Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Graduiertenzentrum

Scholarships and support


Doctoral Programmes

Support for Families






Scholarship providers in Germany



Scholarships at Humboldt-Universität and in Berlin


Elsa-Neumann-Stipendium supports doctoral candidates of all disciplines in Berlin and offers full-time and part-time scholarships as well as scholarships for the completion of the doctoral project.


Schleiermacher-Programm is targeted at doctoral candidates at Humboldt-Universität working on their thesis independently, outside of a doctoral programme.  

Yousef Jameel Scholarship is targeted at doctoral candidates from Arabic countries.


Caroline von Humboldt Stipendium is targeted specifically at women. It offers scholarships for the completion of the doctoral project, scholarships to support mothers in continuing their doctorate after maternity leave and/or parental leave as well as scholarships for stays abroad.


Humboldt Research Track scholarships are targeted at students who have achieved excellence during their master's and are preparing for their doctoral studies.


Humboldt-Universität offers scholarships for the completion of the thesis specifically for international students who do not have German citizenship and who do not study at Humboldt-Universität as part of an exchange programme.



Humboldt-Universität also offers support after the completion of a doctorate. Please have a look at the Postdoc-Portal.


Doctoral Programmes





Berlin Graduate School Muslim Cultures and Societies

The Graduate School investigates the plurality, changeability, and global connectedness of Muslim cultures and societies. The area of study includes Muslim societies in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia, as well as Muslim communities in Europe and North America. The researchers examine, in a systematic and comparative way, concepts, practices, and institutions variously understood as Islamic. Special attention is given to relations between Muslims and non-Muslims, as well as forms of inter- and intra-cultural communication.

The Berlin Graduate School Muslim Cultures and Societies (BGSMCS) is supported by the Freie Universität Berlin as a host university together with Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin and the Leibniz-Zentrum Moderner Orient (ZMO).


Please find further information on the BGSMCS' website.


Interdisziplinäres Doktoratsnetzwerk historische und ethnographische Forschung im Austausch

Interdisziplinäres Doktoratsnetzwerk historische und ethnographische Forschung im Austausch

2014 wurde das "Interdisziplinäre Doktoratsnetzwerk historische und ethnographische Forschung im Austausch" gegründet. Als Kooperation zwischen historischen und europäisch-ethnologischen bzw. kulturanthropologischen Instituten aus Deutschland (Berlin), Österreich (Wien) und der Schweiz (Zürich) wird im Rotationsprinzip jährlich im Wechsel von der Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, der Universität Zürich und der Universität Wien eine Tagung organisiert und ausgerichtet. Die erste Tagung fand Ende 2014 in Wien statt, die zweite Anfang 2016 in Zürich und die dritte Anfang 2017 in Berlin.

Vorrangiges Ziel des Netzwerks ist es, den interdisziplinären Austausch zwischen historisch und ethnographisch orientiertem Forschen zu fördern. Zugleich sollen damit Konzepte und Methoden der Europäischen Ethnologie/Kultur- und Geschichtswissenschaft geschärft und in ihren fachspezifischen Bezügen und Verankerungen reflektiert werden.


Weitere Informationen finden Sie auf der Webseite vom interdisziplinären Doktorandennetzwerk historische und ethnographische Forschung im Austausch.


Graduate School Global Intellectual History

The Graduate School Global Intellectual History aims to explore intellectual reactions to processes of entanglement from the 18th to 20th century in their social, cultural and political contexts: the trans-border spread of ideas, claims to universal validity, as well as counter-movements and resistance to such claims. A particular, but not exclusive focus is on the role of non-Western actors and ideas.

The Graduate School is funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG) and jointly run by Freie Universität Berlin and Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. It builds on a strong research tradition in area studies and global history at both universities, including the jointly-run MA programme in Global History. It offers a stimulating research environment, substantial financial support for archival stays and a strong network of international partners in the form of the Global History Collaborative.

Please find further information on the website of the Graduate School Global Intellectual History.



Franco-German Doctoral College


The Franco-German Doctoral College "Thinking differences: structure – social order – communication" admits Ph.D. students studying humanities or social sciences, to whom it offers an intercultural, binational and bilingual framework. On a methodological level, the College focuses on comparative approaches and entangled history – crossing a wide range of disciplines in the humanities and social sciences, taking into account their respective academic traditions.

Please find further information on the Franco-German Doctoral College's website.

