The Boehringer Ingelheim Fonds

Deadline: 1 February, 1 June, 1 October of each year
Open to: European citizens and non-European citizens pursuing their PhD project in Europe in the field of basic biomedical research
Fellowship: Amount varies depending on the cost of living in particular country, the fellowship is intended to cover the living expenses of the recipient


The Boehringer Ingelheim Fonds awards PhD fellowships to outstanding junior scientists (max. age: 27 years) who wish to pursue an ambitious PhD project of approximately 3 years in basic biomedical research in an internationally leading laboratory. For further details please refer to “Who can apply?”. The peer-review-based selection process is highly competitive. Applicants should therefore be outstanding in all three selection criteria.

The puropse of the fellowship is to promote basic research in biomedicine by providing the best young, up-and-coming scientists with comprehensive support during their PhD phase.


The Boehringer Ingelheim Fonds (BIF) awards PhD fellowships to European citizens working in Europe or overseas, and to non-European citizens pursuing their PhD project in Europe. Applicants should not be older than 27 years at the respective deadline (1 February, 1 June, 1 October).

The PhD project must be experimental, in the field of basic biomedical research and aimed at elucidating basic biological phenomena of human life and acquiring new scientific knowledge. For a survey on the range of topics, please refer to FUTURA, the international journal of the foundation. Natural scientists should have been awarded their diploma, BSc, MSc or equivalent degree; physicians, veterinary surgeons and pharmacists should have passed their state examinations.

At the deadline, the applicant should not have been working on his/her project for more than 6 months. The beginning of the PhD project is considered by BIF to be:

  • the date of the final examination (e.g. BSc, MSc, Diploma, DEA, Licenciatura, Laurea) on the official certificate if the applicant continues to work in the same research group; or
  • the month of arrival at the laboratory in which the PhD project is pursued if the applicant changes his/her research group.

In other cases, i.e. when participating in MSc/PhD programmes or graduate schools without an official final examination prior to the PhD project, pleasecontact us. The Foundation gives preference to applicants who are about to begin their PhD work when they apply for the fellowship; preliminary results are not expected.

They do not support

  • applied research, such as biotechnological and pharmaceutical development and studies on the course of diseases or the treatment of symptoms;
  • botanical and prokaryotic investigations unless they are of general biological importance;
  • education, we can support only research. Fellowships therefore cannot be used during the course and rotation phase of PhD programmes, but only for the duration of the PhD project;
  • the PhD fellowships cannot be used to supplement inadequate funding from other institutions or earned incomes, to bridge temporary financial difficulties or to complete investigations already sponsored by other institutions.

The scientists in the Board of Trustees and the external peer reviewer evaluate applications according to the following three criteria:

  • the applicant’s achievements to date (grades and curriculum vitae);
  • the scientific quality, e.g. originality and inventiveness, of the proposed PhD project;
  • the scientific standard of the laboratories in which the project is to be pursued.


The fellowship is intended to cover the living expenses of the recipient. A Boehringer Ingelheim Fonds stipend may therefore not be held while receiving a regular personal income from any other institution or research institute. Any employment or other contracts yielding a regular income must be cancelled upon accepting the PhD fellowship. However, an additional fellowship from another institution to cover exclusively tuition fees may be accepted under certain circumstances.

PhD fellowships are granted for 24 months and can be extended once for a maximum of 12 months. However, if the fellow began work on his/her project before taking up the fellowship, that period will be deducted from the maximum extension period. The basic monthly stipend amounts to 1,550 euros. In the United Kingdom, the USA, Australia, Israel, Canada, and Denmark, a further 300 euros, in Switzerland, a further 950 euros, and in Austria, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain and Sweden, a further 200 euros is added as country-related premium. Depending on the cost of living, all other countries are grouped into one of these categories. In most countries, fellows are paid an additional flat-rate of 150 euros per month to cover minor project-related costs (books, travel expenses, etc.) and to cover premiums for personal insurance. For example, the monthly stipend for an unmarried fellow working in Germany amounts to 1,900 euros, in the USA to 2,000 euros, and in Switzerland to 2,650 euros. A spouse allowance and/or child care allowance may be added; fellows can apply for 14 weeks paid maternity leave. The stipend is transferred to the fellow’s personal bank account by the middle of each month.

Tuition, bench fees and overheads are not reimbursed by the foundation.


The application for a PhD fellowship of the Boehringer Ingelheim Fonds consists of two parts:

  1. the online application sent by internet and
  2. two paper copies of the application including one CD to be sent by surface mail.

Both must be submitted by one of the respective deadlines of each year (date as per postmark for the paper version): 1 February, 1 June, 1 October

The entire application – including the project proposal – must be written in English and by the applicants themselves. However, we recommend consultation with the scientific supervisor. The form of the presentation should be adequate but simple; please do not staple, tack or bind documents.

More information about the application process available here.

The Official Website 

One thought on “The Boehringer Ingelheim Fonds

  1. This is a critical qutseion that we as researchers deal on a daily basis. There are several ways to evaluate opportunities to gain cost and time efficiencies. A detailed assessment of the disease state, treatment options, product mechanism of action, clinical development plan with commercialization scope would give NPV/ reimbursement possibilities. Planning required studies and mapping regulatory requirements with detailed timelines is necessary. Opportunities to discuss with regulatory authorities would validate this plan. Study design with emphasis on patient type, sample size, study end-points, treatment duration, dose evaluations, etc should evaluate opportunities to collect these information for the specific demand of each study. All attempts to collect too much data should be avoided (Stick with study focus and demand). Opportunities for biomarkers should be evaluated early. Regular interactions with authorities may prevent surprises later (e.g. pediatric investigational plan, safety issues) and provide common understanding of result expectation. Strategy for study conduct (outsourcing or internal resourcing) early on would allow use of same vendors including CROs, central labs, pK, safety for multiple studies. This would allow faster implementation and build on experience of staff, lessons learnt, KOL experience, technology use, etc. Using detailed feasibilities in terms of KOL, country specific standard of care, comparator early in planning avoids amendments and opening sites/ countries as rescue. Feasibility tools with informatic tools like Citeline, other claims, emr data would provide specifics on physicians who treat, referral network patterns, etc. Contract, budget and IRB requirements would allow planning study schedules also. Studies using EDC early on would also give some cost efficiencies to allow savings on programming and other data management costs. Real opportunities are available with pivotal studies are through early planning of submission ready documents. Intergated submissions modules systems would allow parallel work to incorporate into BLA/ NDA all study reports, programs, eTMF, etc. Pharma needs to evaluate use of technology at every level to reduce redundancies from past submissions.

Leave a Reply