Frequently asked questions about the Completion Grants



Prerequisites for Application and Criteria for Evaluation

What is a completion grant?
Our completion grants were created in order to provide financial support for the final phase of a doctoral degree, which is the writing of the doctoral thesis only. The grants cannot be used to finance the resarch phase.

According to which criteria are the completion grants awarded?
•    Applicant’s qualifications
•    Academic/scientific relevance and quality of the dissertation project
•    Viability of the schedule for completion
•    Conclusiveness of the reasons for the delay in completing the project, if applicable
•    Lack of sufficient financing during the completion period

Is there an age limit?
No, you can apply regardless of your age.

Can I apply for a completion grant if I am carrying out my doctoral training while still completing my university degree (Studienbegleitende Promotion)?
No. In order to apply, you must have already received a university degree that qualifies you for a profession as well as to pursue doctoral training (e.g. Diplom, Magister, Master).

Must I be matriculated at the University of Heidelberg in order to apply for a grant?
No, you do not have to be matriculated at the University. However, you must have been admitted as a doctoral candidate to a Faculty of the University of Heidelberg (i.e. have received the “Annahme als Doktorand” from a University Faculty).

Must I be carrying out my doctoral training at the University of Heidelberg in order to apply for a completion grant?
Yes, you must be admitted as a doctoral candidate to one of the Faculties of the University of Heidelberg.

What are the chances of receiving a grant?
It is not possible to answer this question as it greatly depends on the number of applications received. In the past, the Graduate Academy has been able to approve approximately 10 to 20% of all valid applications.


Length and Amount of the Funding

What is meant by “completion grant”?
The purpose of the completion grant is to fund the swift and efficient completion of a dissertation project. You can apply for a grant to fund the final 6 months of work on your dissertation up to the submission of the dissertation to the Faculty. The period between submission of the dissertation and the oral examinations can not be funded.

For how many months can I receive the grant? How high is the monthly stipend?
Completion grants are awarded for a maximum of 6 months; the stipend is max.
1,103 Euro. If you have children, you can apply for child care benefits.

How high are the child care benefits?
The monthly child care benefit is 400 Euro for one child and 500 Euro for two or more children.

During which period can I receive funding?
You can receive funding between Januar 1st and October 31st , 2019.

Can the funding begin in any month in 2019?
The funding can begin in any month from January 1st to October 1st, 2019, depending on the desired duration of the grant. Please remember that the grant cannot be paid out after October 31st, 2019.

Can I work or receive an additional grant/fellowship while receiving a completion grant?
You must convincingly demonstrate financial need. Additionally, as the purpose of the grant is to support the swift and efficient completion of your dissertation, you should not be employed in an area outside of your doctoral project.

Can I receive a completion grant until I complete my rigorosum/disputation?
No, you can receive funding only until you submit your dissertation to the Dean’s Office of your Faculty.

Applying for a Grant

I cannot fill out the application form. What should I do?
In order to ensure that the application form works with all versions of the Adobe software, please download and save the empty form on your computer and then fill the form out and save it again.

IMPORTANT: Despite ongoing efforts, we have not been able to make the application form compatible with the Macintosh system. Therefore, we strongly recommend that you fill out the form only on PCs with Microsoft Windows operating system.

What is meant by “Letter of Intent” in the application document?
Please use this space to explain why you are applying for a completion grant.

Must I submit the “Annahme als Doktorand” from my Faculty? Is the letter of acceptance/invitation from my doctoral supervisor sufficient?
The letter of acceptance or a similar letter from your doctoral supervisor is not sufficient. You must submit the “Annahme als Doktorand” from your Faculty.

The “Annahme als Doktorand” from my Faculty has expired. Do I need to apply for an extension?
Yes, please submit a valid “Annahme als Doktorand” or additionally an extension of the “Annahme” if it has expired. (The “Annahme als Doktorand” is generally valid for three years.)

Can I submit a copy of my matriculation certificate (Studienbescheinigung) instead of the “Annahme als Doktorand”?
If you are matriculated in a doctoral training program (i.e. “Promotion”), you may submit a copy of your matriculation certificate (Stammdatenblatt/Studienbescheinigung/Studienausweis).

Must the two evaluations come from my primary and secondary supervisors?
You must submit an evaluation from your primary supervisor. If you do not yet have a secondary supervisor, you may ask a professor at Heidelberg University, or at another university, who is familiar with your work to submit an evaluation for you.

Can the application, the summary of my dissertation and/or the evaluations from my supervisors be written in English?

How should I prepare the summary of my dissertation?
Please restrict the summary to a maximum of 2 pages. Please be aware that your application will be reviewed by evaluators who are not specialists in your field; therefore, your application should be written in a way that is understandable to a general university audience.

Must I submit any other certificates or references?
No, please submit only the documents required as outlined on our web site.



Organization of the Awards Process

I have applied for a completion grant and have not heard anything from the Graduate Academy. Is there a problem?
Because of the large number of applications that we receive, it is not possible to individually confirm the receipt of every application.

When will I be informed whether or not my application has been approved?
All applicants will be sent a letter until the middle of December of the current year to notify them of the decision regarding their application. Please refrain from inquiring about the decision before that time.



Organization of the Grant

Does the completion grant include a deadline for submission of the dissertation to the Faculty?
Yes. According to the grant statute, you must submit your dissertation to the Dean’s Office of your Faculty at the latest three months after your grant expires. Please submit to our office a confirmation of submission from your Faculty not more than four months after your grant expires.

Is it possible to suspend the grant for a time?
Yes, you can suspend your grant in the case of illness, pregnancy, a particularly difficult family situation or for another important reason for up to six months, or in exceptional cases, for up to one year. This is possible only if your doctoral supervisor confirms that the suspension will not put the final completion of your dissertation at risk.

Whom do I need to inform if any of my financial, academic or personal information changes?
Please inform the staff of the Graduate Academy Service Point:

Further information about the grants is available in the statute (in German only) at, p. 933-944


Editor: Akkach
Latest Revision: 2018-07-25
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