Funding your Doctorate

In principal, there are three different funding options: Scholarships provided by various funding organizations, research assistant positions or personal funding. This website aims to provide an overview of these options and give you some guidance on where to search for funding. Please note that there is no central funding institution in Germany. Therefore, it is crucial to start the search and application process well in advance.

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A scholarship offers you the opportunity to focus on your doctorate. The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) is one of the biggest funding organizations in Germany. Its website briefly explains what kind of scholarships and funding institutions there are. Before you search the databases below, please refer to:

What to keep in mind while searching for a scholarship


Scholarships for Doctoral Candidates at Freie Universität Berlin

The places within doctoral programs announced on this website often come with scholarships.

Scholarship Databases

Here are some of the most extensive databases you can search for scholarships:

This funding guide by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) does not only include information about scholarships offered by the DAAD but also from other funding institutions.

EURAXESS is an internet portal specifically for researchers provided by the European commission. Its database contains a great variety of scholarships.

You can search this database of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) using various criteria to optimize your search. (German)

The online scholarship and career network,, offers a scholarship database. (German)

This compilation contains several funding organizations some of which are based in Berlin.

ScholarshipPortal supported by the European Commission offers you the opportunity to search for PhD programs and scholarships. (English)

The European Funding Guide offers a search for scholarships for studies in the EU based on your individual profile.

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As a research assistant, you may be employed by a university, a non-university research organization or a company. For a description of these three different employment options, please refer to the information platform for young scientists, KISSWIN. Below, you can find some of the most extensive databases for paid doctoral positions. Before you start your search, please have a look at:

What to keep in mind while searching for a paid doctoral position


Employment Opportunities at Freie Universität Berlin

Every Monday, academic positions at Freie Universität are advertised in the Stellenanzeiger. (Mainly in German)

Databases for Paid Doctoral Positions:

The database of the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) contains job offers and scholarships for doctoral candidates. (German, English)

Although this online job portal is in German, many paid doctoral positions are advertised in English.

Here you can find job offers of Forschungsverbund Berlin - a research association of eight institutes in Berlin and specialized in natural sciences, life sciences and environmental sciences. (German, English)

This online job market of the German weekly newspaper “Die Zeit“ contains a section called “Positionen & Tätigkeiten” where you can search for paid doctoral positions. (German, English)

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You can also work in a non-science related area to fund your doctorate.

Of course, using your savings or getting financial support from family members might be an option to fund your doctorate, too.

What to keep in mind when considering personal funding

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