Alexander von Humboldt Foundation
Application Deadline: The Selection Committee responsible for reviewing applications to this programme meets every March, July and November
The Humboldt Research Fellowship for researchers of all nationalities and research areas: We support you – postdoctoral and experienced researchers – with your research in Germany.
Through the Humboldt Research Fellowship, the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation sponsors researchers with above-average qualifications from across the globe. As a fellow, you will benefit from individual support from the Humboldt Foundation and our diverse sponsorship portfolio.
Looking ahead to the upcoming meetings of the selection committee, we expect that 20 – 25% of the applications received will be approved.
- Programme information for postdocs (PDF, 131 KB)
- Programme information for experienced researchers (PDF, 122 KB)
- Information for hosts
- Information for expert reviewers
- Information for independent peer reviewers
- Recently selected fellows
We recommend researchers from developing and emerging countries whose research contributes to their countries’ sustainable development to apply for a Georg Forster Research Fellowship, which is equivalent to a Humboldt Research Fellowship.
For the time being, researchers from Brazil can only apply for a Capes-Humboldt Research Fellowship. For the duration of the joint Capes-Humboldt Programme it is not possible to apply for a Humboldt Research Fellowship.
What we offer
The Humboldt Research Fellowship enables you to conduct your own research at various stages of your career in collaboration with a host at a German research institution of your choice. Hosts may apply for a subsidy towards research costs.
Benefit from research sponsorship in Germany at the beginning of your academic career. The Humboldt Research Fellowship for postdoctoral researchers enables you to conduct research in Germany. The monthly fellowship amount is €2,670. Fellowships may last from 6 to 24 months.
You can still apply for research sponsorship in Germany even if you are already well advanced in your academic career. The Humboldt Research Fellowship for experienced researchers enables you to conduct research in Germany. The fellowship amount is €3,170. Fellowships may last from 6 to 18 months and can be divided into up to three stays within three years.
In addition to the fellowship amount, you will also receive personal support throughout your sponsorship. You are flexible in determining when you would like to start your fellowship. Prior to your research fellowship, you and your marital partner will be able to attend an intensive language course.
Further financial support, including family benefits for children and marital partners, subsidies for private full health insurance and allowances for travel expenses, is also available.
We stay in contact even after your research stay has come to an end. Our alumni sponsorship measures flexibly support every Humboldtian’s individual journey through life, in both their careers and their future research collaborations. A return fellowship or later visits to Germany are also possible.
You must meet the following criteria
The Humboldt Research Fellowship addresses post-doctoral researchers with above-average qualifications from across the globe – regardless of their field.
Did you complete your doctorate – or equivalent academic qualification – during the last four years? Or are you within six months of completing your doctorate and can already provide a written summary of your findings? Have you been published in academic journals and by publishing houses that are reviewed according to international standards? If so, and if you fulfil the criteria under the “What is required of you” section, apply for the Humboldt Research Fellowship for postdoctoral researchers.
Did you complete your doctorate – or equivalent academic qualification – during the last twelve years? Is your academic profile substantiated by an extensive list of publications in academic journals and by publishing houses that are reviewed according to international standards? If so, and if you fulfil the criteria under the “What is required of you” section, apply for the Humboldt Research Fellowship for experienced researchers.
If a doctorate in your field or country of origin is not possible or uncommon, you can still apply up to 16 years after completing your master’s or other postgraduate degree provided that you have a publication record commensurate with your career level.
What is required of you
You must fulfil the following criteria to successfully apply for the Humboldt Research Fellowship.
Confirmation that research facilities are available/host’s statement
You must abide by the rules of good scientific practice (PDF) and the principles of scientific ethics.
You may not apply for the Humboldt Research Fellowship if you have already received sponsorship from the Humboldt Foundation. In such cases, our alumni programmes are open to you.
Is the Humboldt Research Fellowship not the most suitable fellowship for you? Use our Programme Search to find the sponsorship that fits your personal career or contact us for individual advice.
How to apply
If you would like to apply for the Humboldt Research Fellowship, please submit the necessary documents to the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation online only.
If you have any doubts or questions, please contact us (info[at]avh.de) before submitting your application. We are happy to help.
What we need from you
Please note that you may only submit your application once you have uploaded the following documents in the application form:
- curriculum vitae (two pages max)
- research outline ( five pages max)
- complete list of your publications (cf. sample list, PDF)
- list of selected key publications (cf. sample list, PDF)
- key publications
- doctoral certificate or proof that your doctorate has been completed successfully, or confirmation that this will be the case within the next six months
- German language certificate, if required
- if required: publisher’s acceptance notifications and/or acknowledgement of receipt and summaries/translations of key publications that are not available in German or in English
- In addition: host’s statement and confirmation that research facilities are available, as well as two expert reviews. Please note that these documents can only be uploaded in a protected area by the host(s) and expert reviewers personally. You can only submit your application once these documents have been uploaded. Further information and explanations can be found on the application form.
As soon as we have received your online application, we will send you written confirmation by email. After reviewing your documents, we will notify you of the expected selection date.
The Selection Committee responsible for reviewing applications to this programme meets every March, July and November. Please send your completed application form, including any additional documents required, well in advance of the desired selection date. Applications are usually processed within four to eight months. Incomplete or inaccurate applications take longer to process and often have to be postponed to a later Selection Committee meeting.
The deadline for meeting certain formal conditions – in particular those relating to limitations on career stages and previous stays in Germany – is the date on which we receive your application.
If your application is successful, you may begin your fellowship between two and twelve months after being selected.
If your application is unsuccessful, we may provide you with the reasons for our decision. Please request this information informally by email. You and your host will receive a letter with the outcome of your application approximately five weeks after the decision is made. Decisions cannot be appealed. You can, however, re-apply if you significantly improve crucial aspects of the rejected application. In the case of unanimously rejected applications, you must unfortunately wait a minimum of 18 months before re-applying.