Doctoral research | Third-party funding programmes

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Doctoral scholarships and fellowships

Here you will find an overview of interdisciplinary and subject-specific funding programmes for doctoral researchers run by research funding institutions such as foundations or ministries.

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Interdisciplinary offers:


Institution Short description Further information (Link)
Begabtenförderwerke The term Begabtenförderwerke refers to institutions that work within the framework of a program of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research and provide scholarships to students or doctoral researchers of all disciplines. The amount of financial support generally depends on the individual financial circumstances. You can find an overview of the organisations that promote excellent researchers and their programmes here (in German).
DAAD DAAD annual and short-term grants offer the opportunity to carry out research abroad for a shorter period of time as part of a doctoral project and to gain further academic qualifications. In addition, the exchange of experience and networking with international colleagues is supported.
DBU The DBU supports doctoral projects of all disciplines that aim to find new solutions for environmental protection and nature conservation. Stays abroad are possible as long as the PhD project is mainly carried out at the supervising institution in Germany.
  • Target group: doctoral researchers
  • Scope of funding: 1500 €/month + material resources 210 €/month
  • Funding period: max. 36 months
ERASMUS+ Mobility Programs The ERASMUS+ program Dozentenmobilität offers the opportunity to gain teaching experience abroad and to intensify contact with partner universities. The funding line Personalmobilität focuses on further education and training as well as the exchange of experience at an ERASMUS (partner) university or a European company.
Fulbright-Kommission The Fulbright Commission supports German PhD students with 1,600 € per month during a research stay of up to six months in the USA. The scholarship program also includes travel expenses, health and accident insurance, and a one-off lump sum of €300. In addition, the Fulbright Commission provides assistance in applying for a visa and pays the fees. The aim of the program is to strengthen scientific relations between the USA and Germany.
  • Target group: PhD students in the initial phase
  • Research field / Topic: all disciplines
  • Destination: USA
  • Scope of funding: 1,600 €/month
  • Funding period: 4-6 months
  • Application deadline: 1 April/1 October each year

The Friedrich-Naumann-Stiftung annually supports about 150 doctoral researchers from Germany and abroad who are working on a convincing and innovative research project and are admitted to a doctorate at a university.

  • Funding period: 1 year (+1)
  • Application deadline: 30 April/31 October each year
Studienförderwerk Klaus Murmann Through the Studienförderwerk Klaus Murmann, the Stiftung der Deutschen Wirtschaft supports doctoral students from all disciplines depending on their own income situation. In addition to the scholarship, they offer an income-independent research cost lump sum.
  • Target group: doctoral researchers
  • Scope of funding: Scholarship (maximum funding rate): 1,350 €/month, research costs lump sum: 100 €/month, family allowance: 155 €/month (only for children)
  • Funding period: max. 36 months
Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes The Studienstiftung supports excellent and socially committed doctoral researchers from all disciplines. In addition to financial support, the Studienstiftung also offers ideal support in the form of network meetings, for example.
  • Target group: doctoral researchers
  • Scope of funding: 1,350 €/month, lump sum for research costs: 100 €/month
  • Funding period: 24 months (+ 6 months + 6 months)
Stiftung für Kanada-Studien

The Stiftung für Kanada-Studien supports and promotes Canadian studies in German-speaking countries by fostering in particular early career researchers. The foundation provides grants for travel and accommodation costs for research stays in Canada. A personal contribution is expected.

  • Scope of funding: as a rule, a one-time payment of 1,000 to a maximum of 3,000 €.
  • Application deadline: 1 November each year

Natural Sciences, Psychology, Medicine:


Institution Short description Further information (Link)

Doctoral fellowship for doctoral researchers who conduct research in the fields of networking and exchange between philosophy and the neurosciences, in particular neurology, neurophysiology, neuropsychology and neuropsychiatry.

  • Target group: maximum age 30 years at the end of the funding period
  • Scope of funding: 1000 €/month + lump sum for research costs 100 €/month
  • Funding period: max. 24 months (+ 6 months + 6 months)
Boehringer Ingelheim Fonds

The Boehringer Ingelheim Fund awards PhD scholarships to outstanding early career researchers who want to carry out an ambitious scientific PhD project in biomedical basic research in an internationally leading laboratory for about three years.

  • Scope of funding: 1,650 €/month + country-depended premium
  • Funding period: 24 months (+12 months)
  • Deadline for applications: 1st February, 1st June and 1st October each year.
Christiane Nüsslein-Volhard-Stiftung

Scholarship for female doctoral students with children who are doing research in experimental natural sciences and basic medical research. The scholarship is intended to relieve the burden on the household and on childcare.

