Completing a doctorate

Sometimes, financing runs out just before you are ready to complete your doctorate. In order to bridge the resulting financial gap, Friedrich Schiller University Jena and some foundations offer short-term grants so that candidates can complete their doctorate. We have listed some of these financing options below.

Short-term grants for foreign doctoral candidates

The Friedrich Schiller University Jena (FSU) provides financial support for international doctoral candidates in the time span between the opening and termination of the doctoral examination procedure. The scholarships are funded by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and cover maximum 1.000 € per month. Grants are awarded up to three months, with a possible extension of up to six months. Application deadline is one month before the end of each quarter (28 February for the 2nd quarter, 31 May for the 3rd quarter, 31 August for the 4th quarter, 30 November for the first quarter).

Please find the guidelines here (for translation, see page 3).

Who can apply?

Doctoral candidates of non-German citizenship from all disciplines at FSU, who have not received and who do not actually receive funding by an external research institute, who submit their dissertation no later than four months after application, can apply for a monthly grant of € 1,000 in order to:

  • complete a research project
  • conduct a clearly defined research project
  • prepare a new research project.

The grant can only be awarded if the applicant receives no other public funding.

How can I apply?

Applications quarterly via our Internet portal for scholarship applications. There you can process your application online and upload the required documents.

The following documents are required for the application:

Upload to portal

  • Data sheet from doc-in (log in to doc-in, on the Front Page select the option "Download", select "Datenblatt/data sheet", and save as pdf)
  • CV including list of publications
  • Copy of the electronic residence permit or registration certificate (proof of residence)
  • Description of the research project, work schedule and expected results e.g. publication, article, presentation or experiments (max. 2 pages, Arial 11pt, 1,5 line pitch)

Direct submission by supervisor

How does the assessment take place?

The short-term grants are awarded by the Graduate Academy's Awarding Committee based on the following criteria:

  • academic quality and originality of the research project
  • duration of the dissertation
  • proof of active participation in the academic community (e.g. publications, conference presentations, organisation of academic events, participation in structured PhD programmes).

The award of the grant is subject to the opening of the doctoral examination procedure. Candidates may apply before the opening, but need to submit the confirmation of their faculty (via doc-in or separate confirmation letter) before receiving the grant.

Preference will be given to applicants and their supervisors who explicitly assure that no other form of financial support is available. The requested scholarship must be used to ensure the means of subsistence of the PhD candidate and therefore constitute an essential condition to end the PhD.

Information for scholarship holders

A final report on the work performed and its results is to be presented on the doctoral candidate's own initiative no later than four weeks after the end of the scholarship. The results achieved (e.g. publication, application for external funds, essay, examination reports) are to be filed in copy along with the report. Documents may be submitted electronically.

FSU Grants for completing a doctorate

In order to make sure that doctorate projects can move from an advanced stage to completion, the University grants candidates special grants, which amount to € 1,400 per month. As a rule, these scholarships are granted for a maximum period of six months, but the period may be extended to up to 12 months in exceptional cases for substantial reasons. However, the overall period of the doctorate may not exceed 36 months including the period for which the special grant was paid (in the case of corona-related delays, up to 42 months are possible, see point "Temporary regulations for pandemic-related delays in the progress of doctoral projects"). This subsidy serves specifically to make it possible for candidates to hand in their dissertation. The application must contain a convincing work plan and must be confirmed by the supervisor.

Who can apply?

Doctoral candidates at FSU Jena whose doctorate project has been subsidised for less than 36 months and who will be able to complete their doctorate within the period for which they have requested the grant (usually up to six months) are eligible (in the case of corona-related delays, up to 42 months are possible, see point "Temporary regulations for pandemic-related delays in the progress of doctoral projects"). 

How can I apply?

The application is continously possible and ought to arrive no later than 4 weeks before the requested start of the awarding of a scholarship.

