doc.funds Pilot Programme

With the support of the Österreich-Fonds , the FWF has issued a call in the doc.funds pilot programme.

Target group

  • Austrian research institutions that are entitled to award doctoral degrees (NB: A single institution can submit multiple applications.)


  • To promote outstanding education and training for doctoral students in internationally oriented doctoral programmes with clearly defined structures and quality standards (see requirements below)
  • To reinforce the research orientation and sustained consolidation of existing education and training structures for highly qualified junior researchers

In order to submit a letter of interest (LOI), a doctoral programme must meet the following requirements:

  • The programme must have been launched at least two years prior to the LOI submission deadline.
  • The programme's faculty must include at least five researchers whose research track records are considered outstanding by FWF standards.1
  • The university (or universities) offering the programme must make a binding commitment to provide basic funding, that is, to provide all of the necessary infrastructure as well as funds for the ongoing operation and institutional anchoring of the programme.
  • The programme must involve training through research, that is, the Ph.D. candidates are to be involved in a thematically defined research area.
  • The programme must be based on international standards (see e.g. Seven Principles of Innovative Doctoral Training, European Charter for Researchers, Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers etc.)
  • The programme must have defined quality criteria and standards for:
    • a) admission and selection procedures for Ph.D. candidates;
    • b) the education and training programme, supervision and monitoring, and the working conditions for Ph.D. candidates;
    • c) the completion of the doctoral programme.

Additional funding for ongoing FWF Doctoral Programmes (DK projects) cannot be requested through the doc.funds programme.


  • 4 years

Funding amount

  • Personnel costs for 5 to 10 Ph.D. candidates in accordance with the FWF's current personnel rates
  • Education and training costs of up to €5,000 per year for each Ph.D. position requested
  • 10% general project costs

Letters of interest (LOIs)
Submission deadline ended.

Applications for full proposal
A letter of interest is a prerequisite for eligibility to submit a full application.

  • Start of call for applications for full proposal: 3 February 2017
  • Application deadline: 31 March 2017
  • in English


  • final funding decisions will be made by the FWF Board based on the recommendations of an international jury at the end of November 2017
  • recommendations are based on an international review procedure in accordance with the FWF's usual quality criteria and presentations (hearings) before the international jury

Number of grants

  • about 5-7 doc.funds-projects



1 In this context, the qualification requirements defined for the FWF's Stand-Alone Projects programme apply (see
fileadmin/files/Dokumente/Antragstellung/Einzelprojekte/p_application-guidelines.pdf(pdf, 321KB)
, pp. 1-2).