DOC Programme statutes

Call for Applications

The Austrian Academy of Sciences advertises doctoral fellowships promoting young scholars. These fellowships are intended to give the recipients the opportunity to devote themselves to writing their thesis in focused fashion and within a set timeframe.

The performance of young researchers, their involvement in international research programmes and research projects and not least strengthening Austria’s competitiveness require measures promoting pre-doctoral scholars. The DOC programme is intended to contribute to strengthening Austria’s academic potential and increasing the proportion of women with doctorates.



Application is open to all young scholars in all areas of basic research who

  • are writing their doctoral or PhD thesis at an Austrian university,

  • can prove that they fulfil the admission requirements for doctoral/PhD studies at their respective university, and

  • completed their Diplom or Master’s degree no more than two years prior to applying.

Exceptions can be made if proof can be provided of time taken off for childcare, military or alternative service, disability or illness, and must be established via communication with the Department of Fellowships and Awards prior to application.

It is possible to arrange a stay abroad of up to 12 months in length within the framework of a DOC Fellowship.
It is also possible to undertake doctoral research within the framework of a Cotutelle Agreement between an Austrian and a foreign university within the framework of a DOC Fellowship.

Application is conditional on above-average qualifications on the part of the applicant and the submission of an exposé of their doctoral thesis, a positive reference by their doctoral supervisor including proof of provision of all relevant resources for the project’s undertaking, and a brief description of the academic environment in which the thesis is being written.

Length of funding

DOC Fellowships are awarded for 24, 30 or 36 months.
If childcare duties for at least one child under the age of 7 (e.g. as a single parent) can be proven, the fellowship can be taken up as a part-time fellowship. In this case, the fellowship’s duration can be lengthened by up to half the time granted.

Extent of funding

A DOC Fellowship is funded to the amount of 38,000 Euros per annum.
This amount is a super gross sum and contains the legally required non-wage labour costs (including the employer’s contribution), taxes and duties. 

Additional travel expenses of up to 500 Euros per annum can be applied for to fund active participation in scientific conferences or research stays abroad. A subsidy of up to 1,900 Euros per annum is available for childcare.

The DOC Fellowships are paid in annual instalments directly to the Fellows (self-employed (“Neue Selbständige”)) or to the Austrian university or non-university institution at which the Fellow is employed. Employment within the framework of the Fellowship programme is conditional on confirmation by the director of the institute that a workspace will be provided in the event of a Fellowship being awarded.

It is not possible to receive a Fellowship payment before actually taking up the position


Additional employment (e.g. teaching, tutorials) is permitted if it promotes the programme’s aim – successful completion of the thesis – and does not exceed ten hours per week. Exceptions to this ruling are to be discussed with the Department of Fellowships and Awards.

Fellows must provide a work report and statement by their doctoral supervisor on the project’s progress at the half-way stage and three months before the end of their funding programme.

Should Fellows fail to adhere to the conditions of the Fellowship, they must pay back their funding. 

Application procedure

Applications can be submitted to the Austrian Academy of Sciences (Department of Fellowships and Awards) using the relevant electronic form. Awards meetings take place twice a year – in the spring and the autumn. The selection procedure takes approx. five to six months.

The decision to award fellowships is made by an awards committee comprising scholars nominated by the Austrian Academy of Sciences and Universities Austria (uniko).

This funding is intended as a gender mainstreaming measure while maintaining academic quality criteria. Efforts are made to keep the proportion of women constant in both the applications and in the awarding of Fellowships.

Applicants are entitled to apply to other (funding) bodies. The Department of Fellowships and Awards of the OeAW must be informed of such applications and their result in writing however.

It is possible to re-apply to this Fellowship programme, but only once.

Selection process

The applications of the candidates shortlisted in the preliminary selection procedure are reviewed by international experts. At least two meaningful reviews are sought for each application. The committee’s decision to award Fellowships is based on the reviews and the reports of the individual committee members. After the evaluation procedure has ended, the reviews are anonymised before being forwarded to each applicant.

It should be noted that due to financial considerations applications have to be rejected despite positive evaluation.

Applicants have no recourse to legal action.

Legal status

The Austrian Academy of Sciences has no influence on the content and organisation of the doctoral thesis. The criterion for funding is the fulfilment of the project description provided by the applicant.

The Austrian Academy of Sciences does not acquire any rights to the results of the research through its funding, nor does it have any influence on the nature of cooperation on the part of the Fellow with research institutions and research groups.

As of: December 2017

Key facts

Value of Fellowship
38,000 Euros annually (before tax)

Length of Fellowship
24 / 30 / 36 months

10 August - incl. 15 September 2022