Group of young scientists discussing on a staircase


Salary & Funding


As a Helmholtz Center, the MDC's primary source of funding comes from federal funds.
Therefore, employees receive a contract as negotiated with the German government  (TVöD Bund = Tarifvertrag für den Öffentlichen Dienst = wage agreement for the public sector). Salary classification for scientists: E13

Experience is used to determine the “Stufe”/ Level and is calculated according to the relevant work already gained in science after completing their studies.
The professional experience has to be proved by work references, work certificates or contracts and must be accepted by the group leader.

Doctoral Students

Doctoral students hired directly after completing their master's degree generally receive an employment contract linked to the TVöD at 65%.
Payment is in accordance with TVöD Bund in pay group E13, Stufe/level 1.


Postdoc salaries mostly start in pay group E13 Stufe/level 3 (can be higher with more experience). In general, the MDC recognizes 36 months of doctoral experience for new hires. 

"Stufen"/Level table

Full table →

Years of work Stufe
1 1
2 2
3 2
4 3
5 3
6 3
7 4
8 4
9 4
10 4
11 5
12 5
13 5
14 5
15 5
16 6
17+ 6


Salary levels for 2022 | Entgelttabelle TVÖD Bund

The base salary (brutto) has several deductions for taxes, insurance, social security therefore your final salary (netto) differs for everyone. Please use the link below to calculate your potential netto salary. 

TVöD Bund Rechner 2022 - für Angestellte beim Bund (

There are different possibilities for scientists to work at the MDC

Employment with a TVöD contract

The employment with a TVöD contract has the advantage that the employee benefits from social insurances, i.e statutory health insurance, unemployment insurance, pension insurance, additional pension insurance (VBL, which is subsidized by the MDC), annual special payment according to the collective agreement, automatic increase of the salary in case of collective agreement increases, Stufe/level advancement.

Via a stipend, which is paid directly to the scientist

Stipend holders such as DAAD awardees need to register as guests at the MDC, which includes only an accident insurance in the laboratories.
The Stipend holder must insure him/her/themself, i.e. statutory health insurance is mandatory. There is no possibility to pay into the governmental unemployment insurance or pension insurance but if you would like such insurances, please look into private options. 

The scholarship is converted into third-party funding and the employment is based on a TVöD contract.

The additional costs must be borne by the working group.


See our Funding page for more external opportunities.

Please make sure to request a discussion with the group leader and HR manager before applying for a fellowship.