Funding

This website provides you with information on living expenses and study fees, as well as information on different ways of funding your doctoral degree at Trier University.

Living expenses and study fees

Living expenses

Doctoral students need a minimum 850€ per month to cover the following living expenses in Trier:

  • Rent for your apartment: approx. 350€
  • Health insurance: approx. 160€
  • Food: approx. 200€
  • Study material: approx. 50€
  • Miscellaneous (clothing, leisure, etc.): approx 90€

Important note:

Please note that international Ph.D students need to ensure that they have sufficient funding prior to their arrival in Germany. When applying for a visa or for a residence permit in Trier, you will be required to prove that you have sufficient financial resources to cover your stay in Germany. If you cannot provide evidence of sufficient funding, you will not be issued a residence permit for your stay in Germany.

Study fees

German universities do not charge tution fees for doctoral studies. If you wish to enrol as a doctoral student at Trier University, however, you will be charged a financial contribution of approximately 270 Euros per semester for a student ID. The student ID provides access to university’s facilities, such as the library, computers and internet. It also functions as a ticket for the city busses and some of the local train lines.

 

Funding options

Doctoral students do not automatically receive financial aids from German Universities. As a consequence, every student has to individually find a way of financing their studies. Some Ph.D students work at the university or local companies, some are granted scholarships, and some are supported by their families. In any case, funding needs to be ensured for the entire study period before coming to Germany.

Scholarships

Many international Ph.D students fund their studies with scholarships. If you consider applying for a scholarship, please be aware of the early application deadlines and the different periods of support of each scholarship. We recommend that you start organising your scholarship application at least one year in advance.

Most international Ph.D students apply for scholarships provided by the DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service) before starting their PhD studies in Germany. The website of the DAAD provides a comprehensive scholarship database where you can search for suitable scholarships. Please note that applications need to made from your home country in advance of your studies. International Ph.D students who are already based in Germany may not be eligible to apply.

Ph.D students who are already enrolled at a German University may also apply for doctoral scholarships from a German scholarship foundation. Most of these foundations require fluent German skills and the application process may take up to 1.5 years. As a consequence, you will need to ensure other funding for the period between your application and the eventual start of the scholarship. Our scholarship flyer provides an overview of German scholarship foundations and the language skills they require. The scholarship office of Trier University also provides a range of information on different scholarship options. Furthermore, the Federal Ministry of Education and Research provides a database for doctoral scholarships.

Trier University itself does not grant scholarships to fund entire PhD studies. However, the University offers support for international Ph.D students who wish to gain teaching experience or need assistance in the writing process of their thesis. At irregular intervals, the university also grants short term scholarships for doctoral students who are in the initial or final stage of their doctoral degree. (Note that this support is not suitable for funding the whole doctoral degree).

Employment at Trier University

International Ph.D students can be employed at Trier University as scientific employees in the department of their studies or in one of the research centers or groups. It is possible to directly apply for a free position listed on the University's website. However, it is more common to first get in contact with the professor of the chair or the management staff of the research group.
 
University employees are payed on the basis of the TV-L wages grading system.

Employment at a local company

Doctoral candidates can also fund their studies with a part time job in local companies.

The Career Service of Trier University and the Agentur für Arbeit in Trier offer support in finding a job.

Furthermore, you can check free positions in various online databases, including

Social security and health insurance

Please be aware that the way you finance your studies influences your insurance status: If you are receiving a scholarship, you usually do not have social security and you need to buy health insurance yourself. If you are employed by Trier University or an outside institution, you will receive an employment contract and social security (including health insurance) payments are made automatically. More information on social security and health care can be found here.