PhD Scholarships

Feldarbeit © Jasmin Mantilla
No matter if your dissertation work takes place in the field...
Laborarbeit © Westfälische Hochschule/ Michael Völkel
...or in the laboratory...
Schreibtischarbeit © DBU
...or if you perform a desktop study...
Seminare © DBU interdisciplinary workshops all PhD students meet and exchange their ideas and results!
Multi-stage selection procedure to obtain a DBU-fellowship.

Please note: The complete application documents must be prepared in German. We expect good German language skills from all applicants.

This English version is just for information purpose. In case of doubt, the German version is the binding one.


Our aims

  • scientific advancement and innovative solutions for environmental issues
  • support of highly motivated PhD students who complete their thesis within three years
  • qualification of young scientists with high environmental competences
  • networking between environmental experts of all disciplines


What we expect from you

  • you aim at innovative and sustainable solutions for current environmental issues within your PhD thesis
  • above-average university degree
  • all disciplines are eligible
  • your PhD project covers current environmental topics in Germany or global issues with relevance for Germany
  • sufficient skills of German; application and interview are in German; your PhD thesis has to be undertaken at a German university
  • you have not started your PhD thesis yet; if you have been working scientifically on your topic since more than one year after obtaining your university degree, we consider that you have started your PhD thesis
  • please check our guidelines in German for further information: Förderleitlinien


What we do for you


  • up to 60 PhD scholars are funded per year; you can check our database for project examples
  • funding period: 36 months
  • monthly grant: 1.500 €
  • monthly material expenses: 210€
  • further material expenses if applicable
  • support for scholars with children if applicable


  • mentoring by DBU staff
  • one week seminar per year for presenting your results, excursions and interdisciplinary networking
  • support to organize own scientific workshops
  • invitation to events of the DBU
  • networking between scholars and alumni via the web-based platform Stipnet


Application procedure (only in German)

First of all, please check the requirements detailed in our guidelines in German: Förderleitlinien. You can save a lot of time and work!

  1. register online
  2. complete all required fields and upload all needed documents including a detailed description of your intended research work in German (check our Förderleitlinien for the outline)
  3. submit until 15th of January / 15th of June respectively


Further information/ requirements

  • Complexity of environmental problems requires interdisciplinary collaboration between different scientific disciplines. Therefore, DBU would like to support young researchers working in various fields. Thus, all disciplines working on environmental issues are welcome; i.e. in addition to natural sciences and engineering, also social sciences, humanities, economics and law. Interdisciplinary topics are especially welcome.
  • Promising applicants have an above-average degree and are highly motivated to contribute to solving current environmental problems in a goal-oriented manner and to promote sustainable development.
  • The complete application documents must be prepared in German. We expect good skills of German from foreign applicants to allow their integration into the DBU scholar network.
  • Stays abroad are possible during the scholarship. The research work, however, has to be performed mainly in Germany, with a clear reference to the German environmental situation.
  • Incomplete and late applications (received after the deadline) cannot be considered.
  • Not more than one application per selection round is accepted per workgroup and/or scientific supervisor.
  • The PhD program supports single persons and not institutions.
  • It is not possible to focus several applications onto the same topic without the consent of DBU.
  • A selection committee, composed of professors of different disciplines, decides on successful candidates twice a year. The refusal of an application excludes from further attempts.

Fellowship database

For more than 25 years, the fellowship programmes of the DBU have supported interesting fellowships in all disciplines with a strong focus on environmental protection and nature conservation. Our database lists all funded fellowships. You can use the search function to search the database for topics, institutions, persons etc.

Exemplary projects

You can find selected fellowship projects here.

Informationsmaterial zu den Promotions-Stipendien
Logo DBU Fellowship-Programm
206.21 kB - Aktualisiert/Update: 12.07.2021 16:53:45
Die Promotions-Stipendien in der Zeitschrift BIOspektrum
Online-Netzwerk für Stipendiatinnen und Stipendiaten
Startseite Kommunikationsplattform
Kommunikationsplattform Stipnet