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Nationale und EU-Förderprogramme für wissenschaftlichen Nachwuchs

Here we present an overview of funding programmes for junior researchers. If you have any questions regarding these programmes, please contact the Office of Research Support.

OWN POSITIONEinklappen

DFG: Individual Research Grants – Module: Temporary Positions for Principal Investigators

Funding amount: follows governmental salary scales for public service (TV-L)
Closing date: anytime

Eligibility

  • Qualified researchers (as a rule, those holding a doctorate) from all disciplines working at German research institutions
  • Research project of high scientific quality and originality, carried out at an international level
  • Applications only in conjunction with Individual Research Grant (Sachbeihilfe)

More information

DFG: Walter Benjamin-Programme (National Funding Line - Own Position)

Duration: up to 2 years.
Funding amount: follows governmental salary scales for public service (TV-L), plus allowance for direct project costs
Closing date: anytime

Eligibility:

  • Postdoctoral researchers at an early career stage, ideal for recently graduated PhDs
  • Mobility is expected, i.e. candidates should not plan to stay at institute of doctoral studies
  • Project may not be based at an entity that is for-profit or that does not permit the publication of findings in a generally accessible form

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DFG: Heisenberg-Programme (Heisenberg Position or Heisenberg Professorship)

Duration: 5 years (3+2)
Funding amount:  follows governmental salary scales for public service (TV-L) or for professors (W-Besoldung)
Closing date: anytime

Eligibility:

  • Researcher has to meet all requirements for appointment to a professorship
  • High scientific quality and originality of the research project at international level and suitability for further  qualification as a university teacher

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Volkswagen Foundation: Freigeist Fellowships

Duration: up to 5 (+3) years or 6 (+2) years
Funding amount: up to € 2 Mio.
Closing date: 15 October 2020, 14 October 2021

Eligibility:

  • PhD degree no longer than four years prior to submission
  • Outstanding junior researchers who wish to carry out research at the boundaries between established fields of research
  • Project linked to research institution in Germany
  • Completed change of academic environment and research stay abroad

More information

Volkswagen Foundation: Original – isn’t it? New Options for the Humanities and Cultural Studies (Funding Line 2 "Constellations")

Duration: max. 18 months
Funding amount: up to €150.000
Closing date: Call will be published on the website (https://www.volkswagenstiftung.de/en/funding/application-deadlines)

Eligibility:

  • All career levels after the PhD
  • Scientists working in the humanities or cultural studies as well as scientists working in theoretical social sciences
  • Researchers have to be employed at a scientific institution in Germany
  • Researchers from foreign institutions are welcome to apply as co-applicants

More information

Fritz Thyssen Foundation: Own Position in a Research Project

Duration: max. 3 years (2 years as a rule)
Funding amount: follows governmental salary scales for public service (TV-L)
Closing date: yearly 15 February or 15 September

Eligibility:

  • All career levels after the PhD
  • Project needs to fit one of the Foundation’s research themes
  • Planned project staff cannot submit applications. Junior scholars with doctoral degrees can apply for their own post within the framework of a project proposed by a project leader or principal investigator (as a rule a professor)

More information

RESEARCH GROUP LEADEREinklappen

ERC Starting Grant (2-7 years after PhD)

Duration: max. 5 years
Funding amount: up to €1.5 Mio.
Closing date:  New call to be published in the EC Framework Programme “Horizon Europe” late in 2020 or early 2021.

Eligibility:

  • 2-7 years of experience since completion of PhD
  • Research must be conducted in a public or private research organisation (known as a Host Institution/HI) in any of the EU Member States or Associated Countries
  • Applications for an ERC grant must be submitted by a single Principal Investigator (PI) in conjunction with their    Host Institution, called the Applicant Legal Entity

More information

European Commission: ERC Consolidator Grant

Duration: 5 years
Funding amount: up to € 2 Mio
Closing date: New call to be published in the EC Framework Programme “Horizon Europe” late in 2020 or early 2021.

