Funding for doctoral program

General information:

  • In connection with our deadline 15 January 2024, the best-ranked international applicants (if they fulfil the residency requirements) will be offered one of the DAAD-GSSP Grant Packages (including a four-year scholarship).
  • All best-ranked candidates not qualifying for a DAAD-GSSP Grant Package will be offered one of the “Mind & Brain” Scholarships. A separate scholarship application for either package is not required.
    (Also, therefore, it is not a prerequisite for a successful application to our school that applicants have secured funding for their doctorate at the time of their application in January.)
  • Students accepted to the Berlin School of Mind and Brain who, unfortunately, did not manage to get one of the above scholarships or grant packages, will receive advice and support in order to be able to successfully apply for and join the school with other external funding/scholarships.

Below, read more about funding opportunities below.


(A) Applying to the Berlin School of Mind and Brain: Information on Scholarships in 2024
(B) General information (in English) on other funding opportunities for doctoral studies
(C) Information (in German) on other funding opportunities for doctoral studies

Btw: What you should know about the difference between scholarships (= stipends)  and salaried positions - read here (internal link)

(A) Applying to the Berlin School of Mind and Brain: Information on Grant Packages in 2024

(1) DAAD GSSP Grant Packages – for international students only!

In 2024, we once again will be able to offer two Grant Packages, 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 intending to come to Germany for their doctoral studies, or students who have been residing in Germany only for a short while (see below for details or here:

Deadline for applications:

  • 15 January 2024 (doctoral program and funding to start in October 2024)

How it works:

  • You will have to apply to the Berlin School of Mind and Brain through our Online Application Tool first (opens 1 December 2023)
  • 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 most suitable for the DAAD scholarships.
  • 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 2024 are:

  • At the time when the DAAD receives the nomination letter from the Berlin School of Mind and Brain (April/May 2023), 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/June 2024), applicants must not have resided in Germany for more than 15 months (i.e., not have come to Germany before February 2023).
  • Please note that the DAAD scholarship comprises funding for three years. An extension of a further 12 months (i.e. up to 48 months in total) may be possible. You will receive detailed information about the terms and conditions from the school’s management and from the DAAD

The DAAD GSSP scholarship packages include:

  • A scholarship of 1,300 €/month (new 2024!) for four years (three years plus an extension of one year)

plus extra funding for travel expenses, insurances, research support, family support, German-language courses:

  • reimbursement for travel from and to the home country;
  • payments towards health, accident and personal liability insurance cover;
  • a research allowance of currently € 460 per year (for scholarship holders from countries listed in the DAC List of ODA recipients - see:, or € 260 per year (for scholarship holders from other countries);
  • under certain circumstances, the following additional benefits grant holders:
         - monthly rent subsidy (calculated individually, usually about € 50 to 125 per month);
         - monthly allowance for accompanying family members (about € 200 child allowance per child and about € 275 marriage allowance);
         - in the case of a disability or chronic illness: subsidy for additional costs which result from the disability or chronic illness and are not covered by other funding providers.
  • a preparatory German language course (if available, applicable, and feasible – taking into account the starting date of the scholarship);
  • a material resources and supervision allowance of currently € 1,000 per year, which is paid upon application to the host institution/research group.

Please note:
(i) DAAD scholarship holders wishing to work part-time during their scholarship period, i.e. pursue gainful employment, always require the approval of the DAAD (if it is a DAAD scholarship), their academic supervisors, and the managing director of the Berlin School od Mind and Brain. DAAD and /or the managing director will verify that the part-time employment does not interfere with the purpose of the scholarship. Additional income exceeding € 500 gross per month shall be deducted from the monthly scholarship payment.
(ii) If you are already funded by the DAAD, or another German funding organization, or another state agency in Germany, you cannot receive an additional scholarship from the DAAD running in parallel, i.e., an Erasmus scholarship is not compatible with a full DAAD scholarship.

(2) “Mind & Brain” Scholarships, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

Deadline for applications:

  • 15 January 2024


  • 1 three-year scholarship of 1,468 EUR/month, available from 1 October 2024.
  • 1 one-year scholarship of 1,468 EUR/month as seed-funding, available from 1 October 2024, to kick-start the doctoral project with a M&B supervisor and apply for long-term funding (support for identifying funding agencies will be supplied);
  • Full membership in the Berlin School of Mind and Brain for the duration of the scholarship, or as soon as external funding is secured.

