Our PhD fellowships offer

A Boehringer Ingelheim Fonds (BIF) PhD fellowship offers a competitive monthly stipend. It is initially granted for two years and may be extended once for up to one year.

In addition, you receive travel allowances, e.g. for scientific conferences, and participate in tailor-made seminars for BIF fellows and alumni. 

As a BIF fellow, you also become part of a lively and worldwide network built on trust, helpfulness, and many personal encounters. No matter which challenges lie ahead, you will find an open ear and individual advice from like-minded peers or the BIF's staff.

The monthly payment

Your monthly stipend may come with a country-dependent premium. The final sum usually also includes a fixed monthly amount to cover minor project-related costs. Together, they add up to, e.g. 2,000 euros in Germany and Spain, 2,450 euros in Austria, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom, 2,975 euros in the USA, and 3,400 euros in Switzerland. The stipends are usually tax-free.

We advise applicants wishing to work in countries where stipends are subject to strict legal or tax regulations, e.g. Austria, Denmark, Norway, and Switzerland, to refer to our PhD fellowship conditions.

Depending on your personal situation, you may receive additional monthly benefits, e.g. a child care allowance of up to 500 euros and/or a spouse allowance of 200 euros. For further details, please refer to our PhD fellowship conditions.

Travel allowances

In addition to the monthly stipend, you can receive funds to:

  • Present your data at international scientific conferences
  • Participate in methods courses useful for your PhD project
  • Perform research in cooperating laboratories.

We are there for you

At the BIF, we put people first. We meet our fellows face-to-face whenever possible. This enables us to support you individually. Whether you have questions concerning career choices, face hurdles during your PhD, or need advice on other topics, we will listen to you and offer our expertise. We operate as flexibly and unbureaucratically as possible, so that you can concentrate on your PhD.

Our seminars

You will profit from tailor-made BIF seminars during and after your fellowship – for scientific exchange, communication training, and networking. We are present at all seminars and encourage an open, friendly, and constructive atmosphere. At our seminars, fellows and alumni have started scientific cooperations, discussed career options, and forged lifelong friendships.

Seminars, meetings, and events

We believe that inviting current fellows to present and discuss their research projects in person is much more conducive to research and personal development than written interim reports. If you work in Europe, you will be invited to our yearly progress seminar for current fellows in Hirschegg, Austria (yes, there is also some hiking). If you work in North America, you will be invited to our biannual North America meetings in Woods Hole near Boston, USA.

Presenting yourself and your results well can make the difference. We invite current fellows to a five-day intensive communication seminar at which experts teach them writing, rhetorical, and graphic design skills. Fellows are expected to participate once. Depending on your location, you will receive your training in the USA or in Germany.

Re-connect with other fellows, meet new people, learn about exciting new research and career options, and explore diverse topics, with titles like "Perception of reality", "Bodies of the future", or "Genetically modified organisms: hype, hope, hubris?". We invite all alumni working in Europe to our yearly meeting at Collegium Glashütten, near Frankfurt, Germany (formerly held at Gracht Castle).

Our meeting in the USA brings together alumni and current fellows working in North America to present and discuss their research. The programme is complemented by talks, e.g. on career opportunities, and leaves enough room for participants to get to know each other and to explore possible cooperation. This meeting takes place every two years at the Marine Biology Laboratory (MBL) in Woods Hole near Boston, USA.

In a separate programme, the BIF organizes two International Titisee Conferences (ITCs) each year for internationally leading scientists. The BIF's Board of Trustees selects the ITC chairpersons who, in turn, select all speakers and other participants. Participation in these highly acclaimed conferences is, therefore, by invitation only. However, a few current BIF fellows whose projects are within the scope of a conference's topic may attend.

Several times a year, we organize informal BIF meetings and – if our travels take us close enough – visit our fellows and alumni in their laboratories. We also hold a yearly Christmas party in the BIF offices in Mainz, Germany, where all BIF fellows and alumni are welcome. Whenever you are in Mainz and would like to visit us at our offices, please let us know ahead of time. We would be happy to see you.

Conditions and extensions

Please carefully read the PhD fellowship conditions and FAQs to learn more about benefits and obligations.

To apply for an extension of your fellowship beyond the initial two years granted, please see our guidelines for PhD fellowship extensions.