Golden ways of promotion funding

Golden ways of graduation financing 1 year ago


When it comes to doctoral studies, many roads lead to Rome. Not only the basic conditions of care, the topic and the duration of the doctoral studies are highly individual – the financing possibilities are also versatile. An overview of different ways to finance the PhD as well as helpful liPh.D. for further information can be found here:

The “classic” financing: employment at the university

The most common way to finance the doctoral thesis is through employment at the university . Doctoral candidates are employed as academic staff in research and teaching and receive their salary from the university’s budget or from third-party funding from public or private research funding organizations such as the EU. The remuneration is regulated by collective agreement – depending on the federal state and prior professional experience in the relevant area of expertise, a full-time position is paid at between 3,000 and 4,000 euros gross . However, very few graduate students are employed full-time. Half places are usually used, where the gross earnings are adjusted accordingly and are around 1,500 euros. Frequently, employment as a research associate is limited to three to four years . The proportion of working hours that may be used for one’s own research, and which is attributable to obligations in research projects and teaching assignments on the part of the chair, is individually agreed with the respective research institution.

Further information on the collective agreement framework conditions for scientific staff in Germany as well as concrete compensation examples can be found in this article .

Doctorate with scholarship at the Graduiertenkolleg

Since 2015, the German Research Foundation (DFG) has been funding doctoral students in so-called graduate colleges. These are research programs for a specific period at selected universities, which are funded under the Excellence Initiative of the Federal Government and the Länder. Each Kolleg grants doctoral scholarships in the amount of 1,000 euros to 1,356 euros per month at a rate of three years. The maximum funding period in these programs is three years . An above-average degree and interest in the respective topic of the Kolleg, experience and talent for scientific work and general willingness to perform are basic prerequisites for a scholarship of the DFG. In addition, the individual Research Training Groups determine their own criteria.

Further information is available directly from the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft. For example, a list of currently running Research Training Groups is available under this link – sorted by field of study and region. If you are interested in working in a college, you can contact the contact person directly. The application for a scholarship also takes place at the respective Kolleg itself.

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 Doctoral scholarships of the gifted educational institutions

A total of 13 German gifted education organizations support students and doctoral candidates with outstanding academic achievements financially and ideologically as part of their scholarship programs. The scholarships are granted by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research. The funding rate for doctoral students is 1,350 euros per month .

The gifted development works are supported in particular by large political parties and churches and are technically unbound . However, when applying for a scholarship special requirements apply to the quality of the doctoral project. In addition to research talent and above-average achievements in the previous study, doctoral fellows are also called for outstanding volunteer work and a look “outside the box”. The gifted education centers are represented in so-called university groups at the universities. There, scholarship holders from various disciplines are encouraged to exchange ideas, both personally and professionally, and organize events themselves on topics from society, politics, science and industry. In addition, they are looked after by a contact person – a so-called liaison lecturer – on site. The honorary commitment of the scholarship holders should be in line with the goals of the respective foundation and may be political, social or ecclesiastical.

In a first step, the application process requires the submission of written application documents that are meaningful in terms of personal motivation and suitability as well as the actual doctoral project. Based on this, a preselection. Candidates are then invited to a (often multi-day) selection conference, during which they can prove their professional and personal qualifications. As a rule, this is done on the basis of group discussions , one-to-one interviews and written assessments .

An overview of the different doctoral scholarships and requirements as well as tips on applying including deadlines is available in this article: With scholarship for doctoral studies: tips and links

At , the gifted education organizations also organize themselves on a common homepage . There, fellows also report on their experiences as part of individual scholarship programs. In addition, each gifted educational institution provides detailed information on its objectives, funding opportunities and conditions:

Konrad Adenauer Foundation (CDU)

Friedrich Ebert Foundation (SPD)  

Heinrich Böll Foundation (Alliance 90 / The Greens)

Hans Böckler Foundation (Trade Unions)

Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom (FDP)

Rosa Luxemburg Foundation (DIE LINKE)

Hanns Seidel Foundation (CSU)

Foundation of German Business

Academic Foundation of the german people

Avicenna study program

Cusanuswerk Bischöfliche Studienförderung

Ernst Ludwig Ehrlich study program

Protestant Study Villigst

The industry promotion

More and more industrial companies are writing out concrete research projects and offering practical opportunities for doctoral students. Especially in growth sectors such as environmental technology and digital research fields, in-house promotions are becoming increasingly popular. The special challenge of the industry promotion is to meet the requirements of the company as well as those of the university institution. Doctoral students can collect the data required for the doctorate directly from the company and are rewarded with an attractive salary during the doctorate. How the promotion in an industrial company can look concrete, reveals this review .