I just received a PhD invitation letter from a German University which mentions that my remuneration will be 2/3 of full TV-L 13 position. I do not know what a TV-L 13 position is (Google is of no help here), and didn't want to be rude, so I am asking here first. Is this a common position or specific to Germany? If anyone knows, currently how much remuneration corresponds to a TV-L position?


2 Answers 2


TV-L is the German public servant remuneration grade table (Tarifvertrag für den Öffentlichen Dienst der Länder (TV-L)). It is how civil servants Germany are graded for their salaries and similar conditions for their work.

Depending on where your position is, you'll be under TV-L West, or East, or Berlin, or Hessen. Something in your letter might specify this. Either way, there is information on the details at the Öffentlicher Dienst website.

Assuming you'd be in West Germany, taxed as a single (i.e., not married or living with a life partner or children), this boils down to a basic salary of €2103/month with a net salary after all taxes and health insurance payments of €1383/month.

This will increase as you remain hired, you'll go up the staircase of salaries, going from 1 to 2 after 1 year, from 2 to 3 after an additional 2 years, etc. Each step is a monthly salary increase of about €150/month net.

  • 5
    Yes, I plugged in 66% in the box at that webpage. It is very common with less than full salaries in Germany -- my own position back when I did my PhD was a 1/2 position on TV-L (Ost) level 11. Commented Jan 15, 2013 at 15:25
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    Just curious, the pay is a fraction of a salary scale, but is the work week also that fraction of, say, 40 hours, or is it a full time position. Commented Feb 26, 2013 at 18:18
  • 5
    If you are paid a fraction of the full salary, your hours are supposed to be reduced correspondingly. However, since most graduate students don't normally work 40 hours per week at any rate, the actual number of hours to be worked is somewhat open to interpretation. The official number, however, is scaled.
    – aeismail
    Commented Feb 27, 2013 at 4:42
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    @PaulHiemstra: I was expected to work full time for my half salary. The argument was that I was being paid for my teaching, teaching prep, and the assistance I rendered my advisor; while my own thesis work was in my spare time but mandatory… or something like that. Commented Feb 27, 2013 at 10:21
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    It is worth noting that I did bring the working hours up with central HR when signing my contract. They told me I had to be at my desk 4h/day every day. Commented Feb 27, 2013 at 10:22

Found this link after Googling for "Tarifvertrag für den Öffentlichen Dienst der Lände" (Thanks to Mike for explaining first )

Tarifvertrag für den öffentlichen Dienst der Länder (Collective agreement for the public sector in the countries)

According to this, 13 is the pay group for Ph.D. students and postdoctoral associates. And the gross pay is from 3200 Euros upwards. (Basically it would be about 2000 Euros for 2/3 of that).

BTW, in one of the invitations, it says "E13". I'm not sure what this refers to but, I guess it's same as TV-L 13.

Hope this helps, and if you took this position, please explain further about TV-L 13.


  • 2
    "E13" stands for "Entgeltgruppe 13 TV-L" (as found on the contract) that literally translates to "Remuneration group 13 TV-L"
    – Federico
    Commented Jan 20, 2017 at 7:52

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