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Advice on funding opportunities

How do I finance my doctoral degree?

First off: The GGK itself, unfortunately, cannot award stipends.

However: We can provide detailed information about funding opportunities that might be of use to you personally. What's more, for those already enrolled in a doctoral programme at the GGK, we can competently advise you on completing applications for stipends or grants.

Read on for answers to your initial questions about procuring stipends from external sources.

Who awards stipends, and which of these funding institutions should I consider?

In addition to large organizations that award scholarships to talented students, there are numerous smaller foundations and institutions that distribute stipends to doctoral students. We can talk about these options with the PhD consultation hour. The DAAD – the German Academic Exchange Service – has compiled an online funding database (for German applicants) with user-friendly search filters; it's a particularly good starting point for prospective doctoral students from outside Germany to find valuable information on funding opportunities.

What are the necessary components of a proposal?

The proposal: structure and general instructions

The following overview is supposed to give you some indications on how to compile a proposal and it covers the general requirements that need to be met by your proposal. When applying for stipends, however, you should always check the specific requirements of the funding institutions and if necessary get in touch with their contact person. It is possible that some of the individual articles addressed below are named differently and/or there are further requirements to be met.

  • A: Title page: (working) title of your project, name, date
  • B: Content
  1. Introduction
    The introduction should convey a short, concise impression and familiarize readers with the project at hand. Specifically, the following questions are to be addressed: What is the project's point of departure? What is the broader context in which the work is embedded? To what extent does the project contribute to the academic community/the general public? Why is it necessary to examine the proposed aspects/questions/theories?
  2. Hypotheses and goals
    This section should lay a foundation for the work by posing and explicating the hypotheses. What are the phenomena/questions to be investigated? How will your argument proceed? And finally: What are the goals to be achieved by the argumentation? What insights can be gained through the investigation of the hypotheses? It is often helpful to break down a primary objective into a series of subordinate objectives.
  3. State of the research
    In this portion of the proposal, present salient research on the topic, or related topics. What are the questions that have already been raised within the scientific community? Does the question at hand involve facets that have not yet been adequately addressed in the research? What methods have other researchers used up to this point to approach the topic? How might these be improved upon to home in on your own formulation of the issue?
  4. Theoretical and methodological approaches
    This section enumerates how you intend to attain the objective(s) at hand. What methods will be drawn upon to address the issue? What concepts are fundamentally important to handling this topic, and how might they be adapted, if needed, to reach the aim of your work?
  5. Preliminary work
    Here you will detail the work that you, personally, have already carried out. Did you cover a similar aspect in a diploma project? What sources have you consulted up to this point? Have you already formed connections with other scholars? Have you ever presented this topic/a facet of this topic as a paper at a conference?
  6. Preliminary table of contents
  7. A preliminary timetable that delineates the steps leading up to submitting the work. Which objectives will be reached in what time span? It is natural that there are changes to this timetable as you progress but, especially for an application for a stipend, it is very important to be able to estimate how long it will take to fulfill your (subordinate) objectives
  8. Bibliography
    The bibliography is supposed to exceed the scope of your proposal and name the relevant literature for your research topic.


For specific questions, please contact Daria Steiner by email or phone to arrange a consultation.

We wish you all the best in securing funding for your doctoral dissertation!

Bei weiteren Fragen wenden Sie sich bitte an Daria Steiner:

+49 – 641 – 99 30024