, to be made in writing within 15 days from the School having received the appeal, shall be submitted to the Institute’s Director, who shall have the decisive voice. Their decision cannot be appealed within the Doctoral School.


Phone: (+48) 22 828 80 09

Fax: (+48) 22 826 48 21

The Graduate School
for Social Research,

Staszic Palace,
Nowy Świat 72,
00-330 Warsaw,