All around the world, PhD stipends vary from one country to another, with some paying higher stipends than others.
For example, in Germany and the United Kingdom, PhD students receive an average of $3,000 per month in stipend pay, while those studying in Iran and Japan receive $1,500 per month. Of course, this does not include food and accommodation allowances that are also provided by some countries (and which can sometimes exceed the monthly stipend).
Here is a list of countries with the highest PhD stipends in the world today.
According to a survey of over 7,500 students, Canadians are among those living on some of the highest PhD stipends in the world. Approximately 9% live on £18k or less, 27% live on £19-20k, 23% live on £21-22k, and 15% live on £23-24k.
However, where are you likely to be found? You’re not likely to be found very far away from a university campus if you’re from Canada — 35% only travel 1–2 miles after work and 16% never leave campus at all.
The Norwegian government gives PhD students their first NOK 100,000 each year, and if they get an assistantship (highly likely), a further NOK 100,000 is added. That’s about £9,600 and £18,600 for those outside Norway.
Norway also has some generous tax breaks on offer for both students and employees who receive PhD funding from a public institution. If you can work part-time during your degree it’s possible to save some money while studying at one of Norway’s seven public universities.
In fact, most universities around Europe offer competitive benefits packages that include full or partial compensation for tuition fees (and often room and board) as well as pay during school terms.
It’s home to some of our planet’s most stunning landscapes and among its brightest minds. And as it turns out, Australia has some of highest PhD stipends in the world. Back in 2012, Prime Minister Julia Gillard made a pledge to increase these amounts.
Based on a 4-year PhD, most UK universities will pay their graduate students £13,547 ($19,900) per year to cover living expenses. That’s a pretty good sum of money – but as it includes non-living costs like tuition fees and general maintenance, we’re going to bump it up a little bit.
With some frugal choices you could live off that salary while working towards your degree, though we suggest saving at least some of it for when you leave academia. We should also mention that these numbers are based on last estimates; they may have changed by now.
As far as PhD stipends go, Germany is a hot spot for ambitious academic hopefuls.
On average, German doctoral students are given around $1,100 to $1,600 each month by their universities or research institutions.
Other sources of income can include scholarships and grants. For example, Germany’s Federal Ministry of Education and Research funds more than 800 doctoral candidates every year through its Graduate School funding program.
In addition to monthly incomes, doctoral candidates receive at least one start-up allowance when they begin their program that can be used for supplies or moving expenses.
In Sweden, doctoral students are entitled to a base monthly salary of $3,814, according to Academic and Professional Studies at Stockholm University.
It’s more than enough for residents of Sweden. At least some part-time work is available to many doctoral students in Sweden, so they can take on part-time teaching or research jobs while getting their degrees. (Some do earn their PhDs by working full-time and then teaching.) Plus there are grants available to help support research projects.
According to research performed by Career Discovery, students enrolled at PhD programs in fields such as medicine or engineering can earn as much as $3,000 per month (around €2,900), although that’s before taxes.
Students pursuing degree courses unrelated to sciences usually receive around $1,500 per month (around €1,400). Salaries are not comparable across Russian universities.
However, an increase has been observed over recent years since many private companies started donating money to higher education institutions.
Ph.D. students at state universities receive a monthly living allowance of $157, plus an extra $56 for health insurance and a $56 monthly reward for teaching—plus another $120 for children if applicable. The total comes out to about $325 per month; not bad at all! (Goodlife rating: 7/10)
US & Worldwide
While most PhD candidates study in their home country, a growing number are seeking out opportunities to gain experience abroad. Outside of North America and Europe, countries like South Korea and Japan offer competitive stipends that top $30,000 per year.
Many UK universities also offer competitive programs for students wanting to expand their research horizons beyond what is offered locally. But if you’re looking for a PhD program that offers an outsized amount of support—and doesn’t break your bank account—you might want to look further west.