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Funding for the doctorate

You can finance your PhD project in several ways. Most doctoral candidates are employed at the university or have a scholarship to fund their doctorate. It is also possible to do a doctorate as an external doctoral candidate on a part-time basis or to finance it through a job on the side.

Often, additional funding is helpful or even necessary in the doctoral phase, for example for conference trips and research stays abroad. If funding runs out before the completion of the project, it may also be necessary to secure additional funding at the end of the doctoral phase.

You will find various options for funding your doctorate and associated costs in the overview below.

Fully funded!?

At the beginning of your PhD, funding should be secured for the entire course of the doctoral project. We encourage you to discuss funding options with your supervisor right at the outset – and again if it becomes clear that you will not finish your PhD project before your funding expires.

If you are unsure of how to fund your PhD, feel free to contact us for a consultation.

The majority of doctoral researchers at the University of Bremen are employed as research assistants. Usually, research assistants are given time for scientific qualification as part of their contracts. Current vacancies can be found here. Many of the scientific staff members of the institutes belonging to the U Bremen Research Alliance also pursue a doctorate at the University of Bremen.

If you are looking for scholarship programs, you can get information about funding organizations here. Further scholarships can be found at Euraxess Germany, mystipendium.de (in German), e-fellows.net (in German) or the platform stipendienlotse.de (in German) offered by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research. It may also be worthwhile to browse through the scholarship database of the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD).

It is also possible to fund your PhD as an external PhD candidate through job outside of academic. Sometimes a side job (e.g. as a lecturer) can be helpful not only to finance your PhD, but also to acquire additional qualifications.

When looking for doctoral scholarships, the websites of funding organizations and the  following databases can be helpful:

mystipendium.de

The scholarship portal www.mystipendium.de (in German) assists doctoral candidates looking for scholarships. It contains over 1600 funding entries (total value: 465 million €/year). A unique matching procedure recommends only those scholarships (inland or abroad) that fit the candidate's résumé. The portal comprises a large variety of funding opportunities, such as funding for living expenses during the doctoral phase, research stay funding, financial support for conference tours, and printing subsidies. Beyond that, the platform offers numerous articles about scholarship applications as well as templates for your own scholarship application.

BMBF scholarship guide "Stipendienlotse"

The Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) offers an interactive information platform (in German) that offers a detailed search for relevant scholarship programs.

Other scholarship databases

Further scholarship offers can be found at e-fellows.net, StipendiumPlus, Euraxess Germany and at the ELectronic Research Funding Information System (ELFI). International doctoral candidates may find suitable funding opportunities in the scholarship data base of the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). Note that DAAD scholarships are only available for foreigners who are not yet in Germany or have been here for less than 1.5 years.

Conference trips and invited talks at institutions abroad are often a vital part of making your research findings known outside the university. In addition to the financial resources of your research group, some faculties also have access other funds, such as third-party funds or deanery funds, to help you finance your trip. Travel funds are typically available to doctoral candidates as part of structured doctoral programs and scholarships.

Conference trips are also supported by Bremen University’s Central Research Development Fund (CRDF). In funding line 02 Conference Participation doctoral candidates can apply for grants for attending conferences in Germany and abroad. To be eligible for support for conferences abroad, it is a prerequisite that an application to the DAAD Kongressreisenprogramm (congress travel programme) was submitted in due time and consequently rejected.

Scholarships for trips to conferences and invited talks are available from the DAAD as part of the Kongressreisenprogramm (in German; congress travel programme). The online application must be submitted to the DAAD no later than 4 months (120 days) before the first day of the congress. Funding for invited talks can be requested at short notice.

Research stays contribute to the internationalization of the PhD project. They can be helpful for establishing an international network, for working closely with a second supervisor from abroad or for increasing the quality of your research (e.g. because of special expertise or equipment at a foreign institution).

One- to three-month research stays can be funded via the funding line BremenIDEA of Bremen University’s Central Research Development Fund (CRDF). The call is opened once a year. The deadline for applications for research stays in the following year is October 1st.

In addition, the YERUN network, of which the University of Bremen is a member, annually grants Research Mobility Awards for research stays at other YERUN universities. The deadline is opened each fall. Last but not least, the DAAD scholarship database contains funding opportunities for research stays.

Doctoral candidates can apply for funds for activities that add discernible value to the PhD via the funding line 01 Impulse Grants for Research Projects of the Central Research Development Fund. Such activities include, but are not restricted to, participation in summer schools, stays at renowned institutions, additional experiments, interdisciplinary projects, and cooperation with international partners.

It is possible to finance (research) internships abroad via the Erasmus+ research internships program. Applications are possible at any time and funding can be granted more multiple times. Stays at Erasmus partner universities of up to 12 months are eligible for funding. Information is offered by the Erasmus representatives of your department. It may also be possible for your department to enter into a new Erasmus+ contract with the desired host institution for the purpose of the internship.

If the focus is on teaching, the Erasmus+ Teaching Staff Mobility program offers funding for short stays with teaching assignment at Erasmus partner universities of the University of Bremen. A list of partner universities can be obtained from the Erasmus representatives of your department. Due to the financial restrictions of the program, stays of 1 to 2 weeks are the norm. An Erasmus+ teaching assignment comprises at least 8 hours of teaching in the first week, even for a shorter stay. Teaching abroad provides fascinating insights into other education systems and can also create opportunities to network with scientists on site.

In the funding line “Promotionsstipendium” the FAZIT Foundation offers completion grants for the final few months before submission of the dissertation.

International doctoral candidates of the University of Bremen can apply for a Thesis Completion Grant offered in the DAAD-funded program STIBET Doktoranden. Please note that the University of Bremen has only limited funds for such grants. Application is possible at the earliest three months before the end of the financing. Please contact BYRD for further information.

It is not possible to request publication subsidies for dissertations at the University of Bremen. The State and University Library Bremen (SUUB) provides affordable services for publishing dissertations online.

The following institutions/foundations offer publication subsidies for dissertations on application: