The newly established NHR Graduate School of the NHR Alliance (NHR-Verein e.V.) offers PhD-scholarships to applicants from Germany, Europe and all over the world.


About NHR

NHR is a public funded national network for HPC at German universities. The NHR Alliance (NHR-Verein e.V.) is formed by the following HPC centers:

  • NHR4CES@RWTH - IT Center - RWTH Aachen
  • NHR4CES@TUDa - Hochschulrechenzentrum (HRZ) - Technische Universität Darmstadt
  • NHR@FAU -  Regionales Rechenzentrum Erlangen - Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg
  • NHR@Göttingen - Gesellschaft für wissenschaftliche Datenverarbeitung mbH Göttingen (GWDG) - Universität Göttingen
  • NHR@KIT - Steinbuch Centre for Computing (SCC) - Karlsruher Institut für Technologie
  • NHR@TUD - Zentrum für Informationsdienste und Hochleistungsrechnen - Technische Universität Dresden
  • NHR@ZIB - Zuse-Institut Berlin - Berlin University Alliance
  • PC2 - Paderborn Center for Parallel Computing - Universität Paderborn

The common tasks of the NHR Alliance are to coordinate the services offered by the NHR Centers for scientists at German universities, and to support the further development of scientific computing. The offered services include high-performance computing resources as well as consulting, and course offerings for the efficient use of HPC computers. The NHR Alliance uniquely combines broad research activities in numerous application fields, applied maths, computer science, and HPC as well as broad, long-standing competences in user support, and operation of HPC systems distributed across German academic institutions.

The NHR Graduate School in a nutshell

Each NHR doctoral student receives funding for three years. He/she is assigned to a primary supervisor and thus to one of the NHR centers with a thematic focus he/she can choose from a given list. In addition, at least six months of research should take place outside of the chosen focus at another NHR center (secondment).

The thematic fields offered by each of the NHR centers can be found in the document NHR research fields.

Each doctoral student will be enrolled in the respective graduate program for PhD students of the host university.

Working as a scientist requires more than excellent research. To train other skills, and get advice of experienced scientists the NHR Graduate School program also includes soft skill and mentoring offerings.

Study Program

The key points of the NHR Graduate Study Program are described below.

Course program

Each doctoral student has to complete at least one course in the following three main fields:

  • Operation and computer architecture
  • Software and HPC methods
  • Application of HPC methods in research fields such as physics, engineering, humanities, life sciences, geo sciences and other.

Each year the NHR Graduate school will offer block courses (1-2 weeks long) in each of these main fields.

Soft skill seminars

In addition to the regular courses there will be an offer of soft skill seminars.

Mentoring program

Each scholar has a scientific supervisor who provides support in all aspects relating to the dissertation, including advice on choosing the right conferences and publishing articles. In addition, the PhD students will have a separate mentor who can help broaden the professional network, offer a second opinion with regard to the research or career plan and provide support if problems arise with the scientific supervisor.


NHR scholarship

NHR scholarships are usually granted for 36 months, and include an amount of 2,200 euros per month, tax-free (no insurances included). Start of funding is April 1st 2022.

Up to nine PhD scholars are accepted each year. The NHR Alliance guarantees PhD supervisors and suitable research environments for all PhD students of the NHR Graduate School.

Each student is registered as a PhD student at one of the universities of the NHR centers. He/she has an advisor at the same university. Completion requirements are set according to the PhD regulations at the respective university. All participants are expected to conduct research at another site for at least six months


For admission to our program in 2022, applications will be accepted via e-mail from November 1st to December 15th 2021.

Please note that applications which remain incomplete by the submission deadline will not be considered!


Students wishing to enter our program are expected to have a masters degree in Computer Science, Mathematics, the Natural or Engineering Sciences or an equivalent degree. In addition, all applicants must satisfy the usual admission requirements for entry to the PhD program at the preferred NHR center.

Documents required for application

Required documentsDetails

1. Application Form

Please fill in the application form.

2. Personal StatementThe personal statement (Motivationsschreiben) should be at least one full page and at most two pages long. It should describe your academic and career plans as well as your motivation and scientific interests. The NHR embraces diversity. In line with our goal of striving to achieve a gender-balanced student body, we strongly encourage applicants of all genders to write confidently about their achievements.

3. Curriculum Vitae


Your Curriculum Vitae should be no more than two pages in length and list the details of your education to date, together with your personal academic history, including academic credentials, publications, contributions or other significant achievements.
4. Research StatementThe research statement should comprise at least one page but maximum two pages. It should explain the applicant’s ideas with respect to their future dissertation, as well as outline the underlying research project. Your outline should fit in one of the NHR research areas; a description of all NHR research areas can be found here:  While applicants should be familiar with the research of potential supervisors, prior contact with our faculty members is not necessary, however the applicant should mention in the research statement who could be a suitable supervisor. If you name more than one preferred supervising center please give a ranking order.
5. References and Academic/ University Transcripts

You must submit an official transcript from your diploma or proof of an equivalent degree.

If your transcripts are not in English or German, an official translation is required. To prevent delays, you should arrange with your university registrar to provide transcripts as soon as possible, or else you may submit preliminary transcripts showing as many grades as possible.

6. Proof of Proficiency in English


If English is not your native language you have to add one of the following three proofs:

  • If you have completed your formal education at a school, college or university where English is the language of instruction, then you may submit official certification or an official letter from the institution to confirm this. That will suffice as proof of your English proficiency and one of the aforementioned tests will not be required.
  • If your native language is German, an Abitur or a Matura grade for English of at least befriedigend (or equivalent) will serve as proof of your English proficiency. If you cannot submit a copy of your Abitur or Matura certificate, or if it does not show a grade for English, then you must submit the result of one of the aforementioned tests.
  • If your native language is not English, and you cannot provide any of the above proofs, you must submit an official proof of your English proficiency in the form of one of the tests below. Results more than two years old at the time of application are not valid and will not be considered.
  1. TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language): Internet-Based Test (iBT) minimum score 79
  2. IELTS (International English Language Testing System): minimum score of 6.5 in the Academic Test
  3. C2 Proficiency / CPE (Cambridge English: Proficiency) or C1 Advanced / CAE (Cambridge English: Advanced): minimum score of 180 / Grade C.
7. Letter(s) of RecommendationOne letter of recommendation is required. Your recommenders must be faculty members, professors, or university teachers who knows you well and can vouch for your academic abilities. We do not accept recommendations submitted by the applicants themselves!

How to apply:

  1. Before you fill out the application form, you should ask your potential recommender(s) if she/he is willing to provide a recommendation for you before. Please, provide him/her the link to this webpage, and the Instructions for Recommenders with the note, that the deadline for letters of recommendation is January 9th, 2022.
  2. Please merge all required documents (from 1. to 6.) into one file - only PDFs will be accepted! The file size should not exceed 10 MB.
  3. Send your application via e-mail to Please use the subject: Application to NHR Graduate School 2022.

Please note: By sending your application to us, you agree that it will be passed on to all persons involved in the selection process.

Important dates:

Call for applicationOctober 25th 2021
Application deadlineDecember 15th 2021
Deadline for Letter of RecommendationJanuary 9th 2022
Date of approvalFebruary 15th 2022
Start of fundingApril 1st 2022

Provided files

Research Fields, Application form, Instructions for Recommenders


The NHR Office (NHR-Geschäftsstelle) is your first point of contact for all questions regarding the application and admission process, or regarding the NHR study program. You can contact us by e-mail: We will be happy to answer your questions.


NHR is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and the federal states of Germany.