DFG Research Training Group 2190 “The literary and epistemic history of small forms


Small forms are no newcomers among textual types and genres, but in the effort to cope with and exploit advancing media-technological reticulation and mobility they have acquired new prominence – as well as new urgency for research in the philosophy and history of science. The organisation of cultural memory has become increasingly difficult even as attentional resources are dwindling. The impact of this development on the management of observation, the accumulation of ideas, the dissemination of knowledge, and the guidance and control of learning processes cannot be understood without investigating the routines and practices of representation that differentially format the production and mediation of knowledge. The expansion of the realm of attainable knowledge, as well as the concomitant dispersal of attention and the relentless acceleration of the speed at which new discoveries must be recorded, demand new efficiency and creativity in the use of limited time and space. Outlines, abstracts, notes, protocols, previews, essays, articles etc. have thus become indispensable in the practice of research and education as well as in media and the arts. Thus far, however, the genesis and evolution of these forms, which are integral to the larger success story of prose, have received only selective attention.

This graduate programme will advance the analysis of small forms by exploring their literary and epistemic history in broad historical scope from antiquity to the present. With its systematic focus on literature, science and popular culture, the programme seeks – firstly – to determine what small forms emerge within each domain with its particular writerly and representational procedures, examining how these forms serve to control, reflect, criticize and (media-specifically) channel processes of communication. Secondly, the programme will analyse the development and circulation of small forms through exchange between these fields.


Please find further information on the  “the literary and epistemic history of small forms” website.

Max Planck Research School "Moral Economy of Modern Societies"


The International Max Planck Research School for Moral Economies of Modern Societies offers an international, English-language PhD programme in History, jointly run by the Max Planck Institute for Human Development, Freie Universität Berlin, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, and Technische Universität Berlin.

The PhD programme of the IMPRS Moral Economies supports research projects to investigate the values, emotions, and habits that informed and inspired modern social formations from the eighteenth to the twenty-first century. The relationship between modern history of emotions and the development, consolidation and transformation of morals stands at the centre of the research focus.

The IMPRS Moral Economies aims to create a supportive and intellectually stimulating research environment geared towards the needs of young scholars. Intensive contact with advising professors, close exchange with other doctoral students, and encouragement of independent study are at the core of the PhD programme. The IMPRS Moral Economies offers seminars, workshops, guest lectures and also supports research stays at our partner universities (University of Chicago and University of California, Berkeley).
Events at the IMPRS Moral Economies offer doctoral candidates and other young researchers the opportunity to engage in-depth with contemporary questions relevant to their research interests in an international environment.

Please note: All our PhD positions have now been filled and there will be no further application rounds for new PhD students.


Please find further information on the IMPRS' website.

Logo Mind and Brain

Berlin School of Mind and Brain


Higher cognitive functions – such as decision-making and free will, consciousness and perception, and our human sociality – are among the most distinctive and most complex human abilities, yet they are still comparatively poorly understood. Even if neuroscientific studies have made significant contributions to our understanding of the relevant neural mechanisms, it seems obvious that any serious investigation of these abilities requires insight from numerous other disciplines. Interdisciplinary cooperation, in turn, can be successful only if the cooperating scientists are not only experts in their own field of research but also have sufficient interdisciplinary training. This need is exactly where the graduate programme of the Berlin School of Mind and Brain and its academic aims come in. Connecting cutting-edge research and excellent training at the interface between mind sciences and brain sciences is our primary aim.

Since 2007, the three-year doctoral programme of the Berlin School of Mind and Brain has been preparing junior scientists for this challenging interdisciplinary work and has received national and internal recognition for its achievements.

You can find further information on the website of the Berlin School of Mind and Brain.

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Berlin Graduate School of Ancient Studies

Berlin Graduate School of Ancient Studies (BerGSAS) of the Berlin Antike-Kolleg offers five interdisciplinary doctoral study programmes. All programmes transmit fundamental theoretical and methodological skills and involve students in research projects from the very beginning. The archaeological focus entails close connections with the natural sciences, in particular with a wide range of geo-scientific expertise in the areas of prospection and environmental reconstruction.

The graduate school encompasses the disciplines of Ancient History, European Legal History, Religious Studies, Roman Law; Ancient Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, Archaeobiology, Meteorology, Near Eastern Archaeology, Physical Geography, and Prehistoric Archaeology; History of Science, History of Technology, Philosophy/Medieval Philosophy; Art History, Classical Archaeology, Precolumbian Studies and Museum Research.

Please find further information on the website of the Berlin Graduate School of Ancient Studies.

Logo Religion Wissen Diskurse

“Religion – Knowledge – Discourse” doctoral degree programme


The Structured Doctoral Programme “Religion – Knowledge – Discourse” at Humboldt Universität zu Berlin has been established as part of a new initiative for German universities which encourages and rewards academic excellence. Five institutes across three faculties have come together to offer an inter and transdisciplinary structured doctoral programme for outstanding PhD candidates.


Please find further informationen on the “Religion – Knowledge – Discourse” website.




In the future, 9 billion people will need to find new paths toward a sustainable global future. A comprehensive transformation is required to address impacts of global climate and land-use change, a dramatic loss in biodiversity, and increasing inequality of distribution; how we will achieve this transformation is not yet clear. The core aims of IRI THESys are therefore a better understanding of these phenomena from a multi-disciplinary perspective uniting the natural sciences, social sciences and humanities, and the embedding of interdisciplinary findings in discourses about the future viability of life on Earth.

The IRI THESys combines quantitative and qualitative research methods and empirical and normative research approaches to better understand complex human-environment systems. It provides a platform for cooperation between scientists from various disciplines and departments of Humboldt-Universität and regional, national and international partner institutions, who collaborate to solve interdisciplinary research questions related to land- and resource-use, urbanization in the 21st century, climate change impacts and intra- and intergenerational environmental justice.


The THESys Graduate Programme is a core activity of IRI THESys and it promotes doctoral research in several ways. Through a strong regional and international network the doctoral researchers from all involved HU institutes and partners are offered a unique environment for performing doctoral research with disciplinary strength and interdisciplinary embedment. These goals are ensured through a well-thought-out supervision and training strategy, through a set of mandatory and optional courses targeting both specialisation and interdisciplinarity, and through funded measures to create their own international networks.

You can find further information on the website of IRI THESys.

LOGO British Studies

Berlin Graduate School of British Studies


The Berlin Graduate School of British Studies is located at the Centre for British Studies, an interdisciplinary teaching and research institution within Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. It seeks to bring together researchers with an excellent degree in a subject which is related to British Studies (history, art history, law, political science, sociology, economics, ethnology and/or anthropology, literature and culture) and who want to write an original interdisciplinary PhD thesis with a focus on the UK – preferably from a comparative or cultural exchange-studies perspective. Excellent knowledge of spoken and written English is essential.

The graduate school’s focus lies methodologically on interdisciplinarity and by way of a common research object on the UK. The aim of the graduate school is to familiarise scholars with basic methods and research techniques of different disciplines which are typically used for dissertation projects, but which the researchers have not acquired in their study degrees. In this way they are enabled to position themselves between two or more disciplines and to systematically reflect this position on a meta-level. The course programme mirrors these objectives. It draws on an interdisciplinary network of international academics, research institutions, NGOs, museums and parliamentary organisations in the UK. The Centre’s recently founded interdisciplinary Berlin-Britain Research Network offers intellectual input and structural support.


You can find further information on the website of the Berlin Graduate School of British Studies.



Support for Families


Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin provides various support programmes in order to help students reconcile family life and doctoral studies.

The Family Support Centre at Humboldt-Universität helps parents achieve a better work-life balance. You can find comprehensive information on financing your doctoral studies, occupational safety and the everyday reconciliation of family and working life in the brochure "doctorate and family life".

Humboldt-Universität offers targeted supportto help women pursue a doctorate. You can also consult the women's representatives/ gender equality officers at the Faculty and at the departments.

Due to the maternity protection law, which has been updated since 01.01.2018, matriculated doctoral students who are pregnant or are breastfeeding after giving birth have extended maternity protection claims. For this, it is necessary that the pregnancy is officially communicated to HU Berlin. Information on maternity protection regulations (website only available in German) and the notification process can be found on the pages of the Student Service Center.




Sports programme


The sports and recreation programme at Humboldt-Universität offers classes in a multitude of sports that you can attend at affordable prices as a member of the University. The programme also organises summer and winter excursions.

Psychological counselling

Psychological counselling is offered at Humboldt-Universität in the form of one-on-one consultations and self-help groups.


Studying with disabilities


There is a Disability Advisory Service available for doctoral candidates as well as for students who are thinking about pursuing a doctorate. There are counselling services provided by Humboldt-Universität and by the Studierendenwerk. Both services are confidential, and anonymous by request. You can also find information on job opportunities  and financing your studies on the website.