Funding Lines for Doctoral Researchers

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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).

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.

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
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

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)




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: PhD students, 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.

  • Target group: PhD students
  • Scope of funding: 1,550 €/month
  • 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 PhD students 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: PhD students in clinical psychology
  • Scope of funding: workplace, material costs and scientific supervision at an institute of the Christoph Dornier Foundation
  • Funding period: 24 months
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 students (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.
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 students 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)
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
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
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 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

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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