  •  Target group: female doctoral researchers with children, maximum age 28 years
  •  Scope of funding: 400 €/month
  •  Funding period: 12 months

PhD scholarship for doctoral students in clinical psychology, which includes the provision of research opportunities at an institute of the Christoph Dornier Stiftung. Includes a job, material costs and scientific supervision.

  • Target group: researchers in clinical psychology
  • Scope of funding: workplace, material costs and scientific supervision at an institute of the Christoph Dornier Foundation
  • Funding period: 24 months
Deutsche Gesellschaft für Kardiologie – Herz- und Kreislaufforschung e.V.

The DGK supports experimental and clinical doctorates with the aim of inspiring students of human medicine to carry out clinical research and basic research in medicine. For this purpose, up to 20 doctoral scholarships are awarded per year.

  • Scope of funding: 800 €/month
  • Funding period: 12 months
DGHO Deutsche Gesellschaft für Hämatologie und Medizinische Onkologie e.V. In cooperation with different partners, the DGHO awards one-year doctoral scholarships in the fields of nutrition in oncology and geriatric haematology and oncology.
Fund of the Chemical Industry

The Fund of the Chemical Industry awards doctoral scholarships under the title "Kekulé Scholarship" for a doctorate in the fields of biochemistry, pharmacy or life sciences. Applications can be submitted by the three application deadlines of March 1, July 1 and November 1 of each year.

  • Target group: Master graduates and doctoral researchers (max. 4 months after starting the doctorate) in Biochemistry, Pharmacy or Life Sciences
  • Scope of funding: 1850 €/month
  • Funding period: 24 months
Johannes Hübner Stiftung

The foundation offers doctoral scholarships for research and development projects in the natural sciences and engineering subjects. Scholarships should only be awarded to those who actually require support. The neediness should be made credible by a detailed recommendation. The possibility of supporting foreign students is included.

  • Target group: PhD students who do research in the Natural Sciences or Engineering Sciences.
  • Preliminary funding requests can be submitted at any time.
Karl und Veronica Carstens-Stiftung

The Karl and Veronica Carstens-Stiftung supports doctoral researchers (Medicine) in the final phase of their studies. Applicants must be able to prove that they will complete their doctorate within the period applied for. The focus is on experimental and clinical work that brings new or original approaches to research and thinking. The particular characteristics of the therapeutic approaches must be taken into account as well as the requirements of scientific methodology.

  • Scope of funding: 820 €/month
  • Funding period: 3 months

The foundation awards doctoral scholarships in the field of paediatric oncology. Three scholarships are available per year.

  • Scope of funding: 900 €/month + flat rate for material costs 100 €/month
  • Funding period: 12 months
  • Application deadline: 31 October each year
Stiftung Umweltenergierecht

The Fellowship program supports doctoral students in the preparation of their dissertations. Doctoral students have the opportunity to spend part of their dissertation phase (at least three months) at the Stiftung Umweltenergierecht. Prerequisites are a doctoral thesis that has already been started and a recommendation from the first supervisor.

  • Target group: Doctoral researchers in various phases of their work who are working on a topic related to energy or environmental energy law.
  • Scope of funding: 400 €/month +use of the extensive special library +support from SHK
  • Funding period: 3-6 months

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Humanities, Social Sciences, Educational Sciences, and Economics:


Institution Short description Further information (Link)
Alfried Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach-Stiftung

The Alfried Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach-Stiftung and Stanford University would like to contribute to deepening German-American academic relations and have jointly established the "Krupp-Foundation Fellowship for Visiting Student Researchers at Stanford". Under this program, the foundation awards three research fellowships to German doctoral researchers in the humanities and social sciences to enable them to spend a period of time at Stanford University in California/USA as part of their dissertation project.

  • Funding period: 3-6 months
  • Scope of funding: 2,500 Euro per month + 3,000 Euro one-off lump sum for travel expenses etc.
Beauftragte der Bundesregierung für Kultur und Medien (BKM)

With the Immanuel Kant Scholarship, the BKM supports doctoral researchers who are studying the history and culture of Germans in Eastern Europe and related topics, especially the mutual relations with neighbouring peoples. As a rule, up to six doctoral projects can be supported each year.

  • Funding period: 2 years
  • Scope of funding: 1,300 € per month (supplements for married persons, for children and for a research stays)
  • Deadline for applications: 31 december each year
Deutsches Historisches Institut Paris

The German Historical Institute Paris (DHIP) promotes young scholars in the field of historical sciences. It awards scholarships to advanced M.A. students and doctoral candidates for research projects on Western European history, especially French and German-French history. The DHIP scholarships are aimed at applicants from the German academic community, regardless of their nationality.

  • Funding period: 1-3 years
  • Scope of funding: 1,500 euros per month
Deutsches Institut für Japanstudien

The German Institute for Japanese Studies Tokyo, an institute of the Max Weber Foundation of German Humanities Institutes Abroad, awards scholarships to promote young scholars within the framework of its tasks. Applicants must write a dissertation in a field of Japan-related research and prove that their doctoral project has been accepted at their home university.

  • Funding period: 3-12 months
  • Scope of funding: 2,400 Euro per month (+flight costs Japan)
Deutsches Literaturarchiv Marbach

Graduate scholarships of the DLA can be granted for research stays of one to four months at the German Literature Archive. There are also short-term scholarships for Master's and state examination candidates. In addition to the "Marbach Scholarships", the Deutsches Literaturarchiv Marbach, in cooperation with third-party donors and patrons, offers topic- and portfolio-related scholarships.

  • Target group: PhD students
  • Topic: Dissertation in connection with DLA Topics
  • Scope of funding: 1,000 €/month
  • Funding period: max. 6 month
FAZIT Stiftung

The FAZIT-STIFTUNG supports doctorates at universities and colleges (scholarships, printing subsidies, travel subsidies). Priority will be given to applications in which the applicant and the proponent expressly assure that no support is possible from another side (e.g. parents / life partner / institute), that the funds applied for remedy a financial emergency of the applicant and are therefore indispensable as support for the desired degree.

  • Target group: PhD students < 28 years of age
  • Funding period: up to 24 months
Forschungsnetzwerk Alterssicherung (FNA)

Funding is provided for doctoral projects from the fields of law, economics, social sciences and other relevant disciplines that deal with issues of old-age provision and are expected to make an important contribution to the academic debate.

  • Scope of funding: 1,350 €/month
  • Funding period: 30 (+6) months
Gerda Henkel Stiftung

Doctoral scholarships for research projects in archaeology, history, historical Islamic studies, art history, legal history, prehistory, early history and the history of science

  • Target group: PhD students < 28 years of age
  • Scope of funding: 1400 €/month
  • Funding period: up to 24 months
Gisela und Peter W. Schatt Stiftung

The Gisela and Peter W. Schatt Foundation primarily supports doctoral projects in the field of music education. It also awards the "Förderpreis der Gisela und Peter W. Schatt Stiftung" for outstanding dissertations in music education.

  • Scope of funding: 1,000 €/month
  • Funding period: Max. 4 years

The Hansen-Stiftung supports dissertation projects in the field of collective studies through graduate scholarships.

  • Scope of funding: 1200 €/month
  • Funding period: 24 months
Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS)

The Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) offers short-term fellowships for two months in all disciplines for research stays at Japanese state universities and selected research institutes. Part of this program is a one-week intensive introductory course on Japanese language, cultural and scientific policy.

  • Scope of funding: approx. 3,000 euros
  • Funding period: 2 months
Klassik Stiftung Weimar

Klassikstiftung Weimar's scholarships are aimed at doctoral researchers who have an above-average university degree and can demonstrate the conceptual connection between the research project to be carried out in Weimar and their dissertation or equivalent academic work. A positive report on the research project must be enclosed with the application. The Weimar Scholarships support projects that focus on European cultural history from the early modern period to the present and that draw on the collections available in Weimar. Scholarship holders can work in all of the Klassik Stiftung Weimar's institutions, primarily the Goethe and Schiller Archive, the Duchess Anna Amalia Library and the museums. In order to ensure an interdisciplinary exchange of ideas during their stay in Weimar, a scientific research colloquium is held at regular intervals.

  • Scope of funding: 1,000 Euro per month
  • Funding period: 6 months
  • Application deadline: 31.1. + 31.7. each year
Leibniz-Institut für Europäische Geschichte

The Leibniz Institute for European History (IEG) awards research fellowships for international doctoral researchers in history, theology or other historical disciplines. Funding is provided for research projects that deal with the religious, political, social and cultural history of Europe's early modern period up to 1989/90. Particularly welcome are comparative, transfer-historical and transnational projects as well as questions of the history of the humanities, church history and theology.

  • Scope of funding: 1,200 Euro/month
  • Funding period: 6-12 months
  • Application deadline: 15.2. + 15.8. each year
Max Weber Stiftung

Since 2018, the Max Weber Foundation – German Humanities Institutes Abroad (MWS) – awards travel grants once a year (for three years to begin with), with the support of the Fritz Thyssen Foundation. The grants will be awarded to scientists (doctoral and post-doctoral) from sinology or related subjects, whose professional qualification phase is concerned with Chinese history, language or culture in the broadest sense and for whose research a stay in China is indispensable. Every year, two travel grants will be awarded for a period of research of up to three months, for the purposes of fieldwork, archive and/or library research in China, preferably in Peking. 

  • Funding period: up to three months
  • Scope of funding: monthly rate amounting to 1,550 € and a lump sum for flight expenses amounting to 700 €
Stiftung Bildung und Wissenschaft

The foundation awards doctoral scholarships in the field of literary studies. Applicants should not have reached the age of 30 and have financed their studies by means of a Bafög grant or predominantly through their own activities.

Scope of funding: 1,200 Euro/month
Funding period: 12 months
Application deadline: 1 January of each year
Stiftung für Kanada Studien

The Foundation for Canadian Studies awards doctoral scholarships to particularly qualified doctoral researchers who work on topics related to Canada. The scholarship is intended as support for a research stay of up to nine months at a university or other scientific institution in Canada, whereby the study stay is to begin at the latest twelve months after the award of the scholarship.

  • Funding period: up to 9 months
  • Deadline for applications: 1st November each year
Stiftung Zeitlehren

Since spring 2016, the Stiftung Zeitlehren has been awarding grants for doctorates in the field of NS, Holocaust, and anti-Semitism research. The funding programme creates a network through which doctoral researchers from different disciplines can come into contact with each other and develop interdisciplinary points of contact on specific topics.

  • Scope of funding: one-time 2,500 euros (plus 1,500 euros for printing costs if applicable)örderung

The VG WORT awards four doctoral scholarships each year in the amount of 1,400 € per month. The scholarships are initially granted for one year. If the scholarship holder, as a single person, has custody of at least one child, a family allowance of € 200 per month is granted. The scholarship can be extended for one year, in justified exceptional cases for two years.

  • Target group: PhD students under 33/35 years of age
  • Topic: Dissertation on the subject of copyright law including the law of collecting societies
  • Scope of funding: 1,400 €/month
  • Funding period: 1 year with option to extend by +1/+2 year(s)
Wüstenrot Stiftung

Funding will be given to PhD projects that focus on the buildings, ensembles or open space design of post-war modernism, their emergence, aesthetics and significance, or that deal with questions of renovation, such as energetic upgrading or adaptation to use, preservation of their authenticity or targeted transformation.

  • Target group: PhD students < 30 years of age
  • Scope of funding: 1400 €/month + material surcharge 150 €/month + family surcharge if applicable
  • Funding period: up to 24 months (+ 12 months if necessary)

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For female doctoral researchers


Institution Short description Further information (Link)
ARD.ZDF medienakademie gGmbH

The call for applications for the "Förderpreis: Frauen und Medientechnologie" is open to graduates of all subjects at colleges and universities whose work deals with current technical issues in the field of audio-visual media.

  • Prize money: 5,000 € / 3,000 € / 2,000 €
Christiane Nüsslein-Volhard-Stiftung

Scholarship for female doctoral students with children who are doing research in experimental natural sciences and basic medical research. The scholarship is intended to relieve the burden on the household and on childcare.

  •  Target group: female PhD students with children, maximum age 28 years
  •  Scope of funding: 400 €/month
  •  Funding period: 12 months
DAB Förderausschuss

The Deutscher Akademikerinnenbund e.V. (DAB) promotes female researchers of all disciplines through its support committee and acknowledges their achievements by making visible and promoting academically educated women who at the same time serve as role models for the next generation of girls.

  • all subject fields
  • Scope of funding: Printing subsidies for the publication of scientific papers by a German publisher (up to 500 €), or inclusion of scientific publications in the own scientific series by LIT-Verlag (without payment of printing costs).
Daimler und Benz Stiftung

The Berta Benz Dissertation Award is aimed at female engineering scientists who have created a future-oriented social added value with the results of their dissertation. Applications are possible if the day of the dissertation was not more than one year ago on the date of the nomination. In addition, the doctorate must be awarded the grade "magna cum laude" or better.

  • Prize money: 10,000 €
Frankfurter Stiftung maecenia für Frauen in Wissenschaft und Kunst

The foundation supports women who pursue forward-looking projects in all fields of research, art and culture. In particular, maecenia supports projects that deal critically and constructively with society from the perspective of women and are interdisciplinary between science and art. The call is published every two years.

  • all subject fields
  • Scope of funding: max. 10,000 €

The Gerda-Weiler-Foundation promotes interdisciplinary research activities of women, which deal with the historical, cultural and social sensitivities of women and are viewed from the point of view of women.

  • Subject fields: anthropology, biology, history, art, medicine, music, philosophy, religion, social sciences, spirituality, linguistics and literature.
  • Scope of funding: according to project

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