Humboldt Research Fellowships, Germany

Humboldt Research Fellowships for postdoctoral researchers are the instrument with which 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 ago1 to spend extended periods of research (6–24 months) in Germany. Scientists and scholars from all disciplines and countries may apply.

Research projects are carried out in cooperation with academic hosts at research institutions in Germany. Candidates choose their own research projects and their host in Germany and prepare their own research plan. Details of the research project and the time schedule must be agreed upon with the prospective host in advance. 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 their academic record. There are no quotas for individual disciplines or countries.

The most important criteria for assessment are:
-the academic quality and feasibility of the research proposal submitted by the candidate;
-academic publications in internationally-reviewed journals and for publishing houses;
-statements on the candidate’s academic achievements and potential contained in the expert references submitted by the candidate.
Applications are assessed by independent peer reviewers appointed by the Humboldt Foundation. The final decision is taken by a committee composed of academics from all disciplines.
Fellowship specifications
The fellowship is worth 2,250 EUR per month. This includes a mobility lump sum and a contribution towards health and liability insurance.

Additional benefits:
-an allowance for research costs amounting to 800 EUR per month (for research projects in the natural sciences and engineering) and 500 EUR (for research projects in the humanities and social sciences);
-language fellowship for an intensive language course for the fellow and his/her marital partner lasting two to four months at selected language institutes in Germany immediately prior to the actual period of research;
-lump sum for the fellow’s travel expenses if the costs are not borne by a third party;
-family allowances for visits by family members lasting at least three months (up to 326 EUR for the marital partner and up to 204 EUR per month for each child);
-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 project;
-extensive alumni sponsorship once a successful research stay has come to an end, especially for maintaining contact with collaborative partners in Germany during the Humboldtian’s entire academic career.

Application requirements
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 a detailed expert’s report by an academic host at a research institution in Germany.
4.Expert references from the doctoral supervisor and other academics qualified to comment on the applicant’s eligibility, preferably including reviewers 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 project successfully; otherwise a good knowledge of English; scientists and engineers must have a good knowledge of German or English.
Potential applicants who have been in Germany for more than six months at the time of application should check with the Humboldt Foundation ( whether formal requirements have been met before submitting their application documents.
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.

Application procedure
Applications may be sent to the following address at any time:
Alexander von Humboldt Foundation
Selection Department
Jean-Paul-Str. 12, 53173 Bonn, Germany
If this is not possible, they may be forwarded to the Humboldt Foundation via the branch offices of the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) or the missions of the Federal Republic of Germany abroad.
Please be sure to only use valid application documents, which can be downloaded at the programme’s website or obtained from the Foundation directly.

Reviewing the applications takes three to six months. It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure that he or she has submitted all the necessary documents. Applications not submitted as a single entity will take longer to process. Grossly incomplete applications will be returned to applicants unprocessed.
Further information on the selection procedure can be found in the FAQ on the Humboldt Foundation’s website.

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