All our PhD students are fully funded, at internationally competitive salary levels, and receive full social security coverage. There is also financial support for students for attending scientific conferences and workshops.


PhD student salaries depend on whether the student is holding a bachelor’s or a master’s degree at the time of admission. When students pass their qualifying exam (about 1.5 years into their degree), they receive a salary raise. Gross salaries (in the year 2019) for PhD students range from 2245 to 2729 EUR/month (paid 14 times a year).

ISTScholar funding

The PhD program at IST Austria, also known as the ISTScholar program, is partially funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (grant agreement no. 665385). PhD students who were admitted during 2016-2018 and met the mobility criteria are also Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellows.


In all fields of research, funding is of paramount importance to sustain the resources needed by scientists. IST Austria relies on diverse funding sources to support all its researchers.

The Grant Office is there to support applicants wishing to apply for external funding. PhD students at IST Austria are no exception since it is best to acquire grant writing skills early on in one’s scientific career. For academic job applications, competitive peer-reviewed fellowships can be a powerful indicator that 1) you’re a scientist worth investing in, and 2) that your research projects are of the highest quality.

Fellowships which have been awarded to PhD students and interns at IST Austria include:

Students can also be part of larger projects within their research groups. IST Austria has been particularly successful in receiving a large number of prestigious European Research Council (ERC) grants which reward innovative projects for their research excellence.

In addition, students may  be involved in projects funded by more local sources such as:

The opportunity to network with other institutions is one of the highlights of the cooperative grants currently running at IST Austria. These bring together eminent scientists (and sometimes companies) from across Europe and beyond to work on challenges in a specific field. They can also be specifically aimed at PhD student training, as is the case with:

All scientists at IST Austria are supported by the Grant Office in all matters related to external funding: from application, implementation, to reporting to the relevant funding organizations.

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