Doctoral Scholarship

Funding Instrument 4

SciMed-Doctoral Scholarship

SciMed Logo
© Uniklinikum Bonn

If the application is successful, the SciMed doctoral program offers structured doctoral training to become a with doctoral supervision of the scholarship holders. This includes mentoring interviews as well as scientific supervision and evaluation (midterm and end-of-funding report).

The SciMed doctoral scholarship opens up the opportunity for scientifically highly motivated students of human medicine and dentistry to gain an early start in biomedical research with a challenging experimental doctoral thesis within the SciMed doctoral program of the Faculty of Medicine. The fellowship is funded by BONFOR grants. Purely clinically oriented scientific doctoral theses are also eligible for funding. The prerequisite is that the doctoral thesis is carried out at the Medical Faculty of Bonn and that the doctoral candidate is enrolled there.

For who?

  • Students of human medicine or dentistry
© Johann F. Saba / UKB


Required Qualification

  • Preliminary medical examination

Award Criteria

  • All professors of the Faculty of Medicine are eligible to apply. In addition, scientists of the Faculty of Medicine with their own external third-party funding are eligible to apply. In the case of applying scientists, the formal commitment of a university teacher of the respective institution is also required to ensure both supervision (right to doctorate) and access to the infrastructure there until the end of the doctorate. An application directly by doctoral candidates is not possible.

  • Applicant and supervisor must be present during the entire funding period of the scholarship holder.
  • The allocation of funds takes place exclusively within the faculty. Accordingly, it is expected that at least the majority of the work program will take place in an institution of the Faculty of Medicine.

Exclusion criteria double funding:

  • BONFOR scholarship funding in case of parallel financing of the studies by other institutional funding sources is excluded. In case of double funding, the scholarship holder is obliged to inform the Coordination office immediately in writing. However, it is possible to be admitted to the SciMed Doctoral College without using the scholarship funds, but including material funding of the working group.

Assessment Criteria

  • The two central evaluation criteria in the proposal evaluation are 1. the scientific quality of the project and 2. the qualification of the doctoral candidate.
  • The doctoral candidate is expected to participate fully in the writing of the scholarship application.
  • Participation in the doctoral-preparatory Pre-SciMed enters positively into the evaluation. However, non-participation is not an exclusion criterion.
  • At least one free semester must be taken within the planned funding period for graduation. Willingness to take two semesters of leave (both with official leave of absence) is desired and will count positively in the evaluation.
  • The preliminary medical examination grade goes positively into the evaluation.
  • The amount of work described in the project application should be realistic for a 12-month funding period. The feasibility of the workload will count in the evaluation.

Scholarship Conditions

A number of requirements/duties are associated with the BONFOR doctoral fellowship and admission to the SciMed doctoral college (see also SciMed doctoral college):

  • Documented participation in all events of the SciMed doctoral program as well as completion of the accompanying measures (mentoring, midterm report).
  • The presence of the doctoral candidate at the University of Bonn is desired for the entire duration of the doctoral scholarship. This obligation also applies when taking advantage of the flexibilization regulation for the semester of leave.
  • Erasmus semester are excluded during the first funding year as well as during both semesters of leave (in case of only one semester of leave: incl. the semester breaks immediately preceding and following the semester of leave). With the exception of a maximum of 30 days, the same applies to compulsory medical internship (Famulatur). A max. 30-day compulsory medical internship (Famulatur) is possible for both initial and follow-up funding.
  • The completion of the PJ is excluded during the first year of funding. In the case of a continuation grant, compulsory medical internship (Famulatur), Erasmus or PJ exceeding 30 days will lead to a corresponding reduction of the grant. These special cases must be clarified with the BONFOR secretariat in advance with regard to compatibility with funding. The same applies to any other planned short-term interruptions or shortenings.
  • Stays in other laboratories as part of the project work on the doctorate are possible, but must be registered in the SciMed office if they last longer than one month.
  • When submitting the application, a binding time schedule for the doctorate as well as for further studies must be submitted, in which the conditions mentioned here are taken into account accordingly.
  • Personal leave times can be coordinated internally directly with the doctoral supervisor.
  • The extent of secondary employment is limited to a maximum of 8 hours per week for the duration of the doctoral scholarship.


Personnel funds
Current BAföG maximum rate. (934 €, status 2023)

    Core Facility Services
    max. 3,000 € (exclusively CF established at UCB, animal costs also possible)

    Max. 6,000 € (incl. animal costs and computer software, hardware support and technical equipment are excluded).

    Publication Costs
    Application for funding to cover publication costs is excluded.

    Travel allowance
    For trips to present the results of the BONFOR-funded doctoral thesis, which are conducted by the scholarship holder himself/herself, BONFOR pays a grant of max. 500 €. It can be applied for directly by the scholarship holder and transferred to the doctoral candidate's private account after the trip. The travel grant can be spread over several meetings and can still be claimed after the end of the BONFOR grant, as long as the maximum grant amount of 500 € is not exceeded.

    According to the UCB travel cost guidelines, overnight costs in large cities in Germany with more than 100,000 inhabitants are subsidized with max. 80 € (under 100,000 inhabitants: max. 50 €). Meal costs cannot be taken into account. A prerequisite for the reimbursement of costs is the submission of a travel request to the UCB administration prior to the start of the trip.

    In accordance with the provisions of the NRW State Travel Expenses Act, entitlement to a travel allowance expires if the expenses are not claimed in writing within a preclusive period of six months from the day after the end of the trip.

    Upon return of travel, the following documents must be submitted to the Coordination office:

    • Informal request letter incl. list of costs claimed
    • Private bank account
    • Proof of participation (submitted abstract and confirmation of participation from the organizer)
    • Original receipts: congress fee, expenses for travel and accommodation
    • Copy of the business trip request submitted to the HR deparment of the UKB administration (if trip was requested from UKB)
    • Filled-out accounting form
    • Protocol of the Midterm Report


    Duration of Funding

    • 12 months
    • The 12-month funding period begins from the month following the BONFOR meeting date.
      Backdating to a project start date already prior to this date is excluded.

    Continuation Funding

    Upon application, a second funding year is possible in justified exceptional cases:

    • Midterm report
      Work report with a compact summary of the research work performed and the scientific results achieved during the first funding year
    • Proposal for continuation
      Planning of the second funding year with a clearly defined work program; rewritten application with all application attachments listed below. In the case of two funding years, at least 2 semesters off over the entire period are a prerequisite.

    Combination Possibilities and Follow-up Funding

    If the relevant application requirements are met:

    • Follow-up funding Gerok scholarship (funding instrument 1A)


    Step 1

    Project Application

    • Contacting the coordination office
    • Advice from the Internal Funding Team
    • Access to the BONFOR eApplication system
    • Submission of the project application via the BONFOR eApplication system.

    Step 2

    Appraisal & Decision

    • An internal assessment and a selection interview
    • Commission consultation

    Step 3

    Project Execution

    • 12 months

    Step 4

    Evaluation & Project Presentation

    • Midterm report and evaluation after the first 6 months of funding

    • End-of-funding report by date of account closure

    • Presentation of the research project at the BONFOR symposium

    Application & Deadlines

    Submission of the project application in English including mandatory and additional documents via the BONFOR eApplication system.

    Project Application

    Please use the following template to describe your project proposal (in English language):

    Please use the following document for your project proposal:

    Required Documents

    The following documents are required for your application:

    • Project Application (s. template)

    • One page of summary of the research project

    • Curriculum vitae and scientific background of the applicant (including a list of third-party funding obtained)

    • List of publications of the applicant in the past 5 years

    • Doctoral theses supervised to date by the applicant or in the working group, both completed (doctoral candidate/topic/year/grading/possibly BONFOR funding) and ongoing (doctoral candidate/topic/start/possibly BONFOR funding).

    • Curriculum vitae of the candidate (with high school diploma and exam grades)

    • Preliminary medical examination certificate

    • Timetable (course of study and doctoral planning)

    • Proof of leave of absence (semester of leave): if the leave of absence still has to be applied for or if the application for leave of absence is currently still being processed, an informal declaration of leave of absence can first be uploaded in the eSystem as a substitute. The official proof of leave of absence must be submitted by e-mail without being requested to do so.

    • Signed commitment statement (see text templates below)

    • Signed guidelines for the use of BONFOR funds.

    • Curriculum vitae of the supervisor (if different from the applicant)

    • List of publications of the supervisor (if different from the applicant)

    • Pre-SciMed Program: Certificate of Completion / Proof of Participation

    • Cooperation agreement(s)

    • Votum of the Ethics commission

    • Animal Testing Permit

    • Further Documentation

    Commitment Statement

    • Part 1: Supervision and Workplace Commitment
    • Part 2: Conditions for SciMed Doctoral Fellows.


    Grant applications may be submitted at any time, but must be submitted via the BONFOR eApplication system no later than the application deadline for the respective meeting date. 


    Avatar Racz

    PD Dr. Ildiko Racz

    Science Management - Coordination Internal Funding

    Venusberg-Campus 1

    53127 Bonn

    Avatar Schmitt

    Dr. Dorothea Schmitt

    Science Management - Coordination Internal Funding

    Venusberg-Campus 1

    53127 Bonn

    Wird geladen