The International Postdoc Initiative (IPODI) Fellowship

Deadline: 14 December 2018
Open to: applicants with no more than ten years of research experience after obtaining her doctoral degree (PhD or equivalent)
Award: two-year employment contract at TU Berlin with a competitive salary +  a contribution to research costs of EUR 10,000


The International Postdoc Initiative (IPODI) of the Technische Universität Berlin is part of the gender equality initiative Wissenschaftlerinnen an die Spitze” that aims at increasing the number of women in leadership positions. Since  013, IPODI has awarded 26 two-year fellowships at TU Berlin to outstanding female researchers in four international open calls.  The program addresses excellent female  esearchers, regardless of their nationality or age, and is open to applications from all fields of research represented at TU Berlin. Researchers returning from periods of international mobility (research outside Germany), mobility between sectors (work in the private sector) or non-academic mobility (e.g. after parental leave) are  especially encouraged to apply. The fellowships are announced in internationally open calls for application and awarded through a merit-based international selection process.

From 2013 until June 2018, IPODI is co-funded under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions COFUND Programme of the European Commission. Due to the great success of the program, TU Berlin decided to sponsor three additional calls for applications which will continue until 2022. IPODI is also mentioned as a good practice example for the internationalization of research at German universities by the German Rectors´ Conference.

Each IPODI fellowship is different. Their fellows present a wide range of disciplines from architecture to mathematics. Furthermore, the researchers can take on a fellowship at different stages in their professional life. Some have just begun their post-doc period, others are already at the level of associate professor. IPODI offers them the means to do the necessary next steps to further their careers.


In order to enter the selection process, applications have to meet the following criteria:

  • The applicant may have no more than ten years of research experience after obtaining her doctoral degree (Ph.D. or equivalent). In exceptional cases, an extension of up to three years is possible. Researchers with diverse career paths are explicitly invited to apply for an IPODI fellowship. Applications from researchers with periods of international mobility, mobility between sectors or non-academic mobility are especially welcome. IPODI perceives such career “breaks” as additional qualifications with respect to social and organizational skills and considers them within the eligibility criteria and selection process. Candidates with children are automatically granted an extension of the eligibility period of two years per child. The maximum extension to be granted is three years. Applicants are also able to present further circumstances that may lead to an extension of their eligibility period for the application (e.g. care responsibilities, chronic disease, illness);
  • The applicant may not have resided or carried out her main activity in Germany for more than 12 months in the three years prior to the call deadline (Marie Curie Mobility Rule);
  • The research proposal fits into one of the fields of research represented in one of the TU Berlin’s seven faculties and is supported by a cooperating professor at TU Berlin;
  • The application has to be submitted in complete form by the deadline announced in the call for applications;
  • Applications have to be submitted in English.


Financial Package

IPODI fellows receive a two-year employment contract at TU Berlin with a competitive salary according to salary group E 13 of TVL, including social security and health insurance as well as pension coverage. In addition, each fellow receives a contribution to their research costs of EUR 10,000.


Each fellow is supported by an experienced mentor who is a professor at TU Berlin. The mentor supports the fellow with initiating and conducting her research project, facilitates the integration of the fellow into the research institute, and provides guidance with regard to research and career development.

Training Opportunities

IPODI fellows receive comprehensive training opportunities tailored to their individual needs. Workshops cover all aspects of management and leadership skills, academic career planning, and so forth. Fellows profit from the courses offered by TU Berlin, from TU Berlin’s research services as well as from the wider Berlin-wide network of research facilities. Fellows who are fluent in German are encouraged to participate in ProFiL, a renowned career program for female researchers. Furthermore, IPODI covers the costs for two German language classes per year.


IPODI fellows have various opportunities to expand their professional networks. The IPODI office organizes regular meetings with other IPODI fellows. Fellows are also invited to the President’s welcome reception for international guest researchers and they are able to attend scientific conferences and lectures taking place at the TU Berlin. With four universities and numerous research facilities, Berlin offers extensive professional resources for researchers from any discipline.

Family Service

TU Berlin is committed to creating a family-friendly working environment. Our family services office offers comprehensive advice and support for researchers with care responsibilities (e.g. childcare facilities, flexible working hours).

How to apply?

Applications have to be submitted in English in the IPODI application portal. In addition to completing the online application form, applicants are asked to upload a number of documents as part of their application. Required documents include:

  • An innovative and independent research proposal (max. five pages) and a time plan demonstrating how the proposed objectives are to be achieved (max. one page),
  • A letter of motivation detailing career perspectives and motivation to apply for IPODI,
  • A completed ethical issues table,
  • A letter of support of a cooperating professor of the TU Berlin,
  • Two external letters of reference.

In order to apply and read more information please visit the official website