Research Careers: PhD

The DFG funds doctoral researchers on positions in Research Training Groups and research projects. The announcement and selection of candidates is organised in the individual Research Training Groups and projects. This means that you apply directly to the person in charge of the Research Training Group or project in question. Only individuals who have completed their doctoral studies are entitled to apply to the DFG.

If you would like to complete a doctorate in a first-class research environment, the following DFG-funded options may be of interest to you:

In a Research Training Group (RTG), you form part of a group of doctoral researchers and researchers who collectively research a topic area. The often interdisciplinary main subject of a Research Training Group fits the profile of the university and the core research areas of the researchers who supervise doctorates. Research Training Groups offer you the opportunity to continue your first-rate professional and interdisciplinary training, acquire additional key skills for your future career, make valuable contacts and complete your doctorate in a timely manner. more

International Research Training Groups (IRTGs) are a special variation of Research Training Groups. Besides the features of Research Training Groups, they offer you the opportunity to engage in intensive dialogue with doctoral researchers as well as researchers from an international partner institution. In the course of your doctorate, you will conduct a research visit of around six months in duration at a university abroad. more

Some Collaborative Research Centres, together with integrated Research Training Groups (RTGs), offer structured doctoral funding in a research-intensive environment in a large, interdisciplinary research group. more

As a research assistant, you undertake a doctorate in a research project which has been proposed in advance to the DFG and assessed as first-class during the review process. You are closely involved in the implementation of the project and can use the entire project infrastructure.

Further Information

Those interested in doctoral research and doctoral researchers in Research Training Groups may find helpful answers in the FAQ section for Research Training Groups:

The following websites may be of use when looking for a position or suitable institution:


If you have any questions on the DFG‘s research career support, please send us an e-mail:

Mailbox Consultation on Research Careers