Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Humboldt Post-Doc Scholarship

Who can apply?

The Humboldt Post-Doc Scholarship funding line is aimed at outstanding PhD students or graduates who have either just completed or who are about to complete their PhD at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. The aim is to facilitate the transition to the postdoctoral phase for PhD graduates who wish to pursue an academic career. Applicants must have an excellent PhD, a postdoctoral project that they wish to start during the funding period, and an international network.

How do I apply?

The application process for Humboldt Post-Doc Scholarships takes place via an online application portal. Applications will only be accepted via this portal, and the portal is only accessible during the application periods.

Once you have submitted your application via the online application portal, you will receive an automatic confirmation e-mail. Only complete applications can be considered.

The entire online application process can be completed in German or English.

How many Humboldt Post-Doc Scholarships are available?

Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin awards up to 20 Humboldt Post-Doc Scholarships each year. Half of these shall be awarded to women.

Who decides who will receive the Humboldt Post-Doc Scholarships?

The Humboldt Research Track Scholarships are awarded by the Selection Committee of the Institutional Strategy Funding Lines for Promoting Young Researchers. The selection board is comprised of professors, post-docs and doctoral students from various disciplines.

By when can I expect a decision on my application?

The decision to award the scholarships will be made at least a month before the funding is due to begin. We will let you know if your application has been successful as soon as a decision has been reached.

When does the funding start?

The actual beginning of the funding period is flexible within limits. The scholarship can only start after the PhD thesis defense (disputation) and must commence by the start of the next funding cycle. The funding cycles begin either on 1 February, 1 April, 1 August or 1 October

What is the duration of the scholarship?

Scholarships are awarded for a period of six months. In exceptional cases and upon application, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin may extend the funding for an additional six months. When requesting an extension, applicants must usually submit proof of having applied for third-party funding from an institution that provides funding for research projects.

What is the value of the scholarship?    

Humboldt Post-Doc Scholarships provide recipients with €1,500 a month. If you have children, you will receive an additional €400 a month for your first child, plus €100 for each additional child. Travel expenses may be covered on request.

Can I apply for a Humboldt Post-Doc Scholarship before I have completed my PhD?

Yes, you can apply for a Humboldt Post-Doc Scholarship before you have completed your PhD. In this case, please submit proof of your forthcoming PhD thesis defense (disputation or viva voce). If you are awarded a scholarship, you can then submit an official copy of your PhD certificate. The funding will only begin once you have completed your PhD.

How long after I have completed my PhD can I apply for a Humboldt Post-Doc Scholarship?

The Humboldt Post-Doc Scholarship funding line is designed to help young researchers take the next step in their academic career after acquiring their PhD. The funding allows recipients to finance the transition phase between the end of their doctorate and the beginning of a postdoctoral research project.
You should therefore either be about to complete or have recently completed your PhD when you apply. If you completed your PhD some time ago, you can still apply. However, in this case you must show that there are very good reasons for considering your application for funding the transition from the PhD to the postdoctoral phase.

What kind of international experience is required?

International experience primarily includes any stays abroad related to your academic education (degree program or scholarship) or for the purposes of teaching or research; it also includes research or teaching projects planned or conducted with partners abroad. This applies to both German and international applicants.

Is there an age limit for candidates?

No. Candidates are chosen in a transparent selection process on the basis of achievement and how well they meet the required qualifications.

In what languages can I submit my application?

Applications and documents can be submitted in English or German. This also applies to the letter of recommendation by your PhD supervisor.

What are the criteria for a possible extension of the funding period?

The selection committee for the funding lines for promoting young researchers, which is part of the Institutional Strategy of the Excellence Initiative, has laid down criteria for a possible extension of the scholarship duration. The following criteria apply: (1) pregnancy / birth of a child during the scholarship period; (2) special personal circumstances, such as serious illness, illness of children aged under twelve and caring for close relatives; (3) unforeseen changes in the conditions for carrying out the planned project for which the scholar is not responsible. The third criterion should only be applied if the scholar would otherwise suffer significant financial hardship. You will find more detailed information on the criteria and on applying for an extension at this link.