PhD Funding

There are various ways to fund your doctoral studies, such as research assistant jobs at the university, a position in a research project or a scholarship.  Be sure to talk to your supervisor about the financing possibilities for your doctoral programme – supervisors can often give you important information and advice about open research assistantships and discipline-specific scholarships. Start looking into this as soon as possible – some scholarship applications are due several months in advance!

With a research assistantship, doctoral candidates can work for the university and participate in an institutes's research and teaching activities. Research assistants’ duties can range from working on third-party-funded research projects and organising conferences to supporting and teaching classes. Open research assistant positions are posted on Paderborn University’s job listing page. You can also talk to your supervisor about employment opportunities in your institute or department.

As a rule, students who are accepted into a Research Training Group also receive financial support in the form of a research assistantship or a scholarship.

In addition, many institutions offer scholarships which doctoral students can apply for to help finance their doctoral studies.

Doctoral Scholarships from Paderborn University

Every year, Paderborn University awards basic scholarships (for a three-year period) and graduation scholarships (for a twelve-month period) to doctoral candidates from any department at the university. In addition, there is one scholarship for doctoral studies in the field of gender research. These scholarships are awarded to students who have achieved outstanding results in their studies, and whose doctoral projects are expected to make an important contribution to their research field. You can find further information under “doctoral scholarships” on the webpage of the Committee for Research and Junior Academics.

Organisations for promoting young talent

“Extremely motivated, socially committed and high-performing”: Thirteen foundations funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research award doctoral scholarships to doctoral candidates, from any discipline, whose talent and personality suggest a promising academic and professional career. In addition to financial support in the form of a scholarship, each foundation offers interdisciplinary support such as summer schools, scholar meetings, regional groups, etc. The organisations for promoting young talent are differentiated by their social and political positions and/or worldviews. Their joint website provides a good overview of the foundations. Before applying, be sure to look at the foundation’s goals to determine whether you are a good fit for the foundation, and vice versa! You should also contact the liaison lecturers at UPB, who can connect you with other scholars.  

Organisation Liaison lecturer at UPB
Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes Prof. Dr. Eva-Maria Seng; Prof. Dr. Johannes Blömer
Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung Prof. Dr. jur. Dieter Krimphove
Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung Prof. Dr. Birgitt Riegraf
Friedrich-Naumann-Stiftung Prof. Dr. Ruth Hagengruber
Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung Prof. Dr. Michael Hofmann

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Volker Schöppner

Hanns-Seidel-Stiftung UPB does not have a liaison lecturer at this time. Please contact the foundation directly.
Avicenna-Studienwerk UPB does not have a liaison lecturer at this time. Please contact the foundation directly.
Ernst Ludwig Ehrlich Studienwerk UPB does not have a liaison lecturer at this time. Please contact the foundation directly.
Cusanuswerk UPB does not have a liaison lecturer at this time. Please contact the foundation directly.
Evangelisches Studienwerk Villigst Prof. Dr. Harald Schröter-Wittke
Prof. Dr. Dominik Rumlich
Stiftung der Deutschen Wirtschaft

The contact person for applicants from Paderborn University is Prof. Dr. Axel Benning, Fachhochschule Bielefeld, Tel.: 0521 106 3748, Mail:

Hans-Böckler-Stiftung Prof. Dr. Bettina Kohlrausch


There are more than 20,000 foundations in Germany that support research and young scholars! You should be able to find the right foundation for your doctoral project. According to the objectives of each foundation, they generally support dissertations from selected fields or on specific topics.

Funding and scholarship databases can help you refine your search for the right foundation. One good place to start looking for a PhD scholarship is the ELFI funding database (Paderborn University is a member), along with the BMBF scholarship database.