Who Can Apply for a PhD Fellowship?

The Boehringer Ingelheim Fonds (BIF) awards PhD fellowships to European citizens working in Europe or overseas, and to non-European citizens pursuing their PhD project in Europe. Applicants should not be older than 27 years at the respective deadline (1 February, 1 June, 1 October).

The PhD project must be experimental, in the field of basic biomedical research and aimed at elucidating basic biological phenomena of human life and acquiring new scientific knowledge. For a survey on the range of topics, please refer to the results of finished projects in FUTURA, the international journal of the foundation. Natural scientists should have been awarded their ultimate university degee (diploma, MSc, BSc, or equivalent). Students who have not yet finished their MSc studies, i.e. who cannot provide their MSc certificate at the deadline, can only apply when they are able to hand in their certificate within 4 months after the deadline. Physicians, veterinary surgeons and pharmacists should have passed their state examinations.

At the deadline, the applicant should not have been working on his/her project for more than 6 months. The beginning of the PhD project is considered by BIF to be:

  • the date of the final examination (e.g. BSc, MSc, Diploma, DEA, Licenciatura, Laurea) on the official certificate if the applicant continues to work in the same research group; or
  • the month of arrival at the laboratory in which the PhD project is pursued if the applicant changes his/her research group.

In other cases, i.e. when participating in MSc/PhD programmes or graduate schools without an official final examination prior to the PhD project, please contact us. The foundation gives preference to applicants who are about to begin their PhD work when they apply for the fellowship; preliminary results are not expected.

We do not support

  • applied research, such as biotechnological and pharmaceutical development (e.g. development of assays for diagnostic purposes or drug screening; optimization or screening of substances/compounds for therapeutic use; development of drug delivery systems or vaccines); in case you are not sure if your project fits into the scope of support, please contact us;
  • studies on the course of diseases or the treatment of symptoms;
  • botanical and prokaryotic investigations unless they are of general biological importance;
  • education; we can support only research; fellowships therefore cannot be used during the course and rotation phase of PhD programmes, but only for the duration of the PhD project.

Furthermore, the PhD fellowships cannot be used to supplement inadequate funding from other institutions or earned incomes, to bridge temporary financial difficulties or to complete investigations already sponsored by other institutions.

passion for science