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Research Fellowships

Research Fellowships are intended to help early career researchers to conduct a defined project at a location of their choice in a country other than Germany and to use it as an opportunity to familiarise themselves with new research methods or to bring a large project to a conclusion.

The DFG would like to point out that during the review process, individual proposals must speak for themselves. Reference letters from third parties are not encouraged and, to ensure the equal treatment of all applicants, are not forwarded to reviewers or decision-making committees.

Information about the Programme


To enable researchers at an early stage of their scientific career to carry out a clearly defined research project at a place of their choice abroad or to acquaint themselves with new scientific research methods

Eligibility Requirements

  • German researchers from all disciplines who have completed their academic qualifications (doctorate)
  • International researchers from all disciplines who have completed their scientific training (doctorate)

provided they have been resident in Germany for several years and have completed at least three years of scientific work as a doctoral or postdoctoral researcher in the German research system and state that they wish to continue to pursue their research in Germany in the future.

Limitations apply to early career researchers who, at the time of application, are abroad. As an exception, established researchers holding a doctorate may submit proposals to allow them to dedicate themselves to a research project of particular importance.

Proposal Requirements

High scientific quality and originality of a research project at an international level

Type and Extent of Funding

Basic fellowship plus monthly lump sum payment to cover maintenance and travel costs

Where applicable:

  • Foreign allowance
  • Travel allowance
  • Publication costs

Benefits for fellowship recipients with children:

  • Children’s supplement
  • Support for costs associated with parenting –fellowship extension or childcare allowance

In addition, funding may also be granted to establish or intensify scientific contacts in Germany or be used towards relocation costs on return to Germany (cf. section VI 1 and 2 of the guidelines). Following the research fellowship, candidates may apply for a return grant to facilitate their reintegration into the German academic and research system.

Funding Duration

As a rule, up to 2 years

Forms and Guidelines

Proposal Deadlines

Proposals may be submitted at any time.



Additional information on the proposal process can be obtained from the relevant programme staff

Queries on programme eligibility can be addressed to

  • Anita Benner

  • Birgit Gemein
  • Marco Steffes

by e-mail:

Please consider that a reply may take some time. Please also have a look at the detailed information on the

By telephone:

  • Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays,
    9:00 am to noon, at 0228/885-3008.

During Your Fellowship
(Contact Persons at the Fellowship Office)

The Fellowship Office is available to help you answer any questions that arise during your fellowship, particularly those relating to taxation and social security benefits. You can contact us in the following ways:

Reference code letters / Contact person: