Research Careers: Following Completion of Doctorates
The DFG offers funding opportunities for all phases following completion of a doctorate: for recent post-doctoral researchers, established post-doctoral researchers and researchers eligible for professorships.
You are entitled to apply to the DFG once you have completed your doctorate. There are no age limits for application. During the review process of your application, your respective career stage will be taken into account, as will phases in which you were only able to work as a researcher to a limited extent or not at all, for instance, due to childcare periods.
The overview with the key facts will give you an idea of which of the DFG's funding programmes might be worth considering for you following completion of the doctorate. You can submit an application to the DFG for individual funding yourself, apply in response to advertisements and for vacant positions or submit a proposal for networking with other researchers. Detailed information on the funding programmes with the applicable regulations can be found in the section
Proposal Submission Options for Individual Funding for Post-doctoral Researchers
Research fellowships enable you to conduct a defined research project at a location of your choice in a country other than Germany and to familiarise yourself with new research methods or to complete a large research project.
This option may be appropriate in the early post-doctoral phase with a view to gaining international research experience and refining your research profile, however, it is also possible at a later stage of your research career.
Funding under the research grant enables you to implement your research idea as an individual research project limited to certain issues and in time at a research institution in Germany.
In addition to the project funds, you can apply for the module of "temporary position for principal investigator" for your project management position.
The Emmy Noether Programme is normally aimed at researchers with two to four years of post-doctoral experience and an outstanding research profile. It enables you to become the head of an independent junior research group at a German research institution of your choice. You will acquire early scientific independence on the road to an appointment.
The Heisenberg Programme funds outstanding researchers eligible to become professors with a view to bridging the gap until a suitable professorship position is available.
It offers you the flexibility to select the type of financing: You can make use of a fellowship, a position, a medical rotation position or a professorship.
- Interner LinkHeisenberg-Programme
- Interner LinkDossier "Vor der Berufung - Das Heisenberg-Programm"
(available only in German)
Application Options for Post-doctoral Researchers
As a post-doctoral researcher, you can participate in a position in an approved DFG-funded project or group. This includes projects associated with individual grants as well as groups such as Collaborative Research Centres, Research Training Groups, Research Units and Priority Programmes.
You benefit from assured quality: The project or group, the researchers involved and the environment have been reviewed and selected beforehand as part of a competitive process.
This option is offered in the early post-doctoral phase with a view to gaining further research experience and refining your research profile, however, it is also possible at other stages of the research career.
- Externer LinkGEPRIS - DFG-funded Projects
- Interner LinkCurrent Vacancies Associated with DFG-Funded Projects
Please send your application to the head of the project or group.
- Interner LinkCalls for Proposals - Information for Researchers
During a workshop for early career investigators that usually lasts one week, you can engage in dialogue with experienced researchers from your research area and be advised on and supported in the preparation of your first DFG application.
For workshops for early career investigators, there are advertisements with application deadlines for special research areas where there is a particular need for early career researchers.
Other Proposal Submission Options for Networking
- Interner LinkYour First Proposal – Useful Information on Submitting Proposals
- Interner LinkInterner LinkProposal - Review - Decision
Please send any enquiries regarding DFG scientific early career grant support programmes to the following e-mail address: