Early Career Fellowships at Lichtenberg-Kolleg Göttingen: Enlightenment, Human and Natural Sciences, History of Political Thought

The Lichtenberg-Kolleg, the Göttingen Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities and Social Sciences, invites applications for up to
10 Early Career Fellowships.

Opening its doors in 1737 Göttingen quickly established itself as one of Europe's leading Enlightenment universities. Named after one of the most important and versatile representatives of the Göttingen Enlightenment, the Lichtenberg-Kolleg is an interdisciplinary research institute with a strong focus not only on the Enlightenment(s), but also on "bridges" between the human and natural sciences and the history of political thought.

For Early Career Fellows, we provide the opportunity to bring their research to a more advanced level after their doctorate and to prepare themselves for their professional future as academic teachers, researchers and administrators. Hence the Early Career Fellowship (ECF) programme will combine research and professional training, i.e. assist Fellows in turning their thesis into a monograph, in learning about publishers and publishing, in starting up a new research project, in learning about funding opportunities (and about how to apply) and in developing those skills that are needed in the life of academic teaching and administration. Early Career Fellows will also have the opportunity to teach at undergraduate level. These teaching opportunities are to be developed in close cooperation with the Götingen associate members of each research group who will act as mentors.

In close cooperation with Göttingen colleagues a specific research team will be set up for each theme. The composition of each research group will be a mixture of Senior Fellows, Mid-Career Fellows and Early Career Fellows. In principal, each research group will consist of three or four Early Career Fellows, two Mid-Career/Senior Research Fellows, four or five Göttingen associates and up to three affiliated Göttingen PhD students.

For the period October 2017 to July 2019 we are inviting early career scholars to join one of the research groups for the study of either:

  • Globalising the Enlightenment: Knowledge, Culture, Travel, Exchange and Collections, or:
  • Human Rights, Constitutional Politics and Religious Diversity, or:
  • Moritz Stern Fellowships in Modern Jewish Studies: Cultural, Intellectual and Literary History (in cooperation with the Göttingen Academy of Sciences and Humanities).


Candidates are eligible during the six-year period following the successful completion of their Ph.D. The Ph.D. thesis will have to be handed in before application and the Ph.D. defence should take place no later than 31 May 2017. In exceptional cases we will consider applications from candidates who will hand in their thesis after the application deadline. In this case we need your supervisors to confirm that your PhD thesis will be handed in before the prospective beginning of the Fellowship in October 2017.

Extensions to the six-year rule are allowed for applicants whose academic career has been interrupted for maternity leave or illness. Please provide information on circumstances in the application. Successful candidates will be asked to provide supporting documents. Göttingen graduates are encouraged to apply although candidates from outside Göttingen with equivalent qualifications will be favoured. Candidates of all nationalities are eligible for the ECF.

The University of Göttingen is an equal opportunities employer and places particular emphasis on fostering career opportunities for women. Qualified women are therefore strongly encouraged to apply as they are underrepresented in this field. Disabled persons with equivalent aptitude will be favoured.


Fellows are required to live in Göttingen for the duration of their Fellowship in order that they may take an active part in the programme and in the academic activities in Göttingen.


The tax-free scholarship consists of:

  • a basic grant of between 1.365,- and 1.518,- Euro per month (according to the University of Göttingen Guidelines for Research Fellowships)
  • 203 Euro as a research and publication allowance per month
  • 600 Euro per month as allowance for accommodation
  • Where applicable, family allowances will be added to the basic grant.

Selection Criteria and Procedure

Fellows are selected on the basis of their research excellence and potential, their academic career interests, and the availability of Göttingen faculty to provide mentorship. Research excellence is assessed on the basis of the candidate’s contributions (publications, PhD thesis, etc.) and other supporting evidence (i.e. letters of reference and research plan).

Academic career interests are assessed on the basis of the CV and other supporting evidence (i.e. letters of reference). ECF will be assigned to those candidates, satisfying the research excellence criteria and who will benefit most from the ECF Programme, which is oriented towards the early stages of the post-doc academic career.

The capacity and availability of University of Göttingen faculty to provide mentorship is taken into account; however, while having common research interests may be helpful, it is not a necessity for mentorship.

Selection committee

Fellows are selected by the ECF Programme selection committee:

  • Lichtenberg-Kolleg director and research theme coordinators
  • associated Göttingen Faculty
  • Academic Advisory Board of the Lichtenberg-Kolleg

The selection committee will meet at the end of March 2017. We aim to inform applicants of the decision of the committee by April 2017. You will receive a positive or negative response or a communication informing you of your position on the waiting list.

Application date
12 Feb 2017
2 academic years
Europe Germany
Humanities Anthropology & Ethnology Archaeology Architecture Art & Art History Classical Studies Digital Humanities History Linguistics Literature Media Studies Music & Musicology Philosophy Religion & Theology Social sciences Political science
Required post-doc experience: 
between 0 and 6 years
Grants available
Award granted
€ 2.168-2.321/month