Membership in the Berlin School of Mind and Brain includes:

Einstein Center for Neuroscience (ECN)

The Einstein Center for Neuroscience (ECN) is advertising one-year PhD Fellowships for their neuroscience program. The Berlin School of Mind and Brain is an ECN member and cooperation partner. After being accepted by ECN, and after 6 months of obligatory lab rotations and courses, doctoral candidates may apply to join either the Berlin School of Mind and Brain, the Bernstein Center for Computational Neuroscience doctoral program or the Medical Neurosciences doctoral program.

(4) Funding from other sources

The above scholarships are awarded in a highly competitive procedure. 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) General information (in English) on funding opportunities for doctoral studies

German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD - Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst)

Website of the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), listing information and publications on studies and research in Germany, including weblinks.

The DAAD database “International Programs in Germany 2023/2024” is online in August 2023. It can be found at

In 2023, about 230 institutions participated in the survey and reported more than 1,900 international bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degree programs, 220 language and specialized courses, and 26 study-preparatory programs. The database is thus one of the most important sources of information on international study programs in Germany.

In addition, integrates a separate database for 2023/2024 language and specialized courses in German and English.

In addition, programs that can be studied online will also be available separately this year at

It is possible to access the ELFI database – the central service point for the ELectronic Research Funding Information System in German-speaking regions – free of charge via university servers and networks. 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. Registration is free of charge from university networks:

The ELFI database currently contains information on (1) more than 10,000 funding programmes; (2) some 4,500 national and international sources of funding.

ELFI provides comprehensive information on the whole spectrum of research funding opportunities – from funding programmes for material and travel costs to prizes and awards to grants and scholarships. Users are given extensive information about the funding institutions and their programmes. They can also download calls for applications, factsheets and forms directly from the site. In addition to a short summary, the information on each funding opportunity includes the addresses, names of the contact persons, application deadlines and amount of funding available. This provides users with a quick and convenient overview of relevant funding opportunities, thus enabling them to prepare their application in a short period of time and to tailor it to the relevant programme. Users can also set up a customised search profile so that their search requests target their individual interests and find results quicker.

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.

Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin: General information on funding for doctoral studies

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.

Euraxess Germany
The portal contains information on job and funding opportunities.

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.

Research in Germany: Funding programs for doctoral students
A selection of funding programs for international doctoral candidates (various funding agencies)

Scholarship opportunities for students from Israel
Minerva Foundation (
Besser-Stiftung (

Minerva Stiftung: Travel and research grants
Minerva Short-Term Research Grants are available for all subject areas and are open to applicants from all research facilities (in Israel - public or governmental research institutes) and universities in Germany and Israel. Applicants should not be older than 38 years. Further information is available here.

Boehringer Ingelheim Fonds (BIF): Travel grants
Link to website
For junior researchers pursuing experimental projects in basic biomedical research. For further requirements, please refer to "Who can apply?"
Purpose: (1) to learn clearly-defined methods useful for your ongoing research and the work of your research group at home by visiting another laboratory, or by attending research-orientated courses including practical training (the practical part has to cover at least 50% of the course); (2) to enable graduates from abroad and their potential PhD supervisors to evaluate the scientific and personal prerequisites before embarking on a PhD thesis. To this end, the graduate student shall pursue a short project in his/her potential PhD supervisor’s laboratory for at least 4 weeks.

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

Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin: Promotionsförderung
(general information on scholarship opportunities)

Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin: Stellenausschreibungen
(jobs for young researchers at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin)

Stipendiendatenbank des Bundesministeriums für Bildung und Wissenschaft
(scholarship database offered by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research)
Suchdienst für Stipendien in deutschsprachigen und skandinavischen Ländern (meta search engine with a search screen for scholarships in German-speaking and Skandinavian countries)

Informationen zu diversen Stipendienanbietern und Bewerbungsvoraussetzungen (Information on various scholarships and application requirements)

Labyrinth der Links
(some evaluative commentaries on different foundations, in English and German)
Gemeinnützige Initiative zweier Doktoranden für transparente Studienförderung (very detailed scholarship database)


This page last updated on: 12 January 2024