Funding Options for Doctorates

Employment at a university or research institute

A limited period employment contract within an academic chair is the most common option for funding a doctorate. Such positions are generally offered as full-time employment for a period of five years at TU Berlin. The time  allocated for the completion of the candidate’s own research (dissertation) is legally set at a minimum of one third of the period of employment. Doctoral candidates are additionally required to conduct four SWS (course hours per week) of  teaching . 

Externally funded positions  are intended for special projects. It is often possible to complete a doctorate as part of such projects. These positions can include  research and project administration work  and differ greatly in terms of the duration of the contracts and the amount of work required.

As a  region with a strong scientific profile, Berlin-Brandenburg offers a wide range of positions for doctoral candidates. In addition to universities, these are available at universities of applied sciences and non-university research institutes, with doctoral supervision provided in cooperation with a university.


Funding for an individual doctorate is provided by a fellowship. A fellowship does not represent a form of employment and the recipient is not required to undertake teaching or administrative work; it is intended solely to allow candidates to complete their doctoral thesis. 

A fellowship is generally offered for a  period  of two to three years, during which it may also be possible, in some cases, to have restricted additional earnings. The  amount of funding available can vary considerably. This can, however, be roughly calculated on the basis of the monthly payments provided by the Begabtenförderungswerke funding program for students demonstrating outstanding ability (EUR 1,350 per month plus a research expenses payment of EUR 100 and any additional payments to cover family and child costs).

An overview of fellowships can be found on the following webpage.

Work contract or grant within a program

Doctoral programs are provided by research training groups, graduate schools or research schools. These are organized either individually by a single university or as a joint project. This option enables TU Berlin to provide intensive supervision and a comprehensive program of specialist and interdisciplinary training and continuing education. Generally,  funding   is available for a limited number of doctoral candidates in the form of work contracts or three-year fellowships.

You can check to see if there are any doctoral programs in your field of research and whether places and funding are currently available by visiting the doctoral programs’ website or researching the database of doctoral programs in Berlin and Brandenburg

Student loans

The Studentische Darlehenskasse Berlin - a loans society for students - offers financing for all students and doctoral candidates at TU Berlin, regardless of parental income, BAföG, degree program, age, origin, and the number of semesters completed. Loans of up to EUR 12,000 are available spread over a maximum of 24 months. The maximum monthly installment is EUR 750.

Competitions and prizes

There are a number of foundations and institutions offering prizes for outstanding doctoral theses. A list of current prizes and competitions as well as application and entry dates can be found here.

Center for Junior Scholars (CJS)

Contact us at any time by phone or mail

+49 30 314 29622

+49 30 314 12329622

Office FH 5-5
Building FH
Address Fraunhoferstr. 33-36
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Contact personJohannes Moes