Funding Opportunities

Open calls

The Institute for Geoinformatics has no resources on its own for funding PhD students. Occacionally, the Institute for Geoinformatics might have open calls for PhD funding from other sources. If so, a call will be published at the website of the Graduate School for Geoinformatics.

ifgi PhD scholarship

For winter semester 2017/18, ifgi offers one PhD scholarship for the following topic:

Improving movement simulation of large masses of people
Main supervisor: Jun.-Prof. Dr. Judith Verstegen

Society demands an efficient and safe flow of large masses of people in many different settings, such as in traffic, at sports events, at festivals and in shopping malls. Flow efficiency and safety are influenced by the local interactions and feedbacks between the individuals in these masses and their environment, which consists of the physical space as well as of other individuals. Agent-based models are used to better understand these local interactions and the resulting collective effects on the movement of the mass. The challenges for agent-based models are to reach a sufficient degree of realism in real-world settings and to quantify the predictive value of the model results in these settings.

This project focuses on improving the value of agent-based models of the movement of masses of people with data from state-of-the-art geo-information technologies. Model structure can be enhanced, for example by implementing the response of agents to spatio-temporal information from dynamic signs and smart phone push-messages. Furthermore, model parametrization can be improved, through model calibration with e.g. image data from drones, aerial photos or cameras. The final model will be used to assess different management strategies to optimize flow efficiency and safety of masses in distinct case studies. We seek an outstanding PhD candidate to work on a self-selected topic within this research area to start in October 2017.

Essential criteria for applications:

  • MSc degree in geoinformatics, computer science, geography or a discipline related to a particular setting with masses of people (e.g. transport and logistics)
  • experience in performing spatial analyses
  • interest in agent-based modelling
  • competency in formulating and solving research problems
  • fluency in spoken and written English
  • as for further formal requirement, see application platform.

Desirable criteria for applications:

  • good abstract reasoning skills
  • experience in programming/scripting
  • excellent communication skills
  • experience in working in an interdisciplinary team

Stipend and Duration
The salary is a stipend of 1468 euro/month. Furthermore, the semester fees will be covered. For international applicants, we can also cover one flight ticket to Germany. The intended duration of the position is 36 months. The initial scholarship contract is for 14 months. The contract will be extended to the full 36 months in case of a positive evaluation of achieved milestones so far, i.e., the successful defence of an updated dissertation proposal in month 12.


Occasionally (not often), the Institute for Geoinformatics might have open positions in ongoing research projects. If so, they are announced at the respective website of the University of Münster.

Dual Track Ph.D. at the Graduate School for Geoinformatics and con terra

con terra GmbH is a company specializing in GIS technology with a focus on providing related services. To provide innovative solutions to its customers, con terra relies on maturing latest research.

con terra offers funding for a dual track Ph.D. in cooperation with the Graduate School for Geoinformatics (GSGI). While the Graduate School offers an excellent environment for a structured Ph.D. during its program, con terra offers the possibility to connect research topics to the business processes of public organizations and private companies.

The basis for a candidate's dissertation is one concrete research topic that intertwines with the work at con terra. con terra offers the possibility to deploy and evaluate the research in actual use-cases. Candidates benefit from this constant feedback loop for their dissertations. The obtained results will improve established solutions to provide the next generation of Geo-IT. In this setup, candidates qualify themselves scientifically and professionally.

The basis for a dual-track Ph.D. is the successful application at the GSGI. con terra offers funding for such a dual-track position to interested candidates that the GSGI has accepted. Research topics for applying to the GSGI have to be coordinated with the GSGI and con terra.

Dual track candidates are employed at con terra: They work on projects that are closely related to their research and spend a dedicated quota of their time researching the topic at hand. The three-year schedule for the position corresponds to the schedule of the GSGI. After the successful completion of the program con terra guarantees further employment.

con terra GmbH

con terra stands for forward-looking Geo-IT solutions and innovative products. We create competitive advantages for our customers in both the private sector and public agencies and achieve sustainable added value. We do this by systematically integrating spatial referencing in business processes. Long-term experience, excellent industry know-how, and great innovative strength along with our close cooperations with leading software manufacturers are what drive our success.

As a member company of the Esri Deutschland Group, our activities are based on the ArcGIS system, to which we systematically add further products and technologies as and when appropriate. Our specialist focus is on such markets as insurance, nature/environment/resources, telecommunications, e-government and real estate, and themes such as spatial data infrastructures, and the modeling and transformation of spatial data.

For further information please visit and contact or the coordinator of the GSGI.

Individual scholarships

Interested PhD students are encouraged to apply for individual scholarships at national and international funding organizations, e.g., DAAD, EU, national funding organizations, etc. In this case, a pre-application to the targeted supervisor is required.

Do not hesitate to apply for scholarships and external funding. Some of the organisations do not have enough qualified applicants - it is probable to be successful.

Examples of further funding opportunities for individual scholarships are:

Several websites provide information about organizations and institutions that promote grants and scholarships in higher education:

Do not forget to do your annual tax declaration - even if you'll stay in Germany for less than one year. Many of the expenses regarding your PhD activities lower your individual tax due - so get your money back at the end of the year!