It is important to look for funding options early and to be aware of the requirements and application deadlines. Each option has its own advantages and disadvantages. Weigh carefully which one best fits your needs and goals.

Brett Jordan_Unsplash
TU Ilmenau
Employment at the university

One option for funding is a temporary employment contract with the university. Employment contracts are based on the collective bargaining agreement of the public service and can include 50-100% working hours. They are assigned by the departments according to capacity and are mostly financed by project-related third-party funds, sometimes also by the university's budget.

As a research assistant, you will have a variety of tasks in addition to your own qualification. You support your supervisor in teaching and in the administration of the chair. In the case of third-party funding, you will also be responsible for implementing the research project or at least part of it.

Current announcements of vacant qualification positions can be found here.

External doctorate

Doing a doctorate externally or part-time means that a non-university company finances your position and offers you the opportunity to do a doctorate at the same time. In this case, the employer usually specifies the topic, so the scientific freedom is limited in contrast to a university doctorate. However, it is advantageous that you already acquire practical and professional experience during your doctorate.

This type of funding requires very good time management and organizational skills. Often the doctorate takes longer than with a direct employment at the university.

The TU Ilmenau has numerous support offers for you to maintain your connection to the department and the university. Feel free to contact us for a consultation. Here you can find out about our qualification and career development offers.

Scholarships and funding programs

Scholarships are usually awarded to outstanding graduates and represent a special distinction. With a scholarship, you can usually focus primarily on your doctorate, which can lead to a shorter doctoral period. The amount of the scholarship is determined by the scholarship provider and is usually between 800 and 1,800 euros. Since doctoral scholarships serve to promote research, they are usually tax-exempt. However, please note that you have to pay the contribution for health and nursing care insurance from a scholarship. If at all, secondary employment is is only permissible to a small extent.

The search for a scholarship is recommended via the following databases:


The TU Ilmenau annually awards doctoral scholarships, which are financed by funds from the Free State of Thuringia: