For Research. For Berlin.

Einstein Award for Doctoral Programmes


The Einstein Award for Doctoral Programmes (EDP) honours particularly well-structured doctoral programmes at Berlin’s universities and Charité Medical School Berlin.
The purpose of the award is to furnish the doctoral programmes with new financial leeway to promote junior researchers and further their structural development. At the same time, the awards are also designed to enhance the appeal and international visibility of doctoral studies in Berlin.


Charité Medical School Berlin, Freie Universität Berlin, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Technische Universität Berlin and Berlin University of the Arts are eligible to apply.
The competition targets doctoral programmes that have already produced significant numbers of graduates, as stipulated in the eligibility criteria (see below).


The Einstein Foundation invites applications for the Einstein Award for excellent doctoral programmes (EDP) once a year.
The awards are granted in up to three categories:

Category 1: 150,000 euros p.a. for three years
Category 2: 100,000 euros p.a. for three years
Category 3: 75,000 euros p.a. for three years

The award money is not earmarked for any specific purposes and can be used for scholarships, doctoral and post-doctoral positions, professional leave for professors to work on the graduate programme, travel, hosting visiting scholars etc., provided that they conform to the regulations governing the respective institutions.

The awards are conferred at a public ceremony. The spokespersons of the doctoral programmes will receive the awards together with representatives of the doctoral candidates as well as the presidents of the universities.


Doctoral programmes at the eligible institutions are invited to submit a competitive application using the form available on the Foundation’s website. The applicants must provide general and statistical data about the programme, illustrate the objec- tives and the relevance of its doctoral training and document its success until now (if preferred as an attachment), present innovative ideas how to spend possible award money, prove support by the university, and outline the overall academic concept be- hind the doctoral programme (as a one page attachment).

Applications must specifically address:

  • information about the programme (title, founding year, financial sources, field of research)

  • thematic focus of the programme (as one page attachment)

    a) Aspects relating to the programme
    • intervals of acceptance and number of accepted doctoral students

    • number of cohorts hitherto graduated from the programme, number of successful graduations in relation to unsuccessful/discontinued doctorates

    • average time required to complete a doctorate

    • international and gender diversity of the doctoral students

    • innovative support and mentoring strategies

    • new local and/or international collaborations with public or private-sector partners

    • visits by eminent international researchers initiated by the doctoral programme

    • outreach activities and public events generated by the doctoral programme

    b) Aspects relating to doctoral candidates
    • high-impact publications stemming from doctoral projects and/or dissertations (max. ten publications)

    • awards and honours earned by doctoral candidates

    • doctoral candidates’ subsequent professional activities (e.g. renowned post-doc scholarships or comparable third-party funding for scientific post-doc activities; seamless transitions from dissertation to subsequent employment inside or outside of academia)

    c) Concept for use of potential award money
    • draft of a budget plan

    • one page explication of the draft

    d) University support
    • contribution of the doctoral programme to the profile of the institution

The closing date for submissions is 15 June of the relevant calendar year after an invitation for submissions has been publicized on the website of the Einstein Foundation.


Approved funding can only be claimed by one of the universities or Charité in accordance with its third-party funding procedures. These institutions will act as employer of any staff financed with funds granted by the Einstein Foundation Berlin. If a partner is involved in the project, the grant recipient will forward the allotted funds to this partner pro rata temporis. Any staff paid from these funds will be employed by the partner institution.