Programme for cooperative doctoral education between universities of applied sciences and universities

This funding measure initiated by the BMBWF facilitates the creation of a cooperative doctoral programme between universities and universities of applied sciences. The programme promotes collaboration between the institutions, enhances the research capabilities of universities of applied sciences, and provides PhD students with additional career development opportunities.

In cooperation with the Christian Doppler Research Association (CDG).

Target group

  • Austrian universities according to UG 2002 (Universities Act 2002) and Austrian universities of applied sciences according to FHStG (Universities of Applied Sciences Studies Act)
  • There is no limit on the number of applications a research institution (university or university of applied sciences) can submit. A research institution can thus submit multiple applications.


  • To establish and facilitate doctoral programmes developed and organised by a university and a university of applied sciences based on international standards
  • To ensure an excellent education and training for PhD candidates through the creation of sustainable cooperative education and research structures between universities of applied sciences and universities
  • To strengthen the cooperation between universities of applied sciences and universities
  • To promote the career development of research staff at universities of applied sciences
  • To integrate basic research and applied research in the domain of doctoral education and to establish an application-oriented basic research


  • Consortium of at least five researchers at universities and universities of applied sciences with high-quality research performance according to FWF standards
  • Application submitted by at least one university according to UG and at least one university of applied sciences according to FHStG; only joint applications will be considered
  • Basic funding by the research institution(s) offering the programme, i.e., providing the necessary infrastructure and incorporating the programme into the institution
  • Training through research, i.e., involving PhD candidates in a jointly defined, focused, and consistent research framework
  • Definition of structures and procedures for the
    • education and training programme
    • admission and selection of PhD candidates: international call for applications and submission of application documents, transparent application and selection procedure
    • supervision and monitoring as well as the working conditions of PhD candidates: confirmation of supervision, dissertation agreement, progress reports, subject-specific education and supporting measures (transferable skills, etc.), supervision team instead of individual supervision only, supervisor development, facilitation of mobility, and provision of specific funding models for PhD candidates
    • completion of doctoral programme: separation of the supervision and the assessment of the dissertation (if consistent with the laws regulating university studies)

  • Programme based on international standards (see, for instance, Seven Principles of Innovative Doctoral Training, Salzburg Recommendations, European Charter for Researchers, Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers)

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


  • 4 years

Funding amount

  • Personnel costs for up to 5 PhD candidates based on the FWF’s standard personnel costs and salaries
  • Education and training costs up to €5,000 per year for each PhD position requested
  • 5% general project costs

Via the FWF’s electronic application portal (elane)

  • Start of call for applications: 29 November 2022
  • Submission deadline: 1 March 2022
  • In English


  • By the FWF Board (and, depending on the number of applications received, an international jury) at the end of September or November 2022.
    Selected representatives of the Christian Doppler Research Association (CDG) will be present in an advisory capacity at the decision-making session.
  • Based on an international review procedure (reviewers are selected by the reporter teams of the FWF Board and the Senate of CDG) and, depending on the number of applications received, hearings before an international jury in early November 2022.


Number of grants

  • Available budget: €7 million (about 5-6 projects)


Electronic application portal