Funding  

Funding

We do not admit students into the program without funding! It is not a prerequisite for a successful application to our school that applicants have secured funding for their doctorate at the time of the application. However, those students who were selected during the application process but not at the same time awarded one of the school’s scholarships (currently: “Mind and Brain”, DAAD) will not be able to start the program in October until sufficient funding has been secured for at least two years, preferably three. The minimum amount of external funding that we accept as sufficient for your doctoral studies is 1,103 € per month.

In connection with our own deadlines 15 January 2019 and 15 January 2020, a number of “Mind & Brain” and DAAD scholarships will be available to the best applicants. Accepted students to the Berlin School of Mind and Brain who did not manage to get one of the above scholarships will receive intensive advice, support and sometimes tie-over funding in order to be able to successfully apply for and join the school with other external funding/scholarships. Students with Einstein Center for Neurosciences PhD fellowships may join the Berlin School of Mind and Brain after the first six months of lab rotations.

Below, read more about funding opportunities.
 

Contents

(A) Applying to the Berlin School of Mind and Brain: Information on our own funding opportunities 2019 and 2020
(B) What you should know about scholarships/stipends in general
(C) General information (in English) on other funding opportunities for doctoral studies
(D) Information (in German) on other funding opportunities for doctoral studies
 

(A) Applying to the Berlin School of Mind and Brain: Information on our own funding opportunities 2019 and 2020


(1) DAAD Scholarships - online application tool opens 5 December 2018

In 2019 and 2020, two three-year scholarships per year will be funded by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) as part of their Graduate School Scholarship Programme (GSSP). They are reserved for the best international students coming to Germany from abroad for their doctoral (or residing in Germany only for a short while at the time of the application - see below for details).

Deadline for applications:

  • 15 January 2019 (two scholarships starting October 2019)
  • 15 January 2020 (two scholarships starting October 2020)

How it works:

  • You will have to apply through our Online Application Tool to the Berlin School of Mind and Brain first.
  • Once selected by the Berlin School of Mind and Brain for membership in the school (i.e., after your successful application and successful interview), the school's admission committee will select from the group of successful international applicants those international students suitable for the DAAD scholarships (we usually have to list two applicants per scholarship place).
  • After receiving positive notification from us, the successful student will have to send her/his application also to DAAD, for additional confirmation by the DAAD board. The required documents are nearly identical to what has to be submitted to M&B. (Don’t worry: Students will be thoroughly briefed by the Berlin School of Mind and Brain about all this.)

Preconditions for eligibility / suitability for these scholarships in 2019 are:

  • At the time when the DAAD receives the nomination letter from the Berlin School of Mind and Brain (May 2019), the last final exam (Master's degree or equivalent) of the student must have taken place no longer than six years ago.
  • At the time when DAAD receives the nomination letter from us (May 2019), applicants must not have resided in Germany for more than 15 months (i.e., not before March 2018).
  • Please note that the DAAD scholarship comprises funding for three years. You will receive detailed information about the terms and conditions from the school’s management.
  • The scholarship amount is 1,200 € per month plus funding for travel expenses, insurances, research support, family support, German-language courses, etc.

(2) “Mind & Brain” Scholarships - online application tool opens 5 December 2018

In both 2019 and 2020, the Berlin School of Mind and Brain will once again offer a number of three-year “Mind & Brain” scholarships. The amount is 1,350 € per month.

Deadline for applications:

  • 15 January 2019
  • 15 January 2020

(3) Einstein Center for Neuroscience (ECN)

For start in 2019: The Einstein Center for Neuroscience (ECN) will once again be advertising around PhD Fellowships for a competitive 4-year neuroscience program. The Berlin School of Mind and Brain is an ECN founding member and cooperation partner. After being accepted by ECN, and after 6 months of obligatory lab rotations, doctoral candidates, if their doctoral projects and their supervisors are a good match, may apply to join the Berlin School of Mind and Brain, taking their scholarship with them.
Application deadline for start in October 2019: 7 January 2018 (application-please remove this text-@ecn-berlin.de) or check their website: https://www.ecn-berlin.de/

(4) Funding from other sources

The above scholarships are awarded in a highly competetive precedure. Since we will not be able to provide all successful and interested students with scholarship / stipends, in addition to applyin to our school, all students are encouraged to start applying for funding with scholarship funding institutions and, if their applications to the school are successful, bring their project and this funding to the program.
Once applicants have secured external funding - e.g. a scholarship/stipend, a salaried research employment with one of their supervisors, etc. - they should inform the management of the school.

(5) Deadline for securing funding

Successful applicants who were admitted to the Berlin School of Mind and Brain but did not receive a DAAD or Mind & Brain scholarship or ECN PhD fellowship, will be given time until the program start in October of the same year to secure funding. Under certain circumstances, tie-over funding may be available.
 

(B) What you should know about scholarships/stipends in general


This is what you should know about scholarships, and about the difference between scholarships/stipends (these two terms are used synonymously in Germany) and salaried (university) positions:

By law and owing to the rules of third-party funding agencies, the entitlements, terms and conditions regarding prolonged illness, pregnancy, Mutterschutz (maternity protection), Kindergeld (child support), and Elternzeit (parental leave) differ significantly for people who are on ...

- salaried (university) positions that include both employers' and employees' statutory monthly contributions to the national income tax, social security, unemployment insurance, pension schemes, and health insurance,

- taxfree third-party-funded research scholarships that demand from scholarship holders neither further financial contributions (apart from obligatory [reduced] health insurance payments) nor statutory duties to their university/research institution or the state.

Scholarship holders are not employees, and the only real obligation they have is to devote their time fully to their research project. However, this freedom also means that they are ...

- not entitled to four to six weeks of statutory paid holidays (as most employees in Germany are), and holiday breaks thus need to be negotiated with heads of labs and/or supervisors and/or the school,

- not entitled to continue to receive their research-related scholarship during long periods of sickness – past six weeks, the school and the DFG or other resp. funding agencies need to be informed,

- not entitled to take parental leave (Elternzeit) while continuing to receive their monthly research-related scholarships. When they pause their scholarship to apply for state-funded parental leave payments, they will only receive the minimum of 300 € per child (Elterngeld),

- (usually) not entitled to paid maternal protection leaves (Mutterschutz) of 6 weeks before birth and 8 weeks after birth, though at M&B we had always made funding available for these additional 3.5 months, and some funding agencies now have begun to grant this period as a paid break,

- not entitled to state-financed child support (Kindergeld) payments, though at M&B our scholarship payments to parents had always included child subsidies (Kinderzuschlag) of 400 Euro for the first child and 100 Euro for each further child. Owing to a change in funding, from 2017, M&B will not be able to guarantee these child subsidy payments.

The reason for this general non-entitlement is that paid holidays and the right to government-funded sickness payments, parental leave, more comprehensive payments during parental leave, and child support are state-subsidized benefits that are linked to the employment and tax payments of the person in question. These benefits, therefore, do not apply to people who neither pay taxes nor make any other contribution into the public purse.

So why scholarships?


So why are scholarships/stipends used to fund doctoral candidates, and not exclusively salaried positions? There are many reason for this: Scholarships are much more flexible regarding duration and distribution (e.g., work permits are not required), they usually grant maximum freedom and time for research (no teaching, little supervision of bachelor or master students, little administrative obligations to the institution, which with salaried positions take up to 50% of doctoral candidates' time), and – they cost a quarter of a full-time doctoral position. For graduate schools this means that with the sum required to employ one full-time doctoral candidate they can admit four candidates to their education and training programs on scholarships. To be able to give four people the chance for research and education instead of one is a strong argument. However, the questions whether giving more people a chance is a good enough reason for scholarships, and whether more people with doctorates is a good or a bad thing, are part of an ongoing public debate about doctoral education and the ideal number of doctoral candidates accepted into doctoral studies. You, your supervisors, our graduate school, the universities, the research-funding agencies, politicians, the taxpayer, future employers, are all part of the quest for the best way forward for doctoral research, education, and training in Germany.


