Doctoral Scholarships

Both resident as well as foreign doctoral students are eligible to apply for a doctoral scholarship in all disciplines (except for medical degrees).

Eligibility requirements for a doctoral scholarship include outstanding academic performance during undergraduate studies as well as  proof of social engagement in the spirit of the Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung.

Various kinds of scholarships for doctoral students exist which vary in their eligibility requirements. Applicants can only apply for one scholarship at a time!

German doctoral students enrolled in a public or publicly accredited institution of higher education in Germany, the EU or Switzerland are eligible for scholarships. Foreign doctoral students enrolled in a doctoral programme at a public or publicly accredited institution of higher education in Germany are also eligible. Foreign students who plan an extended research stay outside of Germany during their doctoral studies are also eligible for this scholarship.

Doctoral Scholarship

This scholarship is disbursed in line with the regulations established by the Federal Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF). The standard duration of the scholarship lasts two years, but can be extended for an additional semester up to two times in individual cases. Additional domestic or foreign doctoral funding will be subtracted from the duration of the scholarship.

Scholarships exclusively for completing an ongoing dissertation are not awarded. Scholarships cannot be awarded for dissertations being written part-time alongside other employment.

The doctoral scholarship is largely independent of one’s income and consists of 1350€ per month. Additional lump sum payments of 100€ to cover research costs and further health care subsidies are also available. Scholarship holders can also receive funding to cover stays abroad (for research, attending conferences, etc.).

Double funding (such as receiving two publicly funded scholarships simultaneously or receiving unemployment benefits along with the scholarship) is principally excluded.

Foreign doctoral students are only eligible for the research scholarship if they have been accepted to write their dissertation at a German institution of higher learning (Promotionszulassung) or are conducting research in Germany as part of their dissertation.

Research Scholarships for Foreign Doctoral Students

Using means provided by the Federal Foreign Office (Auswärtiges Amt, AA), the Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung grants scholarships to foreigners who come to Germany for their dissertation or in order to conduct research as part of their dissertation.

Eligibility requirements for foreign doctoral students (all requirements must be met):

  • Acceptance at a public or publicly accredited institution of higher learning in Germany or abroad
  • Supervision by a professor in Germany
  • Outstanding academic performance
  • Social engagement in the spirit of the Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung
  • High proficiency in German (proof of instruction required) – we cannot support German language courses!

If the dissertation is being written at a German university (proof of acceptance required), the maximum duration of the scholarship is two years. Further extensions can be applied for – up to two semester-long extensions, with an additional year provided to parents, in cases of illness or other significant impairments.

For applicants who have already received a scholarship from other institutions, an RLS scholarship can only provided if the previous scholarship lasted less than two years. Every previous scholarship is calculated into the overall duration, i.e. subtracted from the maximum scholarship duration of two years.

Generally speaking, no scholarships are provided to finish a nearly-completed dissertation. Scholarships alongside full-time employment are not permitted.

The length of a research stay in Germany as part of a dissertation being completed at a foreign institution (proof of acceptance required) depends on the specifics of the research stay; it can last no longer than two years. Various extensions are possible, as described above.

Private stays in one’s home country or other third countries cannot be funded.

The monthly basic scholarship consists of 1200€, a transportation lump sum of 100€, and a further lump sum of 20€.

Double funding with other public funds is not allowed, multiple scholarships will be calculated together.

Inquiries and Information

Tel.: (030) 44310-223

Office hours for applicants: 

Tuesday: 10 a.m. - 12 p.m.

from 17.3. until 31.3. also Wednesday: 2 p.m. - 4 p.m.

Thursday: 2 p.m. - 4 p.m.