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Funding Advice

How can I finance my doctorate?

We provide members of the GGK and GCSC with targeted information on possible sources of funding. Depending on your needs, counselling may include for example:

  • Reflection on suitable funding methods with regard to your individual situation and career goals

  • Information on possible scholarship providers, application procedures and requirements as well as useful tools for independent search for scholarships or part-time jobs

  • For international applicants: Information on current funding options and the funding landscape in Germany

  • If necessary, referral to further contact persons or counselling centres, e. g. for help with the preparation of application documents.

On this page, you will find some basic information on the topic of financing your doctorate. If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact  (for members of the GCSC) or  (for members of the GGK).

Funding Advice

What funding options are available that are suitable for me?

In Germany, doctorates in the humanities and social sciences are most often financed through scholarships or part-time employment at a university, e. g. as a research assistant (Wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter / wissenschaftliche Mitarbeiterin) or academic assistant (akademische Hilfskraft). Other doctoral students work full or part-time in the private sector or are self-employed. A few finance their doctorate privately.

Depending on your circumstances and your career goals, different options may be more or less suitable for you. It is therefore worthwhile to think about your preferred path early on and also to pursue backup paths.

Who awards scholarships and which scholarship providers are suitable for me?

There are over 2000 scholarship providers in Germany. Apart from the 13 large and well-known “Begabtenförderungswerke”, these are primarily smaller organisations that are geared towards specific target groups. We can check some of them together during a counselling session – but due to the specificity of the target groups, it is also essential that you do your own research. You can use German language databases like or ELFI for this purpose, but there are also English language databases available. International doctoral students in particular will find valuable information in the DAAD database - German nationals can use this database for information on funding for stays abroad. Other databases in English are e. g. scholarship portal or the European Funding Guide.

In addition to regular doctoral scholarships, which are generally designed to provide monthly grants for up to 3 years, there are also short-term, project-based and write-up scholarships. You can also apply for specific funding opportunities for archive and research trips in Germany and abroad.

What information must a research proposal for the scholarship application contain?

This overview serves as a guide and covers the basic requirements for a research proposal (Exposé). When applying for scholarships, however, you should always read carefully and, if necessary, ask the funding institutions directly what requirements the respective proposal should fulfil. Sometimes the individual points are called differently and/or there are additional points that should be covered in the proposal.

Title page

(working) title of the project, name, date


The introduction should give the reader a brief, precise impression of the project presented and familiarise them with the project. To achieve this, it is often advisable to place the project in a wider context. The introduction should be able to answer the following questions: What is the starting point of the project? In what larger context is the work embedded? What does the project contribute to the academic community, or how does it benefit the general public? Why is it necessary to deal with the aspects/questions/theories that you plan to address?

Hypotheses and objectives

In this part, the basic hypotheses and your research interest should be presented and explained. What phenomena/questions are to be investigated? What will your central argument be? And finally: What goals are to be achieved and what insights can be gained by examining your problem? It is often helpful to subdivide one/more main objectives into respective sub-objectives.

State of research

This part clarifies which researchers are already working on the topic or related topics. Which questions have already been raised by the scientific community? Which aspects that are necessary to clarify current questions have been neglected so far? What methods have researchers used so far to approach the topic and how, if applicable, should these methods be changed/improved?


This section explains how your stated objectives are to be achieved. What methods will you use to examine and explain the issues raised? Which concepts are fundamentally important for dealing with the topic and how can they be adapted, if necessary, to achieve the goals?

Own preliminary work

Here you clarify what preliminary work has already been done. Has a similar aspect already been dealt with in your masters’ thesis? Which reference works have been consulted so far? Have you already been in contact with other researchers? Has the topic/aspects of the topic already been presented in a paper at a conference?

Preliminary outline

Preliminary work plan
What research goals are to be achieved at what point in time/within which period of time? Even though changes will naturally occur in the course of the project, it is important, especially for grant applications, to estimate as precisely as possible which work steps are to be completed when and which (partial) milestone is to be achieved when.


If applicable, not only the works cited in the proposal should appear here, but also other literature relevant to the research topic.

Where can I find out about current job advertisements in the Giessen area?

To search for jobs at JLU, you can use the university’s job board. You can find academic jobs in general e. g. on or You will find a broader spectrum of vacancies listed in the major weekly newspapers such as ZEIT, FAZ, or Süddeutsche, as well as on LinkedIn or online job portals such as WILA Arbeitsmarkt, or

Advisory Team

For more specific questions, please contact the GGK and GCSC advisory team by e-mail or phone to make an appointment.

We wish you good luck and success in your search for funding for your doctorate!