Alexander von Humboldt Foundation
Application Deadline: The Selection Committee responsible for reviewing applications to this programme meets every March, July and November
Georg Forster Research Fellowship
postdoctoral and experienced researchers contributing to sustainable development developing or transition countries in accordance with OECD (excluding PR China and India) 6–24-month research stay in Germany
Georg Forster Research Fellowship for Sustainable Development
The Alexander von Humboldt Foundation grants the Georg Forster Research Fellowship to researchers in all disciplines from developing and emerging countries (see list of countries, PDF) who have above-average qualifications.
With this fellowship the Humboldt Foundation acknowledges the important role of researchers from these countries in achieving the UN’s 17 sustainable development goals and thus provides them with sponsorship that is equivalent to the Humboldt Research Fellowship.
- Programme information for postdocs (PDF, 150 KB)
- Programme information for experienced researchers (PDF, 151 KB)
- Information for hosts
- Information for expert reviewers
- Information for independent peer reviewers
- Research fellows in portrait
- Recently selected fellows
The Humboldt Foundation also grants the Georg Forster Research Award to internationally recognised scientists from developing and transition countries.
What we offer
The Georg Forster 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 for research costs.
Benefit from research sponsorship in Germany at the beginning of your academic career. The Georg Forster 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 Georg Forster Research Fellowship for experienced researchers enables you to conduct research in Germany. The monthly 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 German 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.
You must meet the following criteria
The Georg Forster Research Fellowship is exclusively for post-doctoral researchers with above-average qualifications from developing or transition countries. Your research must address questions relevant to the further development of your region of origin, regardless of your 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 Georg Forster Research Fellowship for postdoctoral researchers.
Did you complete your doctorate – or equivalent 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 Georg Forster 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
To successfully apply for the Georg Forster Research Fellowship, your research should make a significant contribution to the further development of your region of origin. You must also fulfil the following criteria:
Place of residence/stay
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 Georg Forster Research Fellowship if you have already received sponsorship from the Humboldt Foundation. In such cases, our alumni programmes are open to you.
How to apply
If you would like to apply for the Georg Forster 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 to the application form:
- curriculum vitae (two pages max)
- research outline (five pages max)
- complete list of your publications (cf. sample list, PDF)
- list of 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: acceptance form and/or publisher’s acknowledgement of receipt and summaries/translations of key publications that are not available in German or 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 February, June and October. 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 your application is received.
If your application is successful, you may begin your fellowship between two and twelve months after being selected.
If your application is unsuccessful, reasons for the decision are provided. 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 your rejected application. In the case of unanimously rejected applications, you must unfortunately wait a minimum of 18 months before re-applying.