Call for Applications: Humboldt Research Fellowship for Postdoctoral Researchers


 

Deadline: 31 December 2020

 

Submit an application if you are a researcher from abroad with above average qualifications, at the beginning of your academic career and only completed your doctorate in the last four years. A Humboldt Research Fellowship for postdoctoral researchers allows you to carry out long-term research (6-24 months) in Germany. Applicants choose their own topic of research and their academic host.

Scientists and scholars of all nationalities and disciplines may apply to the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation online at any time. In recent years, approximately 25% to 30% of applications were successful. Short-term study visits, participation in congresses and training courses cannot be financed.

Eligible academics from developing and emerging countries may apply for a Georg Forster Fellowship.

  1. 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.
  2. Academic publications reviewed according to international standards and printed in journals and/or by publishing houses.
  3. Confirmation that research facilities are available and mentoring agreement and a detailed expert's report by an academic host at a research institution 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.
  4. Expert reviews from the doctoral supervisor and one other academic qualified to give well-founded comments on the applicant's eligibility, preferably including a reviewer not working at the applicant's own institute.
  5. Language skills: scholars in the humanities or social sciences and physicians must have a good knowledge of German if it is necessary to carry out the research successfully; otherwise a good knowledge of English; scientists and engineers must have a good knowledge of German or English.
  6. Applications to continue a research stay already underway can only be considered in exceptional cases. Foreign academics staying in Germany are eligible to apply if they have lived outside Germany for a minimum of 12 months in total in the 18-month period prior to submission of the application. Any time spent in Germany within those 18 months is taken into account, regardless of duration or reason. German citizens and/or educational residents are generally ineligible to apply if they have been in Germany within the last 18 months prior to receipt of their application or are already in Germany at the time of applying. For more details, please check our FAQ
  7. The Humboldt-Foundation assumes that candidates will abide the Rules of Good Scientific Practice and the legally-binding principles of scientific ethics during the application and sponsorship periods.

Applications may be submitted to the Humboldt Foundation online at any time, provided they have been duly completed and all of the following required documents have been uploaded:

  • Curriculum vitae (two pages max)
  • Research outline (five pages max)
  • Complete list of publications
  • List of selected key publications
  • Key publications
  • Doctoral certificate
  • German language certificate, if applicable
  • Host’s statement and confirmation of research facilities*
  • Two expert reviews*
  • Additionally, where required: publishers' letter(s) of acceptance and/or acknowledgment(s) of receipt as well as summaries or translations of the key publications

* The host and expert reviewer(s) upload the required documents in a secure area themselves. Applications can be submitted only after these documents have been uploaded. The application form contains further instructions and information.

It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure that he or she has submitted all the necessary documents.

The Humboldt Foundation will confirm receipt of the online application by email. The date used to determine whether the applicant meets certain formal requirements, particularly with respect to career stage limitations and previous stays in Germany, is the date on which the Humboldt Foundation receives the respective application.

After the application has been checked to ensure that it is complete and meets the formal requirements for eligibility applicants will be notified about the proposed selection date. The application documents will then usually be forwarded to two independent reviewers for written review. On the basis of these independent peer reviews a selection committee composed of about 50 academics from all disciplines reaches a decision on approving research fellowships. The selection committee meets three times a year, in March, July and November. If an application has been approved a fellow arriving from abroad may start the fellowship two months after the selection meeting at the earliest. Fellows must start their fellowships within twelve months of the selection meeting; otherwise it will be forfeited.

If your application is not approved, you may send an informal email requesting feedback to be sent to you and your host on the reasons for the rejection. This will usually follow approximately four to six weeks after the selection committee meeting.

It is not possible to appeal. However, applicants who have been rejected may submit a revised application provided that fundamental aspects of the original application have been significantly improved.
In the case of applications that have been unanimously rejected, new applications will be accepted only after a period of 18 months.

Online application

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