Tuition and living costs

The University of Bonn, like all public universities in Germany, is funded through taxes and does not charge tuition fees but a semester fee twice a year of approximately 315 EUR, which includes unlimited use of public transportation in the region. The cost of living for a (modest) student in Bonn is around 1,300 EUR per month. This includes expenses for accommodation, food, transportation, health insurance, and other personal expenses.


Only students with secured funding for the 3-4-year doctoral period can be admitted to BIGS-DR. The doctoral program is full-time, so financing through part-time work elsewhere is not an option. There are different waysto fund doctoral studies at ZEF:

DAAD EPOS Scholarship

A scholarship offered by the Development-Related Postgraduate Course program (EPOS) of the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) in combination with BIGS-DR. The requirements and application procedures for this scholarship can be found here.

Research projects

ZEF`s research projects are funded by various organizations. These projects often include funds for junior researchers to carry out research under the supervision of ZEF professors, either involving employment or scholarship contracts. Such employment or scholarship opportunities for specific projects are announced on the ZEF- website whenever available. Applicants are selected on a competitive basis.

Own Scholarship

Doctoral students have secured their own doctoral scholarships from many opportunities available. ZEF can support particularly strong applicants with support letters if a ZEF professor conditionally agrees to supervise the planned research and the other BIGS-DR admission criteria are fulfilled.

BIGS-DR doctoral students have successfully obtained scholarships and research funding from a diverse range of organizations: DAAD, ATSAF, Katholischer Akademischer Ausländer-Dienst (KAAD), Fulbright Foundation, Volkswagen Stiftung, Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES), Konrad Adenauer Stiftung (KAS), Evangelischer Entwicklungsdienst (EED), Studienstiftung des Deutschen Volkes, Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG), Stiftung der Deutschen Wirtschaft (SDW), Rosa- Luxemburg- Stiftung,  Deutsche Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt (DLR), Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and grants respective home governments e.g. HEC, SENACYT, Colfuturo, CONACYT and many others.



Dr. Silke Tönsjost
(Academic Coordinator)
+49 (0)228 / 73-1794

Max Voit
+49 (0)228 / 73-1727

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