Collaborative Research Centres

In brief

Collaborative Research Centres (CRCs, Sonderforschungsbereiche) can offer PhD students and early career researchers opportunities to pursue an outstanding research programme that crosses the boundaries of disciplines, institutes, departments and faculties. The relevant university may also offer further opportunities
for training its doctoral researchers, for example within a structured doctoral programme. Highly qualified and
renowned postdoctoral researchers can also take on the leadership of a project or a junior professorship
within a CRC.

Who can apply?

PhD students and early career researchers with

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

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 limited to a maximum of 4 years.


CRCs usually advertise vacancies publicly, and the details can be found on their websites. Applications should be submitted to the coordinator of the respective CRC. An up-to-date list of all CRCs is available 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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