Coins with the word "doctorate"

Financing your doctorate

What ways are there for financing a doctorate?
Coins with the word "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.

Academic Employees

As an academic employee paid by FSU, you are employed by your supervisor's institute. One part of your duties will be supporting your supervisor in carrying out tasks within his or her institute. 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.

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

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 automatically 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.

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.


At Friedrich Schiller University Jena, there are more than 20 graduate schools, research training groups and doctoral programmes, where young researchers can complete their doctorate in a structured manner. In these institutions, doctoral candidates work on their research projects with a specific thematic focus. They are supervised in teams, and receive additional discipline-specific qualification offers.

Normally, these positions are funded via scholarships or working contracts. The awarding of financing typically takes place on a fixed date in a selection process led by an allocation commission.

An overview of all graduate schools, research training groups and doctoral programmes can be found here.


Welcome and Service Desk for Doctoral Candidates and Postdocs
House for Young Researchers "Zur Rosen", Room Ground floor
Johannisstraße 13
07743 Jena
+49 3641 9-401333
+49 3641 9-401331
Telephone hours:
Monday - Thursday: 10.00h to 12.00h
Tuesday, Thursday: 14.00h to 16.00h
Share this page
Friedrich Schiller University on social media:
Studying amid excellence:
  • Logo of the "Total E-Quality" initiative
  • Logo of the best practice club "Family in Higher Education Institutions"
  • Logo of the "Partner University of High Performance Sports" project
  • Logo of quality of German Accreditation Council - system accredited
Top of the page