A fellowship provides a great deal of freedom to work on your dissertation. However, you should be aware that with a fellowship, you make no payments into the social security system and therefore must arrange and pay for your health insurance separately.
If you are interested in a fellowship as an international student, you should first research what is available in your home country through programs offered by your government, the German embassy and other funding agencies such as the DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service). Information about the fellowships offered by the DAAD as well as other funding agencies is available through the DAAD scholarship database .
Please visit our Service Point for individual advice on funding your doctoral studies!
Where can I apply for a fellowship?
The Graduate Academy awards individual doctoral fellowships through the Baden-Württemberg Landesgraduiertenförderung Program and regularly supports research training groups with fellowships funded through the LGF program.
There are many private funding organizations in Germany that offer doctoral fellowships or other funding for doctoral projects, often with a subject-based focus. The funding database of the Bundesverand Deutscher Stiftungen offers a wide range of entries.
The Begabtenförderungswerke are funding organizations supported by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research that provide fellowships to students and young researchers. Doctoral candidates in all subject areas can apply to these organizations for funding.
Fellowship Search Engines
Mystipendium.de (in German)Mystipendium.de is a database developed by doctoral candidates containing 1.240 funding opportunities. Students at all levels can use the personalized search function involving more than 30 filter criteria (e.g. discipline, desired degree, age, family status, grades, individual talents etc.) to find funding that fits their individual situations. The portal also provides hints for writing successful applications and contains a separate rubric for finding funding to go abroad.
Stipendienlotse (in German)
This funding database maintained by the Federal Ministry for Education and Research contains a large variety of fellowships and other funding opportunities for students, doctoral candidates and post docs.
Kisswin (in German)A funding database including information and support for academic careers.
ELFI (in German)The ELFI funding database is only accessible to University members at on-campus computers.
Stipendien finden und bewerben – Datenbank DAAD (in German)The DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service) is a cooperative organization supported by all German universities with the aim of promoting good international relations among universities in Germany and abroad through the exchange of students and researchers as well as with international programs and projects.
► Stipendien finden und bewerben – Datenbank DAAD
Helps with finding a PhD program in Germany.
► PhD Germany database
A very comprehensive funding database supported by the EU.
► Scholarship Portal
Stiftungen.org (in German)A database of funding organizations in Germany.
A list of all funding programs provided by the DFG (German Research Council). This web site is of particular interest to those in the final stages of their doctoral training who are searching for post doc opportunities.
► DFG-Funding programs
Hints for your funding search
Focus your search on funding organizations or programs that could have a special interest in supporting your doctoral project either because of your topic or your own background. Feel free to contact the organizations personally to ask about the organizations’ culture and the application procedures. Assemble your application carefully and tailor it to the requirements and interests of each organization separately.
Be prepared to provide the following documents, among others, in an application:
- working title of your project,
- synopsis of your project,
- time and work schedule for the project.
The Graduate Academy is happy to advise you on preparing the research proposal for your fellowship applications. If you wish to take advantage of this service, please contact us in advance by email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Further Literature and guidebooks (in German)
- Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft: Funding Atlas 2012 - Key Indicators for Publicly Funded Research in Germany, WILEY-VCH Verlag, 2013.
- Herrmann, Dieter / Spath, Christian: Handbuch Drittmittelförderung 2012/2013: Förderinstitutionen und -programme, Forschungsstipendien und Wissenschaftspreise, Alpha Verlag, 2012.
- Herrmann, Dieter / Verse-Herrmann, Angela: Geld fürs Studium und die Doktorarbeit: Wer fördert was?, Stark Verlag, 2006.
- Huemer, Birgit et al.: Abstract, Exposé und Förderantrag: Eine Schreib- anleitung für Studierende und junge Forschende, Böhlau Verlag, 2012.
- Nünning, Ansgar / Sommer, Roy (eds.): Handbuch Promotion: Forschung – Förderung – Finanzie- rung, J.B. Metzler Verlag, 2007.
Some of the above books are available in the Service Point . Please feel free to ask us for more information!