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Funding for doctoral studies

There are several funding options for doctoral studies: employment at the University of Cologne (so-called internal doctoral candidates), scholarships and employment outside the university (so-called external doctoral candidates).

Employment at the University of Cologne

Doctoral candidates are usually employed as research assistants. Available positions are advertised at the  Stellenwerk of the University of Cologne and other websites and demand a regular application. Research assistants are often employed with part-time contracts (in most cases 50%) and required to participate in scientific projects, organize and teach seminars for bachelor students, perform laboratory work or administrative duties, to name a few examples. In some fields, research assistants are employed to work solely within research projects as part of their doctoral studies. Nature and amount of your duties are subject of your contract and dependent on your professor as well as conventions in your field. In the remaining time, you work on your dissertation project. 


An independent doctoral scholarship enables you to concentrate exclusively on your dissertation project. Various foundations and organizations promote research and grant doctoral scholarships in Germany. Coming from abroad, the scholarship information of the German Academic Exchange Service might be helfpul. As a rule, doctoral scholarships cover living expenses and may also provide a research cost allowance. Many foundations offer complimentary consulting services, seminars and interdisciplinary exchange.

The following websites give a good overview on scholarships and funding institutions:

Please find funding opportunities exclusively for members of the University of Cologne also on the Dezernat 7 - Forschungsmanagent's website.


Other employment

Another option is to pursue your doctoral studies while holding a (part-time) job at a non-university institution. There are a number of publishers, independent research institutes, companies and institutions offering part-time positions for doctoral candidates or employment contracts on an hourly basis.

The Stellenwerk of the University of Cologne advertises many positions.