Financing the final phase of doctoral research

At some point, many PhD students face the problem of their scholarship or employment running out before having finished their doctoral research.

Under certain circumstances, doctoral candidates at Ulm University can apply for temporary financing.

Some foundations offer scholarships which can also be used to finance the last phase of one’s doctoral research. For example, the Fazit-Stiftung (website in German only) funds doctoral research irrespective of the subject also in its final phase if the need for help is proven.

Additionally, subject-specific or smaller foundations offer scholarships for doctoral research for certain target groups or individual subjects and topics that can also be used for financing the final phase of one’s doctoral research.

Data bases like Stipendienlotse (website in German only), (website in German only) or give an overview over the existing scholarships providers.

ELFI: Electronic Research Funding Information System

In order to search for prizes and support programmes for PhD students, one can make use of the ELFI data base. ELFI comprises more than 1,300 third party funding agencies and over 4,000 current support programmes.

Members of the university and the university hospital have to register and can then use the data base free of charge.

If you are outside the university’s network, you will have to log in to the university’s network via VPN before being able to use the data base.

Other ways of financing the final phase of doctoral research

PhD students who are citizens of a member state of the European Union, the European Economic Area or Switzerland as well as third-country nationals having a valid residence or settlement permit which allows them to work in Germany and who have had an employment subject to compulsory insurance can, under certain circumstances, receive unemployment benefit. Please refer to the website of the Federal Employment Agency (Bundesagentur für Arbeit) for the exact prerequisites.

Off-campus part-time or mini jobs are another possibility to cover your living expenses when you do not have any other incomes. Depending on your residence status you need to pay attention to certain regulations. However, these kinds of jobs can even further delay you finishing your doctoral research due to the additional work load.

DAAD Brochure "Funding Your Research in Germany"