Financing your doctorate

The general types of financing are by employment, by means of a scholarship, or with the help of external sources. In many cases, financing models are mixed or the method of financing changes over the course of a doctorate, sometimes even several times.

1. Academic employees

As an academic employee paid by FSU, you are employed by your supervisor's department. One part of your duties will be supporting your supervisor in carrying out tasks within his or her department. This includes assisting with teaching Bachelor and Master's degree students, working on research and helping with departmental administration. Another part of your duties will be working independently on your own doctoral project.

As an academic employee in a programme funded by a third party, your work will focus more on the project's research programme, as well as on completing your own doctoral project. As practices vary depending upon the discipline and the source of funding, be sure to clarify the connection between the larger research programme and your own work with your supervisor. In principle, the option of doing a doctorate within a project of third-party funds is not excluded anymore. Click here for more information.

Both types of academic employment are usually part-time and bound by contracts.

2. Doctorate scholarship

Doctorate scholarships are meant to cover your costs of living, allowing you to dedicate your efforts towards your doctoral project for the duration of your funding (usually three years). Scholarship recipients are formally independent, meaning that they are not employed by the University. Scholarships do not count as income and are therefore not tax-liable. However, you must arrange and pay for your own health insurance.

Please note that the deadlines of foundations and funding programmes differ considerably, and German language skills are often required. After you have applied, be prepared to wait a few months for a decision.

The GA organises the granting of Landesgraduiertenstipendien (scholarships according to the Thuringian Higher Education Act) as well as other short-term scholarships. Please click here to find a general overview regarding scholarships.

3. Extra occupational doctorate

In addition to the funding options outlined above, there is also the possibility of doing a doctorate in tandem with employment outside of the University or a non-university research institute, as well as with some other source of funding. When planning your doctorate, please be aware that if you are working at the same time you will probably need substantially more time to complete your dissertation.