Humboldt Research Fellowships for Experienced Researchers in Germany
The Humboldt Foundation grants approximately 500 Humboldt Research Fellowships for experienced researchers annually. Experienced researchers from any nation are invited to apply for the program.
Nationality: International Researchers come from any countries
Duration of research: 6-18 months
- There is no specific deadline to apply for the program as you can apply to the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation online at any time.
- You are recommended to apply if you are a researcher from abroad with above average qualifications, completed your doctorate less than twelve years ago.
- You have already had your research profile.
- Your current employment status needs to be at least at the level of Assistant Professor or Junior Research Group Leader or have a record of several years of independent academic work.
- You as applicants can choose your own topic of research and academic host.
- The fellowship is flexible and can be divided up into as many as three stays within three years.
- The months that the selection committee meets are in March, July and November. Noticeably, if you are approved for the fellowship, you may start the fellowship two months after the selection meeting at the earliest.
Description of Humboldt Research Fellowships
Submit an application if you are a researcher from abroad with above average qualifications, completed your doctorate less than twelve years ago, already have your own research profile and are working at least at the level of Assistant Professor or Junior Research Group Leader or have a record of several years of independent academic work. A Humboldt Research Fellowship for experienced researchers allows you to carry out long-term research (6-18 months) in Germany. Applicants choose their own topic of research and their academic host. The fellowship is flexible and can be divided up into as many as three stays within three years.
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.
- Doctorate or comparable academic degree (Ph.D., C.Sc. or equivalent), completed less than twelve years prior to the date of application. If it is not possible or customary to take a doctorate in the candidate’s subject or country, applications may be submitted up to twelve years after commencing publication activity;
- The candidate’s own research profile documented by a comprehensive list of 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 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;
- Two expert reviews from important collaborative partners and/or academics from the candidate’s own institute and, if possible, from abroad;
- 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;
- Applications to continue a research stay already underway can only be considered in exceptional cases. The applicant may not have spent an extended period in Germany prior to application. Potential applicants who have been in Germany for more than six months at the time of application are not eligible to apply;
- 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.
Application and selection procedure:
|Timeline of the
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 the fellowship 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.
Top opportunities for researchers from developing countries
Please send us your application,
- if you are a researcher with above average qualifications in a developing or transition country (see list of countries),
- if you intend to carry out long-term research of your own choice (6 to 24 months) at a research institution in Germany together with an academic host you have chosen yourself,
- if your research outline includes aspects that are important for the continued development of your country or region of origin and
- if you want to contribute to the exchange of knowledge and methods between Germany and your country of origin.
We offer you
- a monthly fellowship of €2,650 for postdoctoral researchers (doctorate completed within the last four years) or €3,150 for experienced researchers (doctorate completed within the last 12 years),
- a flexible starting date and – for experienced researchers – the option of splitting the fellowship up into a maximum of three stays,
- individual mentoring during the sponsorship period,
- intensive German language course for fellows and their marital partners prior to the fellowship,
- additional financial support for accompanying family members and items like travel expenses and
- comprehensive alumni sponsorship once the research stay has come to an end, such as a Return Fellowship or further stays in Germany.
In recent years, approximately 20% to 25% of applications were successful (see also positive selection decisions within the past 12 months).
In addition, the Humboldt Foundation grants Georg Forster Research Awards every year to leading researchers from developing countries.