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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 Fellowship for Funding Abroad

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.

Further Information:

Research Project with Temporary Position for Principal Investigator Under the Research Grant

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.

Further Information:

Head of an Independent Junior Research Group Under the Emmy Noether Programme

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.

Further Information:

En Route to a Professorship Under the Heisenberg Programme

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.

Further Information:

Application Options for Post-doctoral Researchers

Participation as a Post-doctoral Researcher in a DFG Research Project or Group

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.

Further Information:

Participation in a Workshop for Early Career Investigators for First-Time Applicants

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

Scientific Networks

The funding enables you to engage in topic- and task-specific dialogue with other researchers in different locations predominantly in the early career stage.

Further Information:

Initiation of International Collaboration

The funding enables you to take part in exchange visits and joint events with international researchers.

Further Information:

Further information


Please send any enquiries regarding DFG scientific early career grant support programmes to the following e-mail address: