Georg Forster Research Fellowships
for postdoctoral researchers
In providing Georg Forster 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
to spend extended periods of research (6-24 months) in Germany.
The research fellowship programme is financed by the Federal Ministry for Economic
Scientists and scholars from all disciplines from developing countries, emerging economies and
Republic of China and India; c.f.
detailed list of countries
may apply. The research outline must deal with issues of major relevance to the future
he candidate’s country
or region of origin.
The research is carried out in cooperation with academic hosts at research institutions in
their research outline independently. 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
Candidates are selected solely on the basis of the evaluation of their academic qualifications.
assessed on the basis of the following criteria:
research activities, academic productivity)
quality of key publications specified in the application (originality, degree of innovation,
n in cases of multiple authorship)
originality and innovation potential of the suggested research outline (significance for the
academic development of the applicant, clear focus and feasibility of realization within
the requested funding period and at the chosen host institution)
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:
pleted their doctorates more than four, but no more than 12 years ago may apply for “Georg
Forster Research Fellowships for exp
for the fellow’s return
selected language institutes in Germany immediately prior to the actual period of research;
language fellowships may also be granted to accompanying marital partners;
(monthly allowance: up to 326 EUR for marital partners and up to 240 EUR for each child);
stays of at least three months (400 EUR per month for the first child and 100 EUR per
month for every additional child);
by children under the age of 12;
a subsidy towards research costs to be paid to the hosts in Germany amounting to 800
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,
Humboldtian’s entire academic career.
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, however, at
the earliest, 6 months prior to the completion of their dissertation.
2. Academic publications reviewed according to international standards and printed in
journals and/or by publishing houses.
3. Choice of a research outline of major relevance to the future development of the
or region of origin
4. Confirmation that research facilities are available and mentoring agreement and a
by an academic host at a research institution in Germany.
5. Expert reviews from the doctoral supervisor and one other academic qualified to give
not working at the applicant’s own institute.
6. Necessary language skills: humanities or social sciences and medicine: good
a good knowledge of English; natural sciences and engineering: good knowledge of
German or English.
7. Citizenship as well as principal place of residence and work in a developing
People’s Republic of
and India, c.f.
). Eligible applicants must have lived in an eligible
detailed list of countries
) for a minimum of 12 months in the 18-month period
prior to submission of the application. If you are not resident in an eligible country at the
time of application, you must additionally have a permanent job in one of the countries
on the list of countries.
Eligible applicants must have lived outside Germany for a minimum of 12 months in total in the
Candidates who have completed their school
education and one university degree or one
university degree and their doctorate in Germany are eligible to apply provided that their
habitual place of work and residence has been located in a developing country, emerging
economy or transition state on the assumption of permanence and at least for the last five
years. Visit the FAQs on the website for additional information.
Academics who have already been sponsored by the Humboldt Foundation are not eligible to
apply for the Georg Forster Fellowship Programme but should turn to the Foundation’s Alumni
Programme for support for further research stays.
Application and selection procedure
Applications can only be submitted online. The completed application form, including the
necessary additional documents, should be submitted at least four to seven months ahead of
the prospective selection date.
Visit the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation’s
application process and all necessary documents as well as access to the online application
system. A confirmation of receipt will be issued after the application has been submitted.
The expert reviewers as well as the host should send their statements directly to the Humboldt
Applicants are responsible for ensuring that their documents are complete. Incomplete
After providing all the documents and receipt of the host’s statement, 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 15 academics from all disciplines reaches a decision on
approving research fellowships. The selection committee meets every year, in February, June
and October. 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
After a notification about a negative selection decision, candidates may apply informally by
their hosts will receive notification on this issue approx. 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 unanimously rejected applications, a new
as well as in the guidelines for a complete application attached in the
Rules of Good Scientific
and the legally binding principles of scientific ethics during the application and
sponsorship periods. For further information on this, please refer to section D of the
and Information for Research Fellows
, which also include further details pertaining to the
fellowship and to the research stay.