PhD Funding

DKFZ fellowships and third-party funding

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The typical duration of the PhD program is three years. During this time, students are fully funded by DKFZ fellowships or third-party funding. These salaries are competitive by national standards. There is no tuition fee. All PhD students at the DKFZ are enrolled at the Helmholtz International Graduate School for Cancer Research, regardless of how they are funded.

Students awarded a PhD position through the biannual selection rounds are funded either by a fellowship or by third-party funding from their group leaders. There are several types of DKFZ fellowships available. Many students are funded by a Graduate School Fellowship. In addition, two other types of fellowship are awarded:
A "Melanie and Eduard zur Hausen" Fellowship and an "Annemarie Poustka" Fellowship.

DAAD Graduate School Scholarship Programme

In addition to the DKFZ fellowships, the DKFZ offers scholarships to international PhD candidates in collaboration with the DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service) within the Graduate School Scholarship Programme.

Each DAAD scholarship in this programme comprises funding for three years. DAAD scholarship holders will be identified by a two-step procedure:
Step One: PhD candidates apply for a PhD position at the DKFZ through the biannual selections. Following the PhD Selection process, appropriate candidates are nominated for a DAAD scholarship by the DKFZ.
Step Two: The nominees submit an online-application with supporting documentation via the DAAD portal. Following the acceptance to the Graduate School Scholarship Programme by the DAAD, PhD candidates start their PhD at the DKFZ.

Have you already secured your own funding?

If you already hold a full PhD scholarship and you wish to find a PhD project at the DKFZ, please apply through the online application system.

When completing your application, in the "publications/honours" and "future plans" sections of the online application form, you should mention that you have already been awarded a PhD fellowship and you should also upload a copy of the letter confirming this in the "Documents" section under "Master".

If you do not wish to take part in the selection rounds of the Graduate School, then you may e-mail the division and group heads who you are interested in working with, to enquire as to whether a position may be available if you bring your own scholarship. You can also search for specific research topics using the Topic Finder.

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