DOC-Programme Information

Objectives

The Austrian Academy offers DOC fellowships for the promotion of junior scientists.

These are intended to allow recipients to devote their time solely to their scientific work, thus enabling them to complete their doctoral thesis within a definable period of time.

DOC fellowships offer doctoral candidates the possibility to get the right qualifications for an academic career, that is, to improve their academic qualifications in academic and non-academic fields, increase their capacity to compete internationally or to be involved in international research programs and projects (if necessary, by staying at research institutions in Austria or abroad).
DOC fellowships are designed to increase Austria's scientific potential and to appeal to female doctoral candidates in particular.

Eligibility and Application Requirements

  • Doctoral students from all fields of science are invited to apply who meet the following criteria: applicants must be enrolled in a PhD program at an Austrian university,
  • they must meet the requirements for enrolling in a PhD program at the respective Austrian university,
  • they must have received their degree (Diplom/Master) no longer than two years before the year of application.

Exceptions will be made for applicants who interrupted their scientific work for child care (up to 3 years) or for persons providing proof of military or alternative national service. In these cases, applicants should contact the Office of Awards and Fellowships of the Austrian Academy of Sciences.

Applicants who have completed their studies within the prescribed minimum length of study and passed their final examination with distinction, are considered favorably in the review process.

It is possible for fellowship recipients to spend up to 12 months at a research institution abroad.
It is also possible for fellowship recipients to undertake their doctoral thesis within a cotutelle-de-thèse program according to an agreement between an Austrian university and a university abroad.

Applicants, who must be highly qualified, are required to submit a research proposal, a reference letter from their supervisor, and certificates ensuring that required facilities for the research project are available, as well as a short description of the chosen institutions of research.

Duration of Funding

DOC fellowships are granted for a minimum of 24 and a maximum of 36 months duration.
Recipients providing proof of care for at least one child under the age of seven (e.g. single parents) may apply for a part-time fellowship. In that case, the duration of the fellowship will be extended (not more than half the duration granted).

After the first half of the duration of the fellowship and at the end of the fellowship, recipients have to present detailed work records.

Amount of Funding

DOC fellowships amount to 38,000 euros annually before tax.

A maximum of 500 euros annually may be requested for travel expenses (project-specific travel and accommodation, etc.).
A maximum of 1,900 euros annually may be paid for child care.

Fellowships are paid in yearly installments either directly to the recipient (“Neue Selbständige”) or to the university / research institution where the recipient is employed.

Payment will not begin before the actual start of the fellowship.

Fellowship recipients are permitted to undertake other paid work (e.g. teaching assignment, tutorial), if this activity promotes the achievement of the program objective – the successful completion of the doctoral thesis – and does not take more than 10 hours per week.

If the conditions of the fellowship are violated, the recipient is required to reimburse all or part of the fellowship.

Terms of Application

Applications should be submitted to the Austrian Academy of Sciences (Office of Awards and Fellowships) by the deadline date.
The selection process takes about 6 months.

Applicants are selected by the Fellowship Committee consisting of scholars and scientists nominated by the Austrian Academy of Sciences and Universities Austria (uniko).

This program is intended as part of the gender mainstreaming strategy, while maintaining a high standard of scientific qualifications. Its aim is to keep the proportion of female applicants and recipients the same.

Applicants are free to submit applications to other institutions (including those offering fellowships). However, the Office of Awards and Fellowships of the Austrian Academy of Sciences must be informed about these applications as well as about the outcome.

If an applicant is rejected, only one further application can be submitted.

Review Process

At the first meeting, the Fellowship Committee selects those applications which are to be reviewed by international experts. At the second meeting, the Committee decides about the allocation of the fellowships - this decision is based on the reviews and reports by the members of the committee.

The reviews are anonymized and forwarded to the applicants.

Due to financial constraints, it is possible that applications may be rejected even though they have been evaluated positively.

Legal recourse is excluded.

Legal Status

The Austrian Academy of Sciences does not influence content and organization of research projects. Research plans drawn up by recipients are the criterion for support or continued support.

The Austrian Academy of Sciences does not acquire any rights to research results. It does not influence the cooperation of scientists with research institutions or research groups.

[As of December 2015]