Graduate Schools

Funded by

German Research Foundation (DFG):
The DFG supports research in higher education and public research institutions.

In brief

DFG-funded Graduate Schools offer PhD students the opportunity to complete their doctorate in excellent conditions as part of a structured doctoral programme. They also enable junior researchers to work on a top-level research project covering a broad research area in an excellent research environment at an institution with an international reputation. Highly qualified and renowned postdoctoral researchers can also take on the leadership of a project.

Who can apply?

PhD students and junior researchers with

  • an outstanding university degree equivalent to a German Master’s degree or doctorate in a relevant subject
  • fluent English language skills

Type and extent of funding

Work contract or scholarship. A work contract offers a salary based on the collective agreement for public sector employees of the German states.


Generally 3 to 4 years for PhD positions, otherwise dependent on the position.


Graduate Schools usually advertise vacancies and scholarships publicly, and the details can be found on their websites. Applications should be submitted to the coordinator of the respective Graduate School. You will find an up-to-date list of all Graduate Schools on the programme website.

FAQs on submitting proposals to funding programmes: > FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions

List of DFG Graduate Schools

List of DFG Graduate Schools

Here you will find a list of the DFG Graduate Schools. > Graduate Schools List of DFG Graduate Schools