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Funding for doctoral researchers

PhD Scholarships

A PhDscholarship not only secures the doctoral researchers’ livelihood. At the same time, it gives the early career researchers independence in their research activities. Furthermore, the scholarship is also to be considered as a personal award. A large number of foundations and organizations provide financial and non-material support for doctoral researchers. This page offers a first overview.

Overview of doctoral scholarships

A large number of funding agencies award scholarships for doctoral researchers. Those who receive a doctoral scholarship should pay attention to a few points: For the duration of the scholarship, scholarship holders are only allowed to work part-time for a limited period of time. The respective upper limits are set by the individual funding agencies.

Mehrere Keramikschalen gefüllt mit Kleingeld © Dean Moriarty​/​Pixabay

Other important points for scholarship holders are health and pension insurance: While you are receiving a scholarship, special regulations apply, on which the Graduate Center will be happy to advise you individually.

Due to great differences in the scope of funding, application procedures, and deadlines, it is initially helpful to gain a first overview and structure the search for a scholarship.

The 13 Scholarship Funding organizations for outstanding students (Begabtenförderungswerke) are the largest scholarship providers for students and doctoral researchers in Germany.  They include the Studienstiftung des Deutschen Volkes (German National Academic Foundation) as well as sponsorship organizations with ties to political parties, employers, unions, and religious denominations.

The support of the scholarship programs for outstandingstudents is open to a wide range of topics, both financially and ideally. As a rule, the scholarship rate is 1,350 euros per month (plus lump sums and family allowances) for a maximum period of 36 months. In addition, non-material support is provided through further training and networking activities.

The sponsorship organizations are looking for applicants who distinguish themselves through excellent research and social commitment. You can find an overview of all scholarship programs for outstandingstudents on the joint website Stipendium Plus.

A large number of foundations award scholarships either in individual subject areas or on specific cross-sectional topics. Since there are hundreds of different doctoral scholarships, we recommend to use a scholarship database.

  • You can quickly search for scholarships via the website Stipendienlotse (in German only) of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF).
  • With the database for Electronic Research Funding Information (ELFI) you can perform a detailed search and sort by application deadlines. Log in with your e-mail address of the TU Dortmund University to get access to all functions.
  • At the TU Dortmund University, for example, the Graduate School of Logistics regularly awards scholarships financed by companies.

The TU Dortmund University, in cooperation with the DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service), awards graduation, matching funds, and one-year scholarships to international doctoral researchers.

You can find information on requirements and the application procedure on the website of the International Office.

Services and contact persons

Dr. Benjamin Brast and Fabian Brinkmann from the Graduate Center TU Dortmund will be happy to inform you about suitable doctoral scholarships and support you in your application process. In addition, they will advise you on the particularities of doing a doctorate with a scholarship.

Porträtfotos © TU Dortmund

Further information for (prospective) doctoral researchers