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PhD students

Here you find a selection of funding programmes for international PhD students by various funding organisations. For more funding opportunities please search our funding databases.

Selection of funding programmes (alphabetical order):

Collaborative Research Centres

Collaborative Research Centres offer PhD students opportunities to pursue an outstanding research programme that crosses disciplinary, institutional, departmental and faculty boundaries.


DLR-DAAD Research Fellowships

Outstanding PhD students can complete a doctorate in the fields of space, aeronautics, energy, transport, digitalisation and security at an institute of the German Aerospace Center (DLR).


ERA Fellowships – Green Hydrogen

This programme provides funding for a research project or continuing academic training in the field of GH2.


Green Talents

The winners of this competition are invited to visit leading German institutions of environmental and sustainability research. Furthermore, Green Talents awardees can complete a research stay at an institution of their choice.


Individual Doctoral Projects at Fraunhofer Institutes

PhD students can complete a doctorate while working on exciting projects in cutting-edge areas of technology involving state-of-the-art equipment at a Fraunhofer institute.


Individual Doctoral Projects at Leibniz Institutes

PhD students can complete a doctorate while working in an excellent interdisciplinary research environment at a Leibniz institute.


Individual Doctoral Projects at Max Planck Institutes

PhD students can complete doctoral projects within the scope of research work conducted at a Max Planck institute.


International Max Planck Research Schools

PhD students can complete a doctorate in a structured programme offering excellent research conditions at one of the 68 International Max Planck Research Schools (IMPRS).


International Visiting Researchers at Max Planck Institutes

International researchers can conduct independent research at a Max Planck institute. The programme aims to strengthen cooperation and promote networking between Max Planck institutes and their international partners.


Leibniz Graduate Schools and Leibniz ScienceCampi

PhD students will find ideal conditions for completing a doctorate in a structured doctoral programme that can be pursued at either a Leibniz institute or a partner university.


Marie Skłodowska-Curie Doctoral Networks

PhD students receive structured doctoral training within these networks, which are formed jointly by different European institutions.


Max Planck Schools

The Max Planck Schools are a joint graduate programme run by German universities and research organisations. They offer ambitious bachelor’s and master’s graduates excellent conditions within a unique scientific network, and provide structured and fully funded PhD programmes in three interdisciplinary research fields: cognition, matter to life and photonics.


Munich Aerospace: PhD Scholarships

Munich Aerospace PhD scholarships allow talented young scientists to focus exclusively on the research work at hand and on attaining a timely doctoral degree.


PhD Fellowships

The Boehringer Ingelheim Fonds awards PhD Fellowships to outstanding early career researchers who wish to carry out an ambitious scientific PhD project in basic biomedical research at an internationally leading laboratory.


Research Grants – Bi-nationally Supervised Doctoral Degrees/Cotutelle

The aim of this programme is to support doctoral degrees at the student’s home university with integrated research phases in Germany.


Research Grants – Doctoral Programmes in Germany

International PhD students can realise a doctoral project (individually or in a structured programme) at a state or state-recognised German university or non-university research institution.


Research Grants – One-Year Grants

International doctoral candidates can carry out research primarily as part of a doctoral project at a state or state-recognised university or non-university research institution in Germany.


Research Training Groups

Research Training Groups are set up by universities and pursue a focused research programme. They offer a structured PhD programme relating to an innovative, peer-reviewed research topic.


RISE Professional

This programme enables students in the fields of natural sciences, engineering or computer science from North America, the United Kingdom or Ireland to gain serious practical experience in a German company or research institution with strong industry ties.


Travel Grants

The Boehringer Ingelheim Fonds (BIF) awards travel grants to PhD students and postdoctoral researchers from all over the world.


More information:

Search funding databases

More funding programmes are available for international researchers. For more information you can either search the funding databases or go straight to the websites of the funding organisations.