Changing Grant Types for Heisenberg Fellows Funded Prior to 2018 (Valid from 1 January 2018)
Questions and Answers
Requirements for Changing Grant Types
You can switch to a Heisenberg position, a Heisenberg temporary substitute position for clinicians or a Heisenberg professorship if you meet one of the following requirements:
You were awarded a Heisenberg fellowship in 2017 or earlier or on the basis of a proposal submitted prior to 31 December 2017 in the former Heisenberg Programme and you
- have not yet commenced this fellowship.
- have already commenced this fellowship and there are at least 12 months remaining of the total funding duration (60 months) from the date when the switch is to take effect (taking into account any interruptions in funding).
You can choose between
- Heisenberg position: With a Heisenberg position, funding is provided for your post and flexible research.
- Heisenberg temporary substitute position for clinicians: With the Heisenberg temporary substitute position, funding is provided to physicians in human, dental and veterinary medicine and to licensed psychologists for replacement opportunities and for flexible research.
- Heisenberg professorship: With the Heisenberg professorship, funding is provided for a temporary professorship (W2 or W3) at a German university, which must continue to be funded from the university's own budget after the end of DFG funding, as well as flexible research. It is no longer necessary to submit a structural development concept.
Clinician scientists may apply for a temporary substitute position instead of a Heisenberg position. This option is designed to enable them to retain their clinical position and make their clinical expertise available for the purposes of research in the Heisenberg Programme on either a full-time or a part-time basis (at least 49% of a full-time position). The funding requested for the temporary substitute position is used to fund staff who take over the patient-care responsibilities for the Heisenberg position holder.
The option to switch is not available to you
- were awarded a Heisenberg professorship in 2017 or earlier or on the basis of a proposal submitted prior to 31 December 2017 in the former Heisenberg Programme.
- were awarded a Heisenberg professorship (see above) but due to delays in taking up this professorship you have commenced a Heisenberg fellowship as an interim solution.
- have been awarded funding in the Heisenberg Programme (proposal submitted after 1 January 2018), which offers you the choice between four research equivalent grant types.
What options do I have if I have not yet applied for a renewal of the funding for my approved Heisenberg fellowship or my Heisenberg professorship, but plan to do so shortly?
In this case, you should submit a proposal for a Heisenberg grant in the modified Heisenberg Programme (valid from 1 January 2018) and on the electronic form provided on the elan portal, under "Proposal Data – Reference Number", enter the reference number of your approved Heisenberg fellowship or professorship. If the proposal is approved, the three Heisenberg Programme grant types mentioned above (Heisenberg position, Heisenberg temporary substitute position, Heisenberg professorship) and the Heisenberg fellowship (the fourth grant type) will be open to you in accordance with the requirements specified in the programme guidelines.
Requests to Change Grant Types
Check that you meet the requirements for changing grant types and decide which, if any, of the three types (Heisenberg position, Heisenberg temporary substitute position, Heisenberg professorship) you wish to apply for and when.
Decide which institution would be most suitable for your planned research.
Discuss the factors that are important to you (e.g. salary, work setting, core support, teaching opportunities/duties, administrative support, autonomy) with your current institution or your proposed new institution.
Conclude the agreements that you consider necessary to your specific situation and research work and have them signed by a person who is authorised to represent the institution. It is also possible to submit only a final draft of the contract and then to conclude the actual contract of employment following approval by the DFG. In that case, a signed contract of employment which is identical to the final draft must be submitted before the first tranche of funding is claimed.
When choosing the date on which you wish the change to take effect, please select a date about two months ahead.
Please also note that the switch must be implemented on the first of the month.
There is an online form for a "Proposal for switching variant in the Heisenberg Programme". Please sign this and send it to the DFG along with your contract with the accepting institution or the final draft of the contract.
Please submit your proposal either via the elan portal (Proposal Overview -> select your proposal -> Continue -> Form for submitting comments, inquiries and additions to the DFG Head Office -> Start online form) or to the specialist department named as the sender in your award letter.
Processing Your Request
The DFG Head Office will check the formal aspects of the proposed change (whether the applicant has fellow status, whether there is sufficient time remaining for the funding, and whether the documentation is complete).
After your request has been processed by the DFG Head Office, if you satisfy the necessary criteria you will receive a letter notifying you of the decision on the proposed change. This letter will be sent to the address you provided on your change request form. A similar letter will be sent to your chosen institution.
Please allow one to two months from receipt of the completed request including the attached documents.
Decision and Disbursement of Funds
What remuneration is offered for my Heisenberg position, Heisenberg temporary substitute position or Heisenberg professorship?
The actual amount of the remuneration for your Heisenberg position, Heisenberg temporary substitute position or Heisenberg professorship must be agreed individually with the personnel management department at your chosen institution.
Details as to the funds available can be found in the overview
under the headings
Heisenberg position: Head of independent junior research group/Heisenberg grant
Heisenberg temporary substitute position for clinicians: Medical research assistant
Heisenberg professorship: Professorship
In addition to the funds for the Heisenberg position, Heisenberg temporary substitute position or Heisenberg professorship, flexible research funds amounting to €1,000 per month are made available for direct project costs, travel expenses and fixed publication costs.
You will still have access to any remaining funds from higher publication costs awarded to you as part of the Heisenberg fellowship.
For funding for these three grant types (Heisenberg position, Heisenberg temporary substitute position and Heisenberg professorship), a programme allowance for indirect project costs is provided in accordance with the usual regulations.
While your fellowship rates are paid to you directly by the DFG, in future you will be employed by your chosen institution and will be paid in accordance with the institution's own arrangements. The necessary funds will be claimed from the DFG by the institution's administrators.
After Switching Grant Types
After commencing your Heisenberg position, Heisenberg temporary substitute position or Heisenberg professorship, you still have the option of moving to another research institution.
For this switch, you can also use the online change request form.
Can I switch between a Heisenberg position, Heisenberg temporary substitute position and professorship again later (including a change of institution if applicable)?
After commencing your Heisenberg position or Heisenberg temporary substitute position, you can switch between these two grant types. You can also switch from a Heisenberg position or Heisenberg temporary substitute position to a Heisenberg professorship. You may also move to a different research institution at the same time.
For this switch, you can also use the online change request form.
Changes of this kind are no longer possible. If you intend to spend a period abroad for research, this will be based on the requirements for your chosen new grant type. More information can be found in
With effect from 1 January 2018, renewals of Heisenberg fellowships and Heisenberg professorships (approved under the arrangements that applied up to 31 December 2017) can no longer be requested under the old provisions.
As of 1 January 2018, please submit a proposal for funding in the modified Heisenberg Programme with a duration of 24 months.
On the electronic form provided on the elan portal, under "Proposal Data – Reference Number", please enter the reference number of your approved Heisenberg fellowship or Heisenberg professorship.