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Further PhD Grants

Apart from the Elsa-Neumann-Program, there are several other possibilities of applying for a scholarship. The following list represents a selection of the most important institutions that award doctoral scholarships.

1. Scholarships awarded by institutions for particularly gifted students

In Germany, there are thirteen institutions related to gifted education (Begabtenförderungswerke), which the Federal Ministry of Education and Research finances. These institutions usually are associated with certain partys or confessions and fund dissertation projects within all subject areas. In addition to financial funding, these institutions support the PhD candidates receiving scholarships from them with an interdisciplinary program including, for instance, workshops focusing on key qualifications or recent social developments.

Common website: www.stipendiumplus.de

Apart from a convincing PhD project, the institutions aligned with gifted education expect applicants and students awarded with a grant to show social commitment.

Please bear in mind that you can only apply for a scholarship that is independent of a specific discipline like those offered by the Elsa-Neumann-Foundation or the institutions related to gifted education when you have already found a supervisor for your dissertation and after you have officially been admitted to the doctoral examination process.

2. Scholarships awarded by doctoral programs

Some doctoral programs grant full-time scholarships, in particular the Research Training Groups (GRKs) and Graduate Schools funded by the DFG. There are public calls for applications for the doctoral grants within the thematic frameworks of the specific program. Having successfully applied for one of these programs and having been admitted, doctoral students automatically receive full-time funding for up to three years.

Most doctoral programs announce their calls for applications for grants only once a year with fixed deadlines. If you are interested in a certain program, you should therefore find out the respective deadlines online as soon as possible.
  • Grants by doctoral programs at Freie Universität Berlin

You can find calls for applications for grants within doctoral programs at Freie Universität Berlin on the website of each individual program and in FU's weekly job vacancies list

  • Grants in Research Training Groups and Graduate Schools funded by the DFG

The German Research Community (DFG) centrally publishes calls for applications for grants in Research Training Groups and Graduate Schools of all disciplines here:


These CfAs are usually also posted at http://www.academics.de, a website that enables personal filters and appears weekly on Thursdays.

3. Databases for scholarships

Many foundations in Germany focus on specific themes or research areas and award their own grants, prizes or publishing subsidies. Diverse databases allow you to search for suitable scholarships for your project:

  • ELFI – Electronic Research Funding Information System

You can search the comprehensive database ELFI listing national and international funding opportunities according to different criteria, for example research topics, funding formats and institutions. ELFI charges you for using it, but Freie Universität Berlin has acquired a licence for ELFI, so you can use this service free of charge on all PCs within the university's network.

  • German Foundations Center Deutsches Stiftungszentrum (DZ)

On the website of Deutsches Stiftungszentrum, the umbrella organization of 560 German foundations, you can use a search engine to browse grants according to discipline and scholarship format.

  • Scholarship guide of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF)

The scholarship database of BMBF offers an overview of German and international scholarships. You can use diverse filters for searching this comprehensive database, for instance taking into account training phases, subject areas or specific regions.

  • Mystipendium

You can create a personal profile on the user-friendly online portal mystipendium and search for diverse funding possibilities – ranging from full-time scholarships to funding of stays abroad or subsidies for printing.