University of Erfurt

Research structure of the University of Erfurt

At the University of Erfurt, all research projects and programs fall within a broader framework of a research profile that comprises of four distinct components: 1. Networks, 2. Research Groups, 3. Research Units, and 4. Graduate Colleges (Nachwuchskollegs). The Graduate Colleges are committed to the “Erfurt Doctoral and post-Doctoral Program” (EPPP).


The purpose of a network is to gather various scholars within a thematic framework. As a member of the Networks you may but not necessarily need to elaborate your own research program. They are especially appropriate for temporary collaboration and cater to the needs of forming a research group. There is no formal procedure to establish a network, however, you should announce your network to the University’s Executive Committee and to the staff of ProUni – Research and Graduate Service. Networks receive no funding.

Research Group

Research groups are (interdisciplinary) networks of researchers based at the University of Erfurt that are bound to special formal criteria. First and foremost, they pursue long-term joint projects, such as collaborative research projects, third-party funding, and publications. In this way, research groups serve as a key element in the University’s strategic planning of focus fields (Schwerpunktfelder).

Individual projects can join research groups at any time. Despite research groups are not offering funding-opportunities for early stage researchers as in the case of a structured program, doctoral and postdoctoral researchers may participate in the research carried out by the research groups at any time.

It is mandatory for a research group to have a leader or speaker and at least three additional members. Two of these members have to be of professorial status and experts in the field of investigation. It is possible to include further associate members.

Established research groups have the possibility to access an annual budget of maximum EUR 10.000.

Application deadline: The next deadline will be announced soon.

For more information, please read our  Guideline (German) or contact our team.

Research Unit

Research units are established with an aim to bring together individual or small-scale joint projects run by one or two researchers at the University of Erfurt in order to prepare proposals for third-party funding. Furthermore, research units may serve as a platform to initialize larger and long-term projects, or to further collaboration between scholars. The topics of research units may fall within the focus fields (Schwerpunktfelder), but it is not a mandatory requirement. Small projects may join the research unit at any time. Though research units do not offer funding opportunities for early stage researchers as the structured program does, doctoral and postdoctoral researchers are always welcome to participate in the unit.

To establish a research unit, one leader is required, while additional (associated) members may join the group.

Established research units are funded with an annual budget of up to EUR 1.000.

Please note that it is currently not possible to apply for research units, since the maximum number is established at the moment. We will inform you here about any changes.

Graduate Colleges

Graduate colleges offer a structured program of supervision and funding for doctoral and postdoctoral researchers. It is also open for the Pre-docs who are in the preparatory phase of writing their doctoral thesis. It is expected that the Post-docs will serve as peer and mentors for doctoral candidates.

In order to coordinate doctoral studies and mentoring, the college’s central research-concept is complemented by a concept for qualification for early stage researchers, which relates to the “Erfurt Doctoral and post-Doctoral Program” (EPPP). Graduate colleges are required to accomplish a process of certification and regular re-certification according to EPPP standards.

A graduate college must have one leader or speaker and at least three additional members. Two of them have to be of professorial status.

After accomplishing a process of formal establishment and certification, graduate colleges are funded with an annual budget of maximum EUR 5.000.

For more information, please read our Guideline (German) or contact our team. For information about the process of certification and re-certification, please contact

Please note: Formation of research groups, research units and graduate colleges requires direct application to the Executive Committee and subsequent formal approval of the Committee for Research and Graduate Service. In order to receive an application form and submit your application please contact the Staff of the Department Research and Graduate Service.




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