Generally, you have three financing options for your doctoral studies: You can either work at the university, be employed at another institution or apply for a doctoral fellowship.
There are many advantages to being employed as an academic staff member at a chair – especially if you are aiming for an academic career: You gain insights into the range of tasks to be performed at a chair, gain experience in teaching and academic self-governance, and can easily network with other researchers.
Another plus: Via your employer, the university, you are covered by health, pension and long-term care insurance.
If you are interested in finding employment at the University of Mannheim, it is best to search online on the University of Mannheim's job portal and inquire your supervisor about current vacancies or soon to be vacant positions.
Being employed at another institution than the university is well suited for those who do not necessarily want to stay in academia or who do not wish to terminate an existing employment relationship. With a job in a field related to your subject, you have the opportunity to gain plenty of practical experience.
Provided that the employment is subject to social insurance contributions, you are covered by health, pension and long-term care insurance via your employer.
If you need help finding a suitable job, you can contact the Federal Employment Agency or search in online job portals. The Job Board of the Career Service of the University of Mannheim (only available in German) can also be of help.
A doctoral fellowship offers you the greatest freedom, as you can fully dedicate yourself to your dissertation project and freely manage your time. However, please keep in mind that a fellowship does not automatically provide you with health, pension, and long-term care insurance. Consequently, it is your own responsibility to take care of sufficient health insurance coverage. Furthermore, you are not entitled to Arbeitslosengeld I (type of unemployment benefit) in case you do not find a job immediately after completing your doctoral studies. In addition, you do not pay into the pension fund while receiving a fellowship. You can find out about the possibility of taking out voluntary pension insurance (in accordance with section 7 of the sixth book of the German Social Code (Sozialgesetzbuch -Sechstes Buch, SGB VI)) by contacting the Deutsche Rentenversicherung.
There are many funding organizations to choose from. Therefore, you should start to search for a suitable fellowship as soon as possible. The following databases can help you find the right funding organization:
The fellowships of the funding program for the promotion of postgraduates of the Land of Baden-Württemberg (Landesgraduiertenförderung, LGF) are awarded by the state universities independently and on their own responsibility – yet according to a predefined award procedure – to applicants with above-average qualifications.
The fellowships are funded by the Land of Baden-Württemberg and are awarded once a year, subject to the provision of the corresponding funds by the Ministry of Science, Research and Arts of Baden-Württemberg (MWK).
There are numerous political and church-related foundations as well as foundations initiated by individuals, companies, and associations that offer fellowships for doctoral students. Depending on the type of foundation, some of them expect special political or social commitment from the doctoral student and only support specific disciplines or group of persons.
The database of the Association of German Foundations is an excellent starting point for an initial search for a suitable funding organization.
Organizations for the promotion of young talent support outstanding doctoral students during their academic training. There are 13 organizations for the promotion of young talent that are supported by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). These organizations for the promotion of young talent are to reflect the diversity of the German society by showing the different German ideological, religious, political, business-oriented or trade union-oriented movements.
The scholarship database of the BMBF can be of help when searching for a a suitable organization for the promotion of young talent.
Please keep in mind that each of the above-mentioned financing options has different consequences for your insurance coverage.
In the following, we have compiled information on insurances for doctoral students for you.