Tallinn University to provide new doctoral students with an income equivalent to average wage in Estonia

Doctoral students who begin their studies at Tallinn University in the academic year 2019–2020 can apply for a Doctoral scholarship of 500 euros per month. Currently, the national Doctoral allowance is 660 euros a month. Thus, adding the scholarship granted by the University, Doctoral students will earn at least the average Estonian gross wage, approximately 1,160 euros.


Similar to the national Doctoral allowance, the scholarship is only paid for a nominal period of studies (a total of four years, or 48 months) and applies to Doctoral students who are studying full-time.

Tallinn University decided to establish the scholarship to enable Doctoral students to fully focus on writing their dissertation without having to work during their studies. “Tallinn University prefers to offer their Doctoral students the position of a Junior Research Fellow to involve them more in the scientific work and research groups of the University, but this is not always possible, which is why we decided to offer the scholarship as an alternative,” says Katrin Niglas, Vice-Rector for Research at the Tallinn University.

Therefore, the scholarship is not available to Doctoral students who work for Tallinn University as Junior Research Fellows during their studies, because the University already pays them a comparable wage for research related to their dissertation. Niglas added that the third possible alternative is establishing Doctoral positions under a cooperation agreement where external partners of the University would grant the income needed for writing a dissertation.

The amount may change

Considering that the average wage is increasing, Tallinn University may make changes to the scholarship and increase the amount, but no more than once a year. Should the state decide to raise the Doctoral allowance to the level of an average wage of Estonia or allocate additional resources to offer a position as a Junior Research Fellow to each Doctoral student, there would be no need for the University to grant the complementary scholarship.

The initiative for the new system stems from the new research and development strategy that was approved by the Senate of Tallinn University at the end of 2018, whereas additional resources will be obtained from involving more Doctoral students in research projects of the University and from the foreseen increase in base funding for science.

The scholarship will be granted by an academic unit whose obligation is to assign a Doctoral scholarship to each Doctoral student who complies with the relevant requirements. The scholarship is available only for Doctoral students who start their studies at the Tallinn University as of the 2019–2020 academic year and the Admissions Committee must verify that the student is fully motivated to focus on their Doctoral studies and research.

The 500-euro Doctoral scholarship of Tallinn University will be paid by the 25th day of each calendar month. The national allowance of 600 euros will also be paid by the 25th day of the month at the latest. This gives Doctoral students the security of knowing that their monthly income will arrive by the end of each month.

Our PhD programmes.