Become an EntrepreNerd: How to apply for the Software Campus

The Software Campus is looking for Ph.D. students of computer science and similar fields of study. Ideally, the dissertation will be supervised by one of the partner universities of the Software Campus. However, doctoral candidates from other universities, colleges, universities of applied sciences, and university and non-university research institutions based in Germany can also apply.

What you should bring along:

the ambition to take on leadership tasks

current doctorate in computer science or in a similar field of study

outstanding academic achievements

your own innovative project idea or an interest in our partners’ ideas


German language skills are not necessary

Application phase 2024

1 February: Information event regarding the application period (online)
1 February – 17 March: Application period
24 – 26 April: Selection days (online)
May: Academic review
June: Match Making
July: Kickoff (in Berlin)
Starting January 2025: The beginning of your project, trainings and mentoring

© Lukas Schulze

Application process

The application starts with the registration on the online platform. Within the integrated Wiki you will find all the important information. All the required documents are submitted online; you can either upload your own IT idea or select an idea proposed by our industry partners. A selection of research topics that are of particular interest to our industry partners can be found on the partners’ profile pages in the info box.

Another part of the application process is a test regarding your potential. It is composed of elements from various personality and intelligence tests. The results of the test serve primarily as a basis for discussion during the subsequent selection interview. The online test has a duration of 1 hour and is available in several languages.

These documents must be submitted:
  • Highlights of the application (highlighting the most important aspects of the application at your discretion)
  • Your dissertation topic (if already available)
  • Motivational letter (max. 300 words)
  • Curriculum vitae in tabular form
  • Overview of academic achievements
  • A Letter of recommendation, at least from one professor
  • Doctoral-granting institution, if your institution does not have doctoral-granting rights
  • Other certificates (optional)
  • More letters of recommendation (optional)
  • Confirmation of enrollment or employment certificate from an academic institution (optional)
  • Certificate of existing scholarships (optional)
  • Certificate of academic awards and publications (optional)
  • Academic publications (optional)
Your project idea should contain:
  • Key message (max. 500 characters)
  • Your objective, research questions and novelty of the project (max. 4,000 characters)
  • Integration into the Software Campus (max. 1,000 characters)
  • Implementation approach / methodology and expected final results (max. 2,500 characters)
  • Project time schedule (simple Gantt chart)
  • Categories
  • Keywords

Further information can be found on the Software Campus application platform, as well as FAQs in the wiki for applicants.

Please note this information if you are from a university or research institution that is not a permanent partner of our program.

Selection process

At the end of the application period, the first pre-selection will be made. The high-flying candidates will be invited to the online selection days and have to convince the personnel experts of the industry partners with their personalities and leadership spirit. The professional qualifications of the applicants will be examined in detail by the academic partners of the Software Campus afterward.

Admission to the Software Campus

Each Software Campus participant cooperates with a industry partner. The Software Campus steering committee, of which all partners are members, makes the final decision on the candidates’ admission to the Software Campus. This amounts to 40 people per year. Successful applicants will be informed by e-mail.

© Lukas Schulze