For checking your eligibility, please send us at first your CV, Information on previous funding (position, scholarship) and a brief summary on the progress of your work (1 - 2 pages) by email. Following the positive review of your documents the application should also be sent by e-mail. Generally, the following forms have to be submitted:

  1. Application form
  2. CV with photo
  3. Exposé of the dissertation project
  4. Abstract of the written exam paper (if applicable)
  5. Copy of the university degree
  6. Confidential reference by the supervisor (form as pdf or doc)
  7. Confidential reference by a second professor
If you wish to claim a Corona-related extension, please submit the appropriate evidence of the pandemic-related restrictions. For possible restrictions see point "Temporary regulations for pandemic-related delays in the progress of doctoral projects".

Temporary regulations for pandemic-related delays in the progress of doctoral projects

If the doctoral period that was funded by a position or a scholarship, could - due to the exceptional situation regarding corona - only be used to a limited extent for your doctoral project, a grant for completing a doctorate can still be applied for after the 36 months of previous funding. The total duration of your funded doctorate (position and/or scholarship (including the grant for completion you apply for)) shall not exceed more than 42 months.

For doctoral researchers that hold a position, the following rules apply: if delays in working on the doctoral project appear because of the corona pandemic, the employer is initially responsible for extending the required working time of doctoral researchers, as to enable them to reach their qualification goals in spite of the delays brought on by the pandemic. Should this not be possible (for example because a third-party funding provider does not provide any extension possibilities or because the staff position is no longer available), a grant for completing the doctorate can be applied for under the above-mentioned conditions.

The application for a grant based on the temporary regulations for pandemic-related delays must contain a description of the pandemic-related restrictions that have occurred and the period of delay they have caused. Pandemic-related restrictions that may occur between 1 March and 30 September 2020 include the following:

  • Individual quarantine (returnees, suspected cases)
  • Laboratory access: in March and April temporarily no access at all, after that limited access due to working in shifts and/or limited number of personnel
  • Library and inter-library loans: between 20 March and 19 April no use of ThULB`s reference holdings, from 20 April limited use (copy service), from 11 May check out of books and inter-library loans possible again
  • Research trips: archive trips, use of external laboratories, planned research stays in Germany or abroad were not possible or strongly restricted during March until at least the end of July
  • Conversion to digital learning: additional time may be required to prepare teaching in the summer semester 2020
  • Childcare and home schooling: depending on the age and grade level of the children, the possibility of working from home was extremely limited between 17 March and July. Single parents are particularly affected.

If possible, please submit appropriate evidence (e.g. a certificate from the laboratory manager or head of a working group on laboratory closures and limited laboratory use, child benefit notification [or similar] to prove childcare/home schooling, etc.).

Information for scholarship holders

Final report
A final report on the work performed and its results is to be presented on the doctoral candidate's own initiative no later than four weeks after the end of the scholarship. The results achieved (e.g. publication, application for external funds, essay, examination reports) are to be filed in copy along with the report. Documents may be submitted electronically.

Notes on the layout of the final report and sample report

Other grants for completing a doctorate

There are only few foundations which award scholarships for the completion of a degree to doctoral candidates. One of these foundations, which is independent of a subjects, is the FAZIT foundation. Furthermore, there are a few subject-specific foundations which promote the completion of the doctorate in certain cases.

Scholarships which are independent of subjects

FAZIT-Stiftung
The FAZIT Foundation awards scholarships of several months' duration for doctoral candidates nearing completion of their degree. Applicants must provide evidence that they are in need of the funding. More information in German is available here.

Subject-specific scholarships

Deutsches Forum für Kunstgeschichte
The German Forum for Art History mainly awards one-year research stipends for projects with a bearing on a particular overarching theme. The scholarships provide advanced junior researchers the opportunity to complete their dissertation as part of an international group of scholarship recipients. Further information is available here.

Deutsche Gesellschaft für Fremdsprachenforschung
The German Society for Foreign Language Research awards scholarships for PhD candidates in the area of foreign language research who are nearing completion of their degree. The scholarships are worth 500 € per month and are granted for a period of six months. For more information, click here.

Richard Winter foundation
The Richard Winter foundation awards scholarships for the completion of a degree in the field of natural sciences in the form of monthly benefits. An application is possible at any time. All those interested may write off for information on the awarding of the scholarships. For more information, click here.