A stable financing is an important factor for a quickly and successfully completed graduation.

Basically there are the following sources of financial assistance for doctoral studies:

For applicants who want to do doctoral studies within a Graduate School a limited number of scholarships or positions will be offered.

For a scholarship or an appropriate support programme you can search either within the database of the German Academic Exchange Servise (DAAD), Funding Guide, or within the Electronic Research Funding Information System ELFI.

A (incomplete) overview about the most important scholarship and support programmes for doctoral students as well as useful Web tips we prepared for you on this page.


1 Scholarships from the State of Saxony

1.1 Scholarship from the State of Saxony

Universities offer scholarships which are financed with resources of the state budget and regardless of the subject and degree. The doctoral students who apply for such a scholarship have to have passed the final examination with excellent (above average) results. Additionally the dissertation has to make an important contribution to science. Each university has a certain number of scholarships available and decides autonomously about the awarding. The applications for the scholarship have to be directed to the university at which you want to do the doctoral studies.

Application deadlines will be published on this page.

The appropriate regulation of the Saxon State Ministry of Science and Art on the award of the Saxon State scholarships can be found here (non-official reading version) .


1.2 Re-entry scholarship for young parents after a break because of giving birth to a child

  • support for re-entry in academic education for women who interrupted doctoral studies or habilitation because of birth of children or because of work
  • Application deadlines/ places: see Scholarship from the State of Saxony

The related regulation of the Saxon State Ministry of Science and Art on the award of scholarships for re-entry can be found here (non-official reading version).


2 Government support programmes

2.1 Begabtenförderungswerke (organisations for promoting gifted students)

An overview about the funding organizations as well as information about the requirements, admission requirements and the amount of payment is available on the website

2.2 German Research Foundation (DFG)

Information about finding programmes (including the application for research projects with research assistant positions) you may find on the pages of the DFG


3 German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD)

(also for foreign doctoral students)

The DAAD is the world´s largest organisation for the international exchange of students and scientists. Supported will be:

  • Foreign graduates from universities who come to Germany for research visits or for doctoral studies.
    Offers for doctoral studies are described here
  • German graduates from universities who want to carry out research work abroad as a part of their doctoral thesis can apply at DAAD for scholarships for doing study, research or teaching abroad
    Search for scholarships


4 Private foundations

Often the topic of the doctoral thesis is important for being awarded a scholarship from private foundations: it should correspond to the main focus of the foundation. Another difference to the Begabtenförderungswerke (organisations for promoting gifted students) is that only the subject-related qualification of the applicant is decisive for awarding a scholarship instead of e.g. social commitment. However, the number of offered scholarships is much lower than the number of scholarships offered by Begabtenförderungswerke. In the following there are given two examples of foundations which correspond to the profile of the TU Bergakademie Freiberg.

4.1 Evonik Foundation

Main subjects/ thematic priorities: change annually

4.2 German Federal Environmental Foundation

Annually 60 scholarships
Main focus: environmental protection

4.3 More

Many of the small foundations are administrated by the Stifterverband Promoting Science and Education. This means they do not have head offices or websites. An investigation about foundations which offer scholarships is useful.


5 Research funding through a programme of the European Union

through the EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation HORIZON 2020


6 General web-tips

  • free positions for doctoral students and postdocs (with max. 5 years of research experience)