Financing and measures for funding a PhD thesis


Generally, there are three possibilities of financing PhD studies: an employment at the university as a research associate financed by university means, an employment at the university as a research associate financed by third-party funds or a scholarship.


Employment as a research associate

Employment via university means
Vacancies are advertised by the university's and the faculties' websites on current job offers. Generally, an employment via university means obligates the employees to give lectures.

Employment via third-party funds
Job offers in third-party funded projects (as well as scholarships) are to some extent also advertised by the university's and/or the faculties' websites on current job offers. If this is not the case, possibly the PhD supervisor may apply for third-party funding (the applicant must at least hold a doctorate).

The German Research Foundation (DFG), a self-governing organization for science and research, is one of the major sponsors of science in Germany. Currently, the DFG is the only funding organization in Germany that allows researchers, which at least hold a doctorate, to apply for funding for any research project at any given time. However, there are also several organizations supporting certain, clearly defined areas of reserach, for example the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), the EU and various charitable foundations.

For a list of data bases, information services and other useful links, click here.


Scholarships
Scholarships are, amongst others, provided by thirteen organizations sponsored by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). Moreover, there is a variety of foundations supporting PhD projects (partly or full time), research projects abroad, conference trips, publications related to the research project etc.

For an overview of the most important sponsors as well as databases for your own research, click here. Sometimes, scholarships are also advertised via the university's websites on current job offers.