Humboldt Research Fellowship for Postdoctoral Researchers
In providing Humboldt Research Fellowships for postdoctoral researchers, the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation enables highly-qualified scientists and scholars from abroad who are just embarking on their academic careers and who completed their doctorates less than four years ago to spend extended periods of research (6–24 months) in Germany. Scientists and scholars from all disciplines and countries may apply.
Researchers who completed their doctorates more than four, but no more than twelve years ago may apply for “Humboldt Research Fellowships for experienced researchers”.
The research outline is carried out in cooperation with academic hosts at research institutions in Germany. Applicants choose their own topic of research and their host in Germany. Details of the research outline including information on the intended duration of the fellowship must be agreed with the intended host before applying. Short-term visits for study and training purposes or for attending conferences are not eligible for sponsorship.
Candidates are selected solely on the basis of the evaluation of their academic qualification. There are no quotas for individual disciplines or countries. A candidate’s academic qualification is assessed on the basis of the following criteria:
- academic record and academic performance to date (mobility, determination, breadth of research activities, academic productivity)
- quality of key publications specified in the application (originality, degree of innovation, applicant’s contribution in cases of multiple authorship)
- 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)
Applications are assessed on the basis of independent peer reviews requested by the Humboldt Foundation. The final decision is taken by a committee composed of academics from all disciplines in the framework of the funding available.
The fellowship is worth 2,650 EUR per month. This includes a mobility lump sum and a contribution towards health and liability insurance.
Additional benefits for research fellows:
- lump sum for the fellow’s travel expenses if the costs are not borne by a third party;
- language fellowship for an intensive language course lasting two to four months at selected language institutes in Germany immediately prior to the actual period of research;
- language fellowships may also be granted to accompanying marital partners.
- family allowances for accompanying family members staying at least three months (monthly allowance: up to 326 EUR for marital partners and up to 234 EUR for each child);
- for single-parents: flat-rate allowance for accompanying children (under the age of 18) for stays of at least three months (400 EUR per month for the first child and 100 EUR per month for every additional child);
- additional extension of the fellowship up to 12 months for research fellows accompanied by children under the age of 12;
- a subsidy towards research costs to be paid to the hosts in Germany amounting to 800 EUR per month (for research in the natural sciences and engineering) and 500 EUR (for research in the humanities and social sciences);
- Europe allowance for a research stay at a research institute in another European country (though not the research fellow’s own country); for a designated period in the course of the fellowship if necessary to ensure the success of the research;
- extensive alumni sponsorship once a successful research stay has come to an end, especially for maintaining contacts with collaborative partners in Germany during the Humboldtian’s entire academic career.
- Doctorate or comparable academic degree (Ph.D., C.Sc. or equivalent), completed less than four years prior to the date of application. Candidates who have nearly completed their doctoral degrees are eligible to apply provided that they submit the manuscript of their dissertation or publications containing the results of their dissertation, however, at the earliest, 6 months prior to the completion of their dissertation.
- Academic publications reviewed according to international standards and printed in journals and/or by publishing houses.
- Confirmation that research facilities are available and mentoring agreement and a detailed expert’s statement by an academic host at a research institution in Germany.
- Expert reviews from the doctoral supervisor and one other academic qualified to give well-founded comments on the applicant’s qualification, preferably including reviewers not working at the applicant’s own institute.
- Necessary language skills:
- humanities or social sciences and medicine: good knowledge of German if it is necessary to carry out the research successfully; otherwise a good knowledge of English;
- natural sciences and engineering: good knowledge of German or English.
Eligible applicants must have lived outside Germany for a minimum of 12 months in total in the 18-month period prior to submission of the application. Potential applicants of German nationality are eligible to apply provided that their habitual place of work and residence has been located abroad on the assumption of permanence for at least five years. Potential applicants who have completed their school education and one university degree or one university degree and their doctorate in Germany are subject to the regulations governing German citizens.
Academics who have already been sponsored by the Humboldt Foundation are not eligible to apply for the Humboldt Research Fellowship Programme but should turn to the Foundation’s Alumni Programme for support for further research stays.