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International PhD Fellowships in Biomedicine, Germany

The Boehringer Ingelheim Fonds (BIF) is offering international PhD fellowships in Biomedicine. These fellowships are offered to European citizens working in Europe or overseas, and to non-European citizens pursuing their PhD project in Europe.

The aim of the fellowship is to promote basic research in biomedicine by providing the best young, up-and-coming scientists with comprehensive support during their PhD phase.



  • Award
  • Application Process
  • Clarity of Information


A great offer for European citizens to take part in a PhD program in Germany.

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The Boehringer Ingelheim Fonds (BIF) is a public foundation – an independent, non-profit organization for the exclusive and direct promotion of basic research in biomedicine.

Students need to demonstrate that they have a good level of written and spoken English.


  • Application Deadline: October 1, 2019 (1 February, 1 June, 1 October of each year)
  • Course Level: Fellowships are available for pursuing PhD programme.
  • Study Subject: Fellowships are awarded in the field of Biomedicine.
  • Award: The basic monthly stipend amounts to 1,550 euros. In most countries, fellows are paid an additional flat rate of 150 euros per month to cover minor research-related costs (books, travel expenses, etc.). To adjust e.g. for differences in living costs, country-related premiums of up to 1,700 euros may be added (in the United Kingdom and Sweden currently 700 euros, in the USA and Denmark 800 euros, in Australia, Israel, and Canada 500 euros, in Switzerland 1,700 euros, in Ireland 600 euros, and in Austria, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, and Spain 200 euros). Depending on the cost of living, all other countries are grouped into one of these categories. For example, an unmarried fellow working in Germany currently receives 1,900 euros, in the USA 2,500 euros, in the United Kingdom 2,400 euros, and in Switzerland 3,400 euros.Furthermore, a spouse allowance of 200 euros, a child allowance of 200 euros per child and/or childcare allowance of up to 500 euros may be added depending on the personal situation.
  • Number of Awards: Not Known
  • Nationality: Fellowship is awarded to European citizens working in Europe or overseas, and to non-European citizens
  • The award can be taken in Germany


  • Eligible Countries: Fellowship is awarded to European citizens working in Europe or overseas, and to non-European citizens pursuing their PhD project in Europe.
  • Entrance Requirements: 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. At the respective deadline (1 February, 1 June, 1 October) the university entrance qualification (see also documents required for your application) must not have been achieved more than 8 years ago.
  • 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 degree (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. BIF encourages applicants to apply for a fellowship when they are about to begin their PhD work; preliminary project results are not expected from applicants. The beginning of the PhD project is considered by BIF to be:
    • the date of the final degree examination (e.g. BSc, MSc, Diploma, 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, irrespective of the project he/she starts to work on.

    In other cases, i.e. when participating in MSc/PhD programmes or graduate schools without an official final examination prior to the PhD project

    If a laboratory presents 2 candidates for a PhD fellowship at the same application deadline, only one of them can receive a fellowship. This is why we would highly recommend that candidates from the same laboratory apply at different deadlines.

  • English Language Requirements: Students need to demonstrate that they have a good level of written and spoken English.

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Application Procedure:

How to Apply: The application for a PhD fellowship of the Boehringer Ingelheim Fonds consists of two parts:

  1. the online application via the online application portal and
  2. two paper copies of the application including one CD to be sent by regular mail to: Boehringer Ingelheim Fonds, Schusterstr. 46-48, 55116 Mainz, Germany

Both must be submitted by one of the respective deadlines of each year (date as per postmark for the paper version): 1 February, 1 June, 1 October

The entire application – including the project proposal – must be written in English and by the applicants themselves. However, we recommend consultation with the scientific supervisor. The form of the presentation should be adequate but simple; please do not staple, tack or bind documents.

The two paper copies should contain all the data and documents listed under (1) – (9). The CD should be clearly labelled with applicant’s first name, family name and email address and contain documents (1) – (7), preferably in one PDF file.

Applicants can facilitate the selection process by adhering to the following sequence:

1. to 5. two-sided printouts, if possible;

  1. title and summary of PhD project (max. 1,400 characters including blanks);
  2. detailed presentation of PhD project (please also refer to “How to write a research proposal“): formulation of the problem, current status of research, applicant’s own groundwork, objectives, experimental strategy including methods of investigation (at least 4-5 pages for strategy and methods), references (including all authors and full titles of the papers cited), work schedule showing the anticipated duration of the entire project and the individual steps;
  3. reasons for wishing to work with a particular group;
  4. summary of final experimental thesis (e.g. bachelor, diploma or master thesis) before embarking on the PhD project; if no final experimental thesis was performed please give the reason(s) in the “additional information” field in the online application;
  5. list of applicant’s publications (if applicable);
  6. certificates of all academic qualifications (including grades) and certificates of professional education prior to university (if applicable); in chronological order, the newest on top; photocopies suffice;
  7. photocopies of high school diploma/secondary school leaving certificate (e.g. Abitur, Baccalaureate, A-Levels) and, where applicable, university entrance test (e.g. SAT/ACT, PAU, YGS/LYS, Joint Entrance Examination etc.);
  8. letter of recommendation from the supervisor of the PhD thesis;
  9. letter of recommendation from the supervisor of the diploma or equivalent thesis (only if changing research group for the PhD project); if no final experimental thesis was performed, letter of recommendation from the supervisor of the most important laboratory internship; letters of recommendation (on official letterhead and signed) have to be written in English and should be sent in a sealed envelope together with the application. In exceptional cases, the supervisors may send their letters of recommendation as a PDF attachment, clearly indicating the applicant’s family name and first name.

Application Form

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