Programme Description

In line with its statutes, the Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes (German Academic Scholarship Foundation) supports the university education of young people who, because of their exceptional academic or artistic talents and personal qualities, can be expected to make an outstanding contribution to society as a whole. Doctoral candidates can apply for a doctoral scholarship together with their supervisor.
Doctoral scholars receive 1,450 EUR a month, health insurance grants and additional family and childcare allowances are also possible. Doctoral scholarship holders who travel abroad for research, laboratory visits or a conference attendance can apply to receive grants for travel and living expenses as well as tuition fees.
Applications are welcome from international candidates who have been accepted to a doctoral programme at a German university where the thesis will also be submitted.

Target Group

highly qualified PhD students with a commitment to social causes

Academic Requirements

  • The last academic degree should have been completed no longer than 4 years prior to submission of the application.
  • The doctoral candidate has been accepted for a doctoral programme at a German university where the thesis will also be submitted.

Duration

Funding is initially granted for 2 years. On application and subject to successful progress, the scholarship may be extended twice, for up to 6 months respectively. The maximum funding period is 36 months; for scholarship holders with children this period can be increased to 48 months. On the birth of a child during the funding period, mothers may extend their scholarships for a further 3 months to cover maternity leave.
If necessary, the funding can also be extended by a maximum of 1 year if the work on the dissertation is made considerably more difficult by a disability, a chronic illness, caring for a close relative with at least care level 3 (cf. § 15 para. 3 No. 2 BAföG) or by pandemic-related restrictions. Funding for longer than 48 months (possibly plus 3 months of maternity leave for each child born during the funding period and possibly plus up to 12 months for significant delays caused by the pandemic) is not possible. Previous periods of scholarship funding for the doctoral project will be deducted from the maximum funding period. A flexible solution such as a short-term suspension of funding is possible.

Scholarship Value

  • grant amount of 1,450 EUR a month, comprising a basic monthly stipend of 1,350 EUR and a research allowance of 100 EUR a month
  • Scholars can apply for a contribution towards the costs of health insurance, amounting to 50 percent of documented costs to a maximum of 100 EUR a month. This contribution is available to scholars whose health insurance is not covered by employment (for example in research and teaching).
  • Family and childcare allowances are available for doctoral scholars. Further funding for childcare can be provided through a reallocation of scholarship funds from the final, 4th, year of funding.
  • Scholarship holders may pursue academic employment corresponding to a 25-percent part-time position, allowing further integration in the research context.
  • Doctoral scholars who travel abroad for research purposes, laboratory visits or to attend conferences can apply for grants for travel and additional living expenses.
  • Holders of doctoral scholarships are supported by an adviser in the Studienstiftung’s office and a personal tutor at their home university, who follow their academic and personal development and offer guidance on issues relating to their scholarship and doctoral research.
  • participation in doctoral forums
  • range of academic programmes which include summer academies, short conferences and seminars on professional development as well as events planned by scholarship holders or offers from the alumni network

Application Papers

All information about the application and forms for download can be found here.
Selection procedure
The review procedure takes place in 2 phases:
In the first step, the preselection, the Studienstiftung checks whether the formal framework conditions and the requirements of the Studienstiftung are met. These include:
  • a committed and well above average successfully completed degree
  • the support of the supervisor
  • a broad horizon of interests as well as indications that the applicant has committed himself / herself in his / her career
At this stage, the synopsis of the doctoral project is not included in the assessment. If an application is successful in the pre-selection process, in the next step we obtain 2 written, external reports - one specialist report and one interview report. Basically, both reports should comment on the technical and non-technical qualifications of the applicant as well as on the quality and the general conditions of the proposed doctoral project.
Interviews
We ask experts who are closely involved in the subject of the dissertation to provide expert opinions. They formulate their assessments on the basis of the written documents and, in particular, take into account the professional qualifications of the applicant and the submitted synopsis in their reports.
The second expert opinion, the interview expert opinion, is entrusted to people who are not necessarily equally subject-specific. In addition to the written documents, they base their impressions on a personal interview. The interview report therefore not only expresses the technical dimension, but also goes into more detail on the personality and career of the applicant.
We try to avoid long journeys when selecting the interview experts; we cannot cover travel expenses. If candidates are abroad at the time of their application, we will be happy to check whether experts are available on site for discussions. As a rule, we assume the applicants' willingness to attend appointments for selection interviews in Germany.
Due to the pandemic, the selection interviews are currently usually taking place via video calls.
As soon as both reviews are available, the funding application will be discussed and decided on at the next meeting of the selection committee for doctoral candidates. This meets 4 times a year. The selection process takes about 4 to 6 months on average, but can also take longer or shorter in individual cases.

Please select your status and your country of origin in order to be able to submit an application.

Status and / or country of origin not on these lists?If your status and / or country of origin is not on this list, you cannot apply for this funding programme. In order to only see funding programmes for which you can apply, please select your status and your country of origin in the list of results.