State Graduate Funding Program scholarships (HmbNFG)
Universität Hamburg awards scholarships of €1,200 per month twice a year to (prospective) doctoral candidates being supervised at Universität Hamburg.
Would you like to apply for doctoral funding?
We can gladly assist.
Due to fiscal constraints, UHH is unable to award new scholarships at the moment.
For scholarship holders already receiving funding according to the HmbNFG who apply for the second funding year (extension scholarship) and third funding year ( completion scholarship following the basic scholarship), the regular submission deadlines for follow-up applications apply.
Apply in April for funding from September/October of the same year and in October for funding starting in March/April of the following year.
Who is eligible?
You must have graduated with above-average grades and intend to pursue doctoral studies at Universität Hamburg.
Pursuant to the Hamburg act for the promotion of young researchers and artists (Hamburgisches Gesetz zur Förderung des wissenschaftlichen und künstlerischen Nachwuchses, HmbNFG), the scholarships are open to all disciplines except medicine. PhD-students at the UKE, may only apply for funding if they are enrolled in the non-medical PhD-programm and if their doctoral project focuses on a non-medical area, for example, pharmacy, medical psychology, physics, or biology.
To apply for a basic scholarship, you must have graduated within the past year. The chances of being awarded funding are considerably lower if you graduated more than one year ago. In special cases (for family or health-related reasons), funding may be awarded up to a maximum of three years after graduation. Please provide appropriate proof to justify the delay.
Completion scholarships (alternative) are only available if you have received the basic scholarship in accordance with the HmbNFG before OR if you have been employed at the University or another institution in Hamburg as a research associate for no more than four years after graduating.
The funding should follow on immediately from this and will be granted for up to one year. In special cases (family-related reasons), the period of four years can be extended by a maximum of three additional years.
If successful, you may be able (or required) to become a member of your faculty’s Graduate School. For more information, please see the doctoral degree regulations for your faculty.
Exclusion from funding
Funding cannot be granted if the applicant
- already holds a doctorate;
- receives or received funding for the same project from a public or private institution; and/or
- is still enrolled in training (e.g., student teacher or trainee lawyer).
You must have graduated no more than one year before the start of the funding period.
Funding amount and duration
The scholarship is for €1,200 per month. Upon provision of proof, applicants with children may be eligible for a supplementary child allowance of €154.
Scholarships are granted for one year. Basic scholarships can be extended for an additional year. Completion scholarships cannot be extended.
The scholarship holder’s income in the sense of the German income tax law will be offset against the scholarship if the taxable annual income after income tax deduction exceeds €7,669 (unmarried) or €12,271 (married). These amounts increase by €1,023 per year for every dependent child. This calculation is based on the total income in the sense of Section 2 subsections 1 and 2 of the German income tax act, (Einkommensteuergesetz, EStG) (cf. Section 5 of the regulations for the implementation of the Hamburg act for the promotion of young researchers and artists (Verordnung zur Durchführung des Hamburgischen Gesetzes zur Förderung des wissenschaftlichen und künstlerischen Nachwuchses, HmbNFVO)).
If your spouse is in full-time employment, the combined family income will usually be too high for you to be eligible for a scholarship if you have opted for a joint tax assessment.
How to apply
Please use the application in the “Downloads” section below to apply and take note of the above information on the application procedure.
Applications are accepted in April and October every year—be sure to check the exact dates well in advance! You must have completed all examinations at least one working day before the award meeting of the Central Committee for Promoting Doctoral and Early Career Researchers (ZANF) and have submitted all of your grades for these.The ZANF normally convenes in January and June/July every year (check the exact dates!).
Applicants are responsible for the complete and timely submission of their application. Late applications will not be accepted. The email submission date applies. There is a one-week extended deadline for submitting expert reports and academic transcripts—please check the exact dates!
Please submit your application to:
Applications for funding will be reviewed by the departmental committees responsible for supporting young researchers. Each committee provides an assessment of the individual applicants and their projects in a priority list. The ZANF then makes the final decision on who will be awarded funding.
Chances of success
We receive an average of sixty applications and award around fifteen scholarships twice a year. About thirty funding extensions are also approved.
Extension requests are subject to the deadlines set in the call for applications. These are generally in April and October.
Extension requests must include a project report and two assessments.
Notification of Secondary Employment
A total of four hours per week of secondary employment are permitted during the funding period. You must inform Universität Hamburg of any additional secondary employment. Income from this work will not be offset against the scholarship.
Material costs and travel expenses
Material costs and travel expenses of up to €1,023 per funding period can be reimbursed, depending on budget availability. Book expenses will not be reimbursed. Travel expenses will be reimbursed to the lowest level of the Hamburg travel expenses act (Hamburgisches Reisekostengesetz, HmbRKG). For trips abroad lasting between thirty days and twelve months, you may apply to the DAAD for a supplementary grant.
Please note that you must apply for the supplementary grant at least four weeks before your trip or any material costs are incurred.
You may apply for the reimbursement of material costs and travel expenses at any time. Reimbursements are subject to approval and submission of the original receipts. In urgent exceptional cases, advance payments may be possible.
DAAD supplementary grants for trips abroad
Graduates and postdocs with German citizenship may apply for supplementary DAAD funding for research projects abroad. Funding can be granted for a maximum of twelve months abroad as part of the State Graduate Funding Program. For more information, please see:
- Merkblatt zur Förderung längerer Auslandsaufenthalte (Information sheet on funding longer trips abroad) (PDF)
- Language Certificate for German Applicants (PDF)
- Informationen zur Förderung durch den DAAD (Information on DAAD funding for State Graduate Funding Program scholarship holders)
Please contact us if you wish to apply for DAAD funding.
Career development for young researchers
The career development offers are open to all young researchers at Universität Hamburg. These include all doctoral students, postdocs, individuals working on their Habilitation (postdoctoral qualification), junior professors, and junior research group leaders currently in the qualification phase.
Humanities scholarship holders have the opportunity to become members of the Graduate School. For more information, please contact the Faculty of Humanities.