Merit-based recruitment process

The admissions process


The admissions process

Admission to the Doctoral School is competitive and consists of two stages. The assessment in both stages of the competition is conducted by the Admissions Commission of the relevant Institute.

A positive evaluation of a candidate in Stage I is a necessary condition for qualifying for Stage II of the admission process.

Stage I. The Admissions Commission evaluates on formal grounds the documents that constitute the Application Package (see art. 3). If formal requirements are met, the Commission assesses 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.

As a result of the evaluation conducted at Stage I, the Commission selects the candidates who continue to the second stage of the admission process.

Stage II. Interview conducted in English

Candidates who successfully pass Stage I of the admission process

are informed electronically by the Doctoral School about the date of the interview, and, if applicable, the date of the Psychology test (cf. details below). Interviews are generally conducted online. Notification emails are sent to the email address that the candidate provides in the Application Package.

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. 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 candidate to GSSR’s Doctoral School 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.

  1. The decision process for admission to GSSR’s Doctoral School

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.

The Admissions Commission of the respective Institute proposes supervisors for the candidates it recommends for admission to the Doctoral School.

On the basis of the Admissions Committee’s recommendation and the minutes of the evaluation process, the Director of the relevant Institute decides whether a candidate is admitted or not to the Doctoral School.

Admission results will be announced after both competition stages are complete, and no later than September 9, 2022.

It is further stipulated that:

Candidates shall be notified of the results by email and by post (decision about acceptance), and by means of a protocol giving a list of those accepted posted on GSSR’s website, in compliance with the provisions of GDPR (RODO). The administrative decision about refusal of admission to the Doctoral School is sent by post (registered mail) or by other means indicated in the Code of Administrative Procedure.

The decision of the Director of the relevant Institute 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 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,