Eligibility:

  • 7-12 years of experience since completion of PhD
  • Scientific track record showing great promise and an excellent research proposal
  • Research must be conducted in a public or private research organisation (known as a Host Institution/HI) in any of the EU Member States or Associated Countries
  • Applications for an ERC grant must be submitted by a single Principal Investigator (PI) in conjunction with their    Host Institution, called the Applicant Legal Entity

More information

DFG: Emmy Noether-Programme (Independent Junior Research Group Leader)

Duration: max. 6 years (3 +3)
Funding amount: follows governmental salary scales for public service (TV-L) plus allowance for direct project costs
Closing date: anytime

Eligibility:

  • Up to 4 years after completion of the doctorate (normally at least two years postdoctoral experience).
  • Excellent research project
  • Substantial international research experience
  • Assessed on the basis of previous research work, ambitious publications in internationally respected journals or a comparable format.
  • Applicants from abroad are expected to continue their research careers in Germany after the funding comes to an end, a written letter of intent must be attached to the proposal
  • Programme is not open to researchers who have already satisfied the requirements for a professorship
  • Applications in conjunction with Individual Research Grant (Sachbeihilfe)

More information

Boehringer Ingelheim Stiftung: Plus3 Perspectives Programme for Independent Junior Research Group Leaders

Duration: max. 6 years (3+3)
Funding amount: up to € 900.000 over every funding period of 3 years
Closing date: yearly 15 March or 15 September

Eligibility:

  • PhD less than 12 years prior to the application deadline
  • 2-5 years experience as an independent research group leader in a German institution
  • Candidates from the fields of medicine, chemistry, or biology (excl. zoological research and research on systematic botany)
  • Substantial international experience
  • Outstanding publishing record
  • Hosting institution confirms to offer permanent position after 6 years, and must contribute to research facilities and equipment

More information

Elitenetzwerk Bayern: International Junior Research Group (Nachwuchsforschergruppen)

Duration: 5 Years
Funding amount: follows governmental salary scales for public service (TV-L) plus allowance for direct project costs
Closing date: currently no call

Eligibility:

  • 2-5 years after PhD
  • for two years prior to the application applicants must have carried out research at an institution other than the  hosting institution
  • Outstanding scientific track record
  • Original research proposal
  • Theme of research group has to match either one of the elite graduate programmes or the international doctoral programmes of the ENB

More information

​MOBILITYEinklappen

Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions: European Fellowships (EF)

Duration: 1-2 years (exception: Career Restart up to 3 years)
Funding amount: €4.880 per month (depending on the host country), plus € 600 mobility allowance and (if applicable) € 500 family allowance
Closing date: 9 September 2020

Eligibility:

  • Postdocs or researchers who have at least 4 years of full-time research experience
  • Mobility rule: researchers of all nationalities who have not spent more than 12 months during the last three years in the country of their future host organisation
  • Host Institution can be universities, universities of applied science, research organisations and companies located    in a EU Member State or Associated Country
  • For all three panels (Reintegration, Career Restart, Society and Enterprise) researchers may not have lived or worked in the country of their potential host institution for more than three years during the past five years

Special requirements:

  • In order for a researcher to be eligible for the Reintegration panel, they must move directly from a third country to Europe. This panel is open for researchers from EU-Member States or Associated Countries as well as for          long-term residents (= third country nationals having spent at least five consecutive years in Europe (MS or AC))
  • In order for a researcher to be eligible for the Career Restart panel, they must not have been active in research for   at least 12 months in the 18 months prior to the deadline, e.g. due to parental leave
  • In order to be eligible for the Society and Enterprise panel, applicants must apply with a host institution from the   non-academic sector.

More information

Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions: Global Fellowships (GF)

Duration: 1-2 years (+1 year return phase)
Funding amount: €4.880 per month (depending on the host country), plus € 600 mobility allowance and (if applicable) € 500 family allowance.
Closing date: 9 September 2020

Eligibility:

  • Postdocs or researchers from EU Member State or Associated Country who have at least 4 years of full-time research experience. GF are also open for nationals of third countries if they are long term residents, meaning a period of at least 5 consecutive years spent in a MS or AS prior to the deadline
  • Mobility rule: researchers may not have spent more than 12 months during the last three years in the country of    their future host organisation
  • Host Institution can be universities, universities of applied science, research organisations and companies located    in a Third Country (e.g. USA, Canada, Japan). The GF include a mandatory return phase to Europe

More information

Alexander von Humboldt-Foundation: Feodor Lynen-Research Fellowship for Postdoctoral Researchers or Experienced Researchers (research stay outside Germany)

Duration: 6-24 months (Postdoctoral Fellowship), 6-18 months (Experienced Researcher Fellowship)
Funding amount: €3.305 per month, up to €5,320 if accompanied by a marital partner and two children
Closing date:  anytime

Eligibility:

  • Up to 4 years after PhD (Postdoctoral Fellowship) or up to 12 years after PhD (Experienced Researcher    Fellowship)
  • Excellent average academic history and academic record
  • Host confirmation of research facilities (host must be member of foundation’s alumni network, see related  information on the link below)
  • Experienced researchers also require their own academic profile and professional experience at least at the level     of assistant professor or junior research group leader or several years independent scientific employment

More information

Humboldt Research Fellowship for Postdoctoral Researchers (research stay in Germany)

