Graduierte werfen Hüte hoch

Completing a doctorate

How do I find funding to complete my doctorate?
Graduierte werfen Hüte hoch
Image: Arlene Knipper

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 international 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. Grants are awarded up to four months. The grant starts the first day of the month after the dissertation has been submitted. An extension is not possible. The scholarships cover maximum 1.000 € per month. 

Application deadline is one month before the end of each quarter:

  • 01 January to 28 February (funding possible from 01 April)
  • 01 April to 31 May (funding possible from 01 July)
  • 01 July to 31 August (funding possible from 01 October)
  • 01 October to 30 November (funding possible from 01 January)

Applications are currently possible. You can apply hereExternal link. Application deadline is 31 May. Please find the guidelines herepdf, 158 kb.

  • Who can apply?

    Eligible are doctoral candidates of non-German citizenship from all disciplines at Jena University who submit their dissertation no later than four months after application.

    Not eligible are doctoral candidates

    • who receive any other funding after the submission of their thesis,
    • who are affiliated with an external research institute,
    • who are nationals of an EU member state.

    They 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.

    To the application formExternal link

  • 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 (if applicable)
    • 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)

    Applications are currently possible. You can apply hereExternal link. Application deadline is 31 May.

    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 constitutes 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.

Jena University Grants for completing a doctorate

In order to make sure that doctoral projects can move from an advanced stage to completion, the University awards candidates special grants, which amount to 1,400 Euro 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 (the period may be extended by 6 months in the case of Corona-related delays and by a further 6 months for doctoral researchers with children who had additional care needs during the Corona pandemic).

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 Jena University can apply:

    • 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)

    In the case of corona-related delays, up to 42 months, or in case of corona family related delays up to 48 months are possible (see points "Temporary regulations for pandemic-related delays" and "Temporary family support scheme"). 

  • 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, an overview of your previous financing of the doctorate (scholarships, employment contract), the requested funding period and a brief summary on the progress of your work (1 - 2 pages) by email.

    After the positive review of the eligibility check, a complete application can be submitted by e-mail. Generally, it includes the following documents:

    1. Application formpdf, 1 mb · de (as the data is transmitted electronically, no signature is required)
    2. CV with photo
    3. An exposé of the dissertation project with details of the research question, its background and rationale, the current state of research, the methodological implementation, the current state of work and the planned timeline with a citation of relevant literature (1-2 pages, without bibliography, Arial 11pt, 1.5 lines)
    4. Abstract of the written exam paper (if applicable)
    5. Copy of the university degree
    6. Confidential reference by the supervisor which provides information about the dissertation project as well as the personal and professional qualifications of the applicant (formdocx, 41 kb · de) (please inform the supervisor to send it to

    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".

    If you wish to apply for the family support scheme, please submit a proof of having children (copy of birth certificate, child benefit notice or similar).

  • 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 include the following:

    • Individual quarantine
    • Laboratory access: in March and April 2020 temporarily no access at all, after that limited access due to working in shifts and/or limited number of personnel
    • Library use: between 20 March and 19 April no use of ThULB`s reference holdings, then limited use of books and work places (time restrictions)
    • Research trips: archive trips, use of external laboratories, planned research stays in Germany or abroad were not possible or strongly restricted during certain times
    • Conversion to digital learning: additional time may be required to prepare teaching in the summer semester 2020, also during the following winters to switch to digital teaching at short notice
    • Childcare and home schooling: depending on the age and grade level of the children, the possibility of working from home was extremely limited during closing times of schools and day care and during qurantine times of children. Single parents are particularly affected.

    Please note different restrictions and constraints separately: When and why was which task of your doctoral research 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.).

  • Temporary family support scheme for pandemic-related delays in the progress of doctoral projects

    The family support scheme is an extension of the already existing university programme for the completion of a doctorate. The Corona pandemic confronts doctoral candidates with children with special challenges due to daycare and school closures, partial school closures and individual quarantines at care and educational institutions. Those parents affected can apply for the family support scheme to complete their doctorate. They may receive a funding for a maximum of 6 months if their previous support (position or grant, incl. pandemic-related doctoral completion support) did not exceed 42 months. The total funded doctoral period (position and/or scholarship incl. completion grant and family support scheme), may not exceed 48 months.

    Additional information for doctoral candidates with employment contracts: Supervisors are responsible for extending the employment period of doctoral candidates with child(ren) in a way that the qualification goal can be achieved regardless of the pandemic-related delays. If this is not possible (e.g. because a third-party funding body does not provide any extension options or because the necessary budget position is no longer available), and given the above-mentioned conditions, you may apply for the family support scheme in order to complete the doctorate.

    If you wish to apply for the family support scheme, please submit a proof of having children (copy of birth certificate, child benefit notice or similar).

  • 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 reportpdf, 211 kb

Other grants for completing a doctorate

There are only a few foundations which award scholarships for the completion of a degree to doctoral candidates. One of these foundations with no focus on a specific subject is the FAZIT foundation. Furthermore, there are a few subject-specific foundations which promote the completion of the doctorate in certain cases.

  • Scholarships independent of subjects

    FAZIT-StiftungExternal link
    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.

  • Subject-specific scholarships
    • Deutsches Forum für KunstgeschichteExternal link
      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 young researchers the opportunity to complete their dissertation as part of an international group of scholarship recipients.
    • Stiftung Bildung und WissenschaftExternal link
      The foundation offers scholarships for research projects that are nearly finished. Eligible are doctoral candidates of literatury studies and history (especially social and economic history). The maximum funding period is one year.