Financial Support

How do I obtain financial support?

To pursue a doctoral project demands strong financial inputs – both for yourself (your living costs in Münster will be around 1,000 Euro per month) and for your lab (costs for consumables are around 1,000 Euro per months, plus overhead costs for administration and maintenance of ca. 20% each or another 400 Euro per month). However, if accepted as a doctoral researcher by our Faculty, the overhead costs are being waived by the University (i.e. equivalent to an annual subsidy of around 5,000 Euro), and there are no fees (except for ca. 140 Euro per semester for the student union, half of which goes to pay for a free ticket for local buses and regional trains). However, neither the Faculty of Biology nor Münster University have funds to support you through a personal fellowship for your living costs – except for some graduate programs.

One way of financing your doctoral project is to apply for a doctoral position in conjunction with a research project your potential supervisor may have successfully acquired from a research agency (such as the German Research Council “Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft DFG”). But such positions are rare, and you may increase your chances of being accepted as a doctorate candidate significantly if you bring your own fellowship which you have secured yourself from one of the national or international fellowship agencies. A list of potential funding agencies may be found here, but you should also enquire about funding opportunities from your own home country.

If you want to apply for a doctorate fellowship, you will typically have to work out a detailed research proposal in collaboration with your future supervisor. Therefore, the first step will need to be to identify a suitable supervisor from the list of our research group leaders. You will then have to very carefully think about how to convince her or him to accept you (and not anyone else) as a potential future doctorate candidate, i.a. by convincingly demonstrate why you want to pursue your doctoral project under her or his (and not anyone else’s) supervision.