Research Training Groups

In brief

Research Training Groups (Graduiertenkollegs) offer a structured PhD programme relating to an innovative, peer-reviewed research topic. A tailor-made curriculum including soft skill courses prepare doctoral researchers for the complexities of the job market in science and beyond and support early scientific independence. Postdoctoral researchers can also take on the leadership of a project.

Who can apply?

PhD students with

  • an outstanding university degree equivalent to a German master’s degree in a relevant subject
  • excellent English language skills

Further requirements

Specific requirements are laid down by each individual Research Training Group and project and the university’s doctoral regulations.

Type and extent of funding

Work contract that offers a salary based on the collective agreement for public-sector employees of the German states (65% to 100% full-time equivalent position).


Work contracts are usually limited to 3 to 4 years.


Research Training Groups usually advertise vacancies publicly, and the details can be found on their websites.
Applications should be submitted to the coordinator of the respective Research Training Group. You will find an up-to-date list of all Research Training Groups on the programme website (see link below).

DFG research funding

Here you will find all you need to know about DFG funding programmes.

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