Duration: 6-24 months (Postdoctoral Fellowship), 6-18 months (Experienced Researcher Fellowship)
Funding amount: €2.670 per month (+ additional benefits + family allowance, etc.) for Postdoctoral Fellowship,  €3.170 per month (+ additional benefits – family allowance, etc.) for Experienced Researcher Fellowship.
Closing date: anytime

Eligibility:

  • PhD completion less than 4 years prior to application (Postdoctoral Fellowship) or less than 12 years prior to application (Experienced Researcher Fellowship)
  • Applicants should be living and working outside Germany at the time of application. You may only apply if you have resided outside Germany for a minimum of 12 months in total in the 18-month period prior to submission of the application.
  • Excellent academic record and academic performance
  • Originality and innovation potential of the suggested research outline (significance for the advancement of the discipline, convincing choice of academic methods, prospects for academic development of the applicant, clear  focus and feasibility of realization within the requested funding period and at the chosen host institution).
  • The applicant’s future potential (academic potential, further academic development, career prospects, prospect of     a professorial appointment).
  • Host confirmation of research facilities (host must be member of foundation’s alumni network, see related  information on the link below)

More information (Postdoctoral Fellowship)
More information (Experienced Researcher Fellowship)

DFG: Walter Benjamin-Programme abroad (International Funding Line –Fellowship)

Duration: up to 2 years.
Funding amount: Use the award calculator à https://www.dfg.de/en/research_funding/programmes/individual/research_fellowships/calculator/index.jsp
Closing date: anytime

Eligibility:

  • Postdoctoral researchers at an early career stage, ideal for recently graduated PhDs
  • The project may not be based at an entity that is for-profit or that does not permit the publication of findings in a generally accessible form
  • Funding can only be provided if researchers are integrated into Germany’s academic research system. This is the case if, immediately prior to submitting a proposal, they have worked as a researcher in Germany for a continuous period of at least three years during their doctoral and/or postdoctoral phase
  • If researchers are already based abroad, funding can be provided abroad if they have completed the majority of    their schooling and higher education in Germany and, as of proposal time, have not spent more than three years abroad for research purposes after completing their doctorate in Germany or abroad
  • Furthermore, they must not have worked longer than one year at the host institution selected for the Walter   Benjamin fellowship as of proposal time

More information

DAAD: Postdoctoral Researchers International Mobility Experience (PRIME)

Duration: 12 months (abroad) + 6 months mandatory reintegration in Germany
Funding amount: follows governmental salary scales for public service (TV-L), plus allowance for direct project costs
Closing date: 1 June 2020

Eligibility:

  • Applicants must have completed their PhD before starting the fellowship
  • Employing host institution in Germany has to be a university, German host university must confirm in writing that    the postdoc will be employed for the whole funding period, should the application be successful
  • Applicants must comply with the programme’s mobility rule, i.e. they are free to choose any country (except Germany) as destination for their research stay abroad, provided they have not resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in that country for more than 12 months in total during the three years preceding the application deadline
  • Applicants must accept that the research stay abroad and the return phase to Germany are both mandatory parts    of the programme

More information

DAAD: Research Fellowship at the Fondation Maison des Sciences de l’Homme (MSH) Paris for the Humanities and Social Science

Duration: 6 months
Funding amount: €1.750 per month (+ additional benefits)
Closing date:

Eligibility:

  • PhD degree with at least ‘cum laude’ and no older than 4 years
  • Outstanding language skills in French
  • Project subject has to differ from the PhD thesis

More information

Leopoldina Research Fellowship

Duration: 1-2 years
Funding amount: salary follows DFG funding guidelines
Closing date: anytime

Eligibility:

  • Up to seven years after PhD completion
  • Post-doctoral researchers from the fields of natural science, medicine or science history
  • Original research profile
  • Outstanding scientific track record

More information

RESEARCH FELLOWSHIPSEinklappen

Fritz Thyssen Stiftung: Postdoctoral Fellowship

Duration: max. 1 year
Funding amount: €1.800 (+ additional benefits)
Closing date: anytime

Elegibility:

  • Applicant should not have received his or her doctoral degree more than one or two years previously
  • Doctoral degree procedure must have been completed with the defense of the work (disputation) or doctoral viva (Rigorosum), a (preliminary) degree certificate is to be submitted
  • Research stipend should be associated with a scholarly project that is independent of any outside influence and be based on individual initiative and be carried out at a school of higher learning or at a non-profit research facility
  • No stipends are awarded for doctoral dissertations or “Habilitations” or to complete such works to follow up support through other institutions

More information


Verantwortlich für die Redaktion: Dr. David Magnus

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