Scholarship for doctoral students FAQ

Note: Please only use our ONLINE portal for applications for doctoral funding to submit your application. We cannot consider applications sent via E-Mail.

Please read our information carefully on the requirements for an application and the application documents on our website. If you have any further questions, we would like to help you with the following FAQ.

Before applying

When is the next deadline for my application?

01. June or 01. December

I am not a Protestant. Can I still apply?

Yes. In exceptional, well-founded cases, the Evangelische Studienwerk accepts doctoral candidates who are not members of the Protestant Church. The reasons for this must be conclusive and the application convincing. Please enclose a letter of motivation with your application stating why you are interested in applying to the Evangelische Studienwerk and, in this context, please state your thoughts on religion and church.

Do I have to be German citizen?

No. Doctoral candidates who do not have German citizenship but are doing their doctorate in Germany can be funded.

Do I have to be admitted to the doctorate at the time of application?

Yes. You must provide evidence of admission (authorisation) to do a doctorate.

Do I have to be enrolled during the doctorate?

No, you do not have to be enrolled during the doctorate.

I started my doctorate at my university one year ago. Can I still apply?

Yes, you can apply, when you worked no longer than one year at your project (Deadline: Day of your apply). If you are working longer than one year at your project, please inform us with a separate document, why you want to apply now.

Can I complete my entire doctoral degree abroad?

Yes, in justified cases, German nationals can do their doctorate at a university in a Member State of the European Union, in Great Britain, in Norway or in Switzerland. We request that you enclose an informal justification for your request with your application.

As a foreign applicant, do I have to prove knowledge of the German language?

Yes, proof/certificate of German language skills level B2 or DSH is required.

I am older than 35. Can I apply for a scholarship for the doctorate?

Yes. Please explain your reasons for wanting to do a doctorate in your CV.

Is it possible to apply in the field of medicine?

An application with a veterinary medical project is possible, biomedical projects are only allowed if the degree of Dr. rer. nat. (Dr. nat. Med.) is obtained. A doctorate as part of a medical degree (Dr. med.) is not supported in the doctoral funding.

Are certain subjects preferred when the scholarships are awarded?

No. We look forward to receiving applications from all disciplines.

Is it possible to apply as an artist?

For artists, the application with an artistic-scientific doctoral project is possible if the scientific part predominates in the project.

The application documents

My diploma is not yet available - can I still apply?

Yes, you can apply without a diploma as long as you send us a complete overview of your grades including the final grade. In this case, the diploma can be submitted later by email.

Do the copies of certificates have to be certified?

No. We reserve the right to request certified copies.

What must be taken into account with my certificate?

  • The certificate must contain a complete overview of the grades.
  • If you obtained your degree abroad, please enclose an equivalence to the German grading system including your overall grade.
  • The overall grade must be at least “good” and “fully satisfactory” in the subject of law.

If my certificate is not in English or German, can I still submit it?

Yes, but a certified translation must be attached.

Do the reviewers have to be qualified as a professor?

Yes. This is only not necessary if the reviewer(s) hold a professorship without habilitation and have the right to supervise doctorates, e.g. a junior professorship or assistant professorship.

What must be taken into account in my review?

  • The reviews can be uploaded in the upload area or requested directly from the reviewer. Note: The reviewer will receive an automatic email with the relevant access data. You should have already contacted your reviewer in advance.
  • The review must be issued with letterhead and electronic signature.
  • The reviews must contain the full contact details of the reviewer.

Ask for your review in good time so that we receive it on time!

Can the reviews be submitted later?

Yes, this is possible. Deadline: 10 June or 10 December respectively.

How long should the reviews be?

That is up to the reviewer. The reviews should, if possible, answer all points raised in the Leaflet [PDF].

Does the synopsis have to be written in German?

In case of the respective subject culture and the topic to be worked on, the synopsis can be written in German or English. In addition, a one-page German summary must be included.

When can a synopsis be written in English?

If the dissertation is written in English, the synopsis may also be submitted in English by German-speaking applicants. In addition, a one-page German summary must be included.

Are there any requirements regarding the font style or other specifications for the documents?

Please adhere to the following formatting rules:
- Font: Arial
- Font size: 11
- Line spacing: simple

How long should the detailed, formulated CV be?

We expect max. two pages for the tabular form and three pages for the formulated CV.

Do all professional/practical activities have to be documented by certificates?

No, it is sufficient if these are mentioned in the CV.

The selection

When will a decision be made about the applications?

The applications are decided upon in a multi-stage process. The final decision regarding admission is made by the Evangelische Studienwerk after the meeting of the doctoral funding committee that follows the application deadline (April or October).

When does the selection interview take place?

The selection interview takes place in April or October. You will be informed of the exact date of the selection interviews at the beginning of the process.

When will I find out whether I will be invited to an interview?

A few days before the interview. Unfortunately, this is not possible earlier. However, you will be informed of the date of the interviews at the beginning of the procedure. Please note this date.

What happens if I cannot keep the appointment for the interview that was offered to me?

Unfortunately, we can only offer each applicant one appointment. There is no alternative date in the same procedure. A transfer to the next procedure might be possible.

When will I be informed about the result of the selection interview?

You will be informed of the final decisions approximately 14 days after the interview.
If the necessary reviews are not yet available at the time of the selection interview, notification of the decision to accept or reject the application may be delayed. A transfer of the application into the next selection process might not be ruled out.

Will I be informed of the reasons for rejection or acceptance?

No, we do not give reasons, as this is a comparative procedure that also concerns personal data. Please refrain from telephone inquiries.

What happens to my application documents after a rejection?

All data stored in the EDP will be deleted after six months.

Can I apply again?

No, only after an explicit request.

The funding

For a maximum of how many semesters do I receive doctoral funding?

The scholarship is initially granted for a period of three years or six semesters.It is possible to apply for a seventh semester. A further extension due to childcare times, disabilities or chronic illness as well as care for a close relative is also possible.

What obligations do I have as a doctoral scholarship holder?

It is mandatory for all newly admitted doctoral scholarship holders to take part in one of the two doctoral student meetings within the first year of doctoral funding. In addition, an interim report must be submitted after the first and second year of funding. After the end of the financial support, a copy of the doctoral certificate as well as a printed and an electronic copy of the dissertation must be submitted.

Can I accept a position as a research assistant at the university at the same time as my doctoral scholarship?

Yes, but the additional ancillary provisions for the funding of talented students and talented young scientists of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) must be observed

How many additional hours can I work?

With the doctoral scholarship, a maximum of 1/8 of the regular weekly working hours can be worked per week. If the activity is in the scientific or disciplinary area of the doctoral thesis, it is compatible with the funding if this does not exceed 1/4 of the regular weekly working time.

Start of the funding

It is important for the Studienwerk that funding is started as soon as possible after receiving acceptance. This means for the April selection retrospectively to 1st of April and for the October selection retrospectively from 1st of October. Note: If you have to comply with a notice period, we would like your acceptance no later than three months after our acceptance.