(C) General information (in English) on funding opportunities for doctoral studies


The Mind & Brain scholarships
Each year, the Berlin School of Mind and Brain can offer a number of scholarships. Currently, scholarships are set at 1,350 €/month plus funding for conference travel, education, and training courses.
Further information: mb-admission-please remove this text-@hu-berlin.de

Special DAAD-M&B scholarships (DAAD/German Academic Exchange Service-funded)
The best international candidates have an additional opportunity to apply with their application at the Berlin School of Mind and Brain also for funding opportunity through the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). Scholarships are set at 1,200 €/month plus extra payments plus funding for travel and training courses. Please see above under (A) for terms and conditions.
Further information: mb-admission-please remove this text-@hu-berlin.de

PhD Fellowships from the Einstein Center for Neurosciences (ECN)
Scholarships for a competitive 4-year neuroscience program (the Berlin School of Mind and Brain is an ECN partner program). After being accepted by ECN, students can apply to join the structured program of the Berlin School of Mind and Brain, taking their ECN scholarship with them.
https://www.ecn-berlin.de/

DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service) funding database
Information about different funding opportunities, grants for research and a scholarship database: www.daad.de/deutschland/stipendium/en/

Central advice office for young researchers at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin central office
Career advice, advising for third-party funded research and scholarships, announcements and information for science awards, young laureates and networks
Website with further information on services and scholarships/awards, postdoc portal, blog, newsletter
Scientific Officer Young Researchers: Dr. Uta Hoffmann, uta.hoffmann-please remove this text-@uv.hu-berlin.de

Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin: Caroline von Humboldt Grant Programme
The Caroline von Humboldt Grant Programme provides female doctoral students and graduates with flexible grants. Applications may be submitted twice a year, in January and June.
www.exzellenz.hu-berlin.de/funding/cvhg-en?

Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin: General information on funding for doctoral studies
https://www.hu-berlin.de/en/promovierende-en/finanzierung_promotion-en/stipendien-en

Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin: Research tracks
Graduates from other universities may also be funded if they pursue a doctorate at Humboldt-Universität. The program offers funding for the transition phase between the end of a Master’s program and the beginning of doctoral studies. Requirements for funding are excellent academic results and an original, high-quality research proposal. Applications may be submitted during the Master’s studies but funding can only start after graduation. The scholarship helps recipients to focus on the preparation of their research proposal for their doctorate.
https://www.exzellenz.hu-berlin.de/en/funding?set_language=en

Euraxess Germany
The portal contains information on job and funding opportunities.
www.euraxess.de/portal/home_en.html

ELFI
The ELFI database collects comprehensive information from the internet with the help of software-robots that explore websites for relevant information on research funding, e.g. grants, scholarships and awards, all other kinds of funding that contribute to support scientists to finance their projects.
www.elfi.info/e_index.php

Elsa Neumann scholarship
The state of Berlin’s Elsa Neumann scholarship issues scholarships or special grants to particularly qualified young researchers and artists for up to three years.
www.hu-berlin.de/research/szf/wiss_nachwuchs/wn_nafoeg_html?set_language=en&cl=en

Research in Germany: Funding programs for doctoral students
A selection of funding programs for international doctoral candidates (various funding agencies)
www.research-in-germany.de/dachportal/en/Research-Funding/Funding-Programmes/Overview-PhD-Students.html

Scholarship opportunities for students from Israel
Minerva Foundation (www.minerva.mpg.de/)
Besser-Stiftung (stiftungen.stifterverband.info/t158_besser/index.html)
 

(D) Information (in German) on funding opportunities for doctoral studies


Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin: Promotionsförderung
(general information on scholarship opportunities)
www.hu-berlin.de/de/promovierende/finanzierung_promotion/stipendien/wn_profoerd_html

Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin: Stellenausschreibungen
(jobs for young researchers at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin)
www.personalabteilung.hu-berlin.de/stellenausschreibungen?set_language=en&cl=en

Stipendienlotse
Stipendiendatenbank des Bundesministeriums für Bildung und Wissenschaft
(scholarship database offered by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research)
www.stipendienlotse.de/

Stipendiensuche.de
Suchdienst für Stipendien in deutschsprachigen und skandinavischen Ländern (meta search engine with a search screen for scholarships in German-speaking and Skandinavian countries)
www.stipendiensuche.de/

Stipendientipps
Informationen zu diversen Stipendienanbietern und Bewerbungsvoraussetzungen (Information on various scholarships and application requirements)
www.stipendien-tipps.de/anbieter.html

Labyrinth der Links
(some evaluative commentaries on different foundations, in English and German)
www.odile-endres.de/links/links_promstipendien.htm

Mystipendium.de
Gemeinnützige Initiative zweier Doktoranden für transparente Studienförderung (very detailed scholarship database)
www.mystipendium.de

 
This page last updated on: 03 December 2018