Daimler and Benz Foundation Postdoctoral Scholarships for Projects in Germany
The goal of the program is to strengthen the autonomy of our next generaton of academics as well as helping committed researchers get a smooth start on their career path during the productive phase after their dissertation. The Scholarship program targets young researchers who have received their PhDs and are in the early phases of their postdoctoral career. The scholarship is open to all areas of study (natural sciences, humanities and social sciences) and all topics. The only requirement is that the applicant has a research proposal and a formal connection to a research institute in Germany.
Who May Apply?
the grants serve to support postdoctoral students at German research institutes, primarily assistant professors or researchers in similar positions, as, for example, self-employed heads of young academic research groups. Candidates must be in the early phases of their research career. The foundation knowingly refuses to formulate a specific definition of “early phases” since the time period will be dependent on the academic field and can be evaluated in differing ways. Nonetheless it should be clear from the application that the applicant has consciously decided to pursue a research career and is actively pursuing this goal.
Applicants can only apply for a grant for their own research project. It can either be for an expansion of an already running research project or a completely new project.
The foundation hosts meetings at regular intervals in order to encourage exchanges between the grant recipients and to foster contact with the foundation. Willingness to participate in these events is a prerequisite for obtaining a grant.
The scholarships are awarded for two years: the yearly grant sum is € 20,000. Scholarship recipients must write a report about their progress and research results after the first year and a final report once the scholarship has ended. The bursar’s office of the research institute at which the scholarship recipient is working handles the actual disbursement of the grant.
The grant is to be used at the discretion of the applicant primarily for the following purposes: special chemicals and kits, appliances, computers, temporary contracts for research assistants, research trips, participation at conferences, as well as organizational costs for their own conferences.
Scholarships may not be used for living costs or as a replacement for the typical expenses of research institutes (for example, overhead and printing costs as well as running costs such as basic chemicals, paper, etc.).
Previous grants received by the applicant will not affect the funding of the scholarship.
How to Apply
Applicants should submit the following materials:
- Proof of affiliation with a research institute for the entire length of the scholarship (for example, written confirmation from the institute‘s head).
- Title and short description of the research project suitable for academic evaluation including particulars on the planned methodology (four Din-A4-pages maximum, including bibliography).
- Short description of the research project suitable for a general audience (one page maximum).
- Approximate timetable for the project including general information about the planned use of scholarship funds (two pages maximum).
- Curriculum vitae with the applicant’s academic career (including publications, grants, prizes, etc.).
- Copies of all academic degrees (provisional copies are not acceptable); for foreign degrees please include a certified German or english translation.
- Two confidential letters of recommendation containing commentary not only about the applicant but also about her/his proposed project. The letters of recommendation must be written on the official stationery of the institution at which the letter writer works. Informal and unsigned letters or recommendations will not be considered.
Applications can be written in either German or english. Submission, including the confidential letters of recommendation, must be completed by midnight on October 1, 2018. Applications can be submitted to the online application portal. The font size must be at least 11 points.
The confidential letters of recommendation must be submitted to the online application portal. Letters of recommendation can only be uploaded if the applicant has already entered the email address of the author of the letter of recommendation in advance. Immediately after this information has been entered, an email with login information is generated and sent to the author of the letter of recommendation. From experience, the foundation recommends that the applicant inform the author of the letter of recommendation about the exact procedure and deadline for submission.
After the application deadline, a preliminary selection is carried out. The candidates who have been chosen in this first round are invited to a seminar in the business offices of the Daimler and Benz foundation in Ladenburg. There they are provided with the opportunity to personally introduce their project to representatives of the foundation as well as external experts. Applicants must attend the selection seminar in order to be considered for a grant. Reapplication is not possible. The list of successful scholarship applicants is usually made public in February of the following year; the exact starting point of the grant project is determined jointly between the foundation and the scholarship recipient.