Open Call – PhD Funding Program


Financial contribution for the supervising scientific institution is available

VIRTUAL VEHICLE is a leading international R&D center for the automotive and rail industries, located in Graz, Austria. The center focuses on advanced digitalization in vehicle technologies. The linking of numerical simulations and hardware testing leads to a powerful HW-SW system design. With more than 300 employees, VIRTUAL VEHICLE is the largest COMET funded research center and is also active in 30+ EU projects. More than 40 PhD theses and more than 100 master’s theses have been successfully carried out at the research center within the last five years.

To further strengthen international research collaboration with excellent PhD-awarding scientific institutions, VIRTUAL VEHICLE provides financial funding support for a PhD thesis in the field of:

The financial contribution for the supervising scientific institution is available for newly defined PhD theses and for already ongoing PhD projects with a very strong link to the advertised field. Depending on the stage of the thesis, a financial contribution from 20.000 EUR up to full PhD financing can be applied for by scientific institutions.

Main benefits

  • Participation in outstanding partner network (80+ international industrial partners, 40+ international scientific institutions)
  • Scientific exchange with experts from multiple relevant disciplines (methods, tools, processes)
  • Link to applied research and industrial needs
  • Access to advanced testing and validation infrastructure
  • Financial support (personal costs, supervision, travel and other costs)


  • The PhD candidate is employed at the PhD-degree awarding scientific institution and supervision is provided by the scientific institution
  • The PhD candidate spends 40% to 60% of her/his (remaining PhD) time at VIRTUAL VEHICLE in Graz, Austria
  • In addition to the PhD thesis, the outcomes of the research collaboration are joint scientific publications and master’s theses

In the proposal for PhD funding, scientific institutions describe:

  • The scientific ability and (if necessary) the required infrastructure to scientifically guide and supervise the PhD candidate
  • The research plan and the focus for the advertised thesis
  • The publication and dissemination plan
  • The teaching plan (courses, trainings, etc.) for the doctoral studies
  • Planned supporting master’s and bachelor theses
  • Total costs of the PhD thesis as well as requested total amount of financial contribution from VIRTUAL VEHICLE (note: adequacy of costs is a major decision criterion)
  • The application comprises the scientific CV of the PhD candidate and the supervising professor at the scientific institution