Feodor Lynen Research Fellowship for Postdoctoral Researchers
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Submit an application if you are a researcher from Germany with above average qualifications, at the beginning of your academic career and only completed your doctorate in the last four years. A Feodor Lynen Research Fellowship for postdoctoral researchers allows you to carry out a long-term research project (6 to 24 months) you have selected yourself in cooperation with an academic host you have selected yourself at a research institution abroad. The host must be an academic working abroad who has already been sponsored by the Humboldt Foundation. The Humboldt Foundation expects the host to contribute to financing the research fellowship.
Scientists and scholars from all disciplines may apply to the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation directly at any time. The Humboldt Foundation grants up to 150 Feodor Lynen Research Fellowships for postdoctoral researchers and experienced researchers annually.
Short-term study visits, participation in congresses and training courses cannot be financed.
Other important details
- Doctorate, completed less than four years prior to the date of application. Candidates who have nearly completed their doctoral degrees are eligible to apply provided that they submit the manuscript of their dissertation or publications containing the results of their dissertation.
- Academic publications reviewed according to international standards and printed in journals and/or by publishing houses.
- Confirmation that research facilities are available and mentoring agreement and a detailed expert's report from an academic host (Humboldt Guest Researcher) at a research institution abroad. On request, the Foundation will confirm whether the prospective host is a researcher previously sponsored by the Humboldt Foundation and/or whether there is a former Humboldt Guest Researcher cooperating with the designated institute (How to find a host). Details of the research project and the proposed timetable must be discussed with the prospective host prior to application.
- Expert reviews from the doctoral supervisor and two other academics qualified to give well-founded comments on the applicant's eligibility, preferably including reviewers not working at the applicant's own institute.
- Language skills: good knowledge of the language spoken in the host country or at least a very good knowledge of English are required.
- Applications to continue a research stay already underway can only be considered in exceptional cases. The applicant may not have spent an extended period in the host country prior to application. Potential applicants who have been in the host country for more than six months at the time of application are not eligible to apply.
- The Humboldt Foundation assumes that candidates will abide by the Rules of Good Scientific Practice during the application and sponsorship periods.
Applications may be sent to the following address at any time:
Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, Selection Department,
Jean-Paul-Str. 12, 53173 Bonn, Germany
The complete application should be submitted to the Humboldt Foundation at least four to seven months ahead of the prospective selection date.
The Humboldt Foundation will confirm receipt of the application by email. It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure that he or she has submitted all the necessary documents. Applications not submitted as a single entity will take longer to process. Grossly incomplete applications will be returned to applicants unprocessed.
After providing all the documents and receipt of the host’s statement, applicants will be notified about the proposed selection date. The application documents will then usually be forwarded to two independent reviewers for written review. On the basis of these independent peer reviews a selection committee composed of about 20 academics from all disciplines reaches a decision on approving research fellowships. The selection committee meets three times a year, in February, June and October. If an application has been approved a fellow arriving from abroad may start the fellowship two months after the selection meeting at the earliest. Fellows must start their fellowships within twelve months of the selection meeting; otherwise the fellowship will be forfeited.
When submitting applications candidates may also apply to be informed about the reasons for a rejection should their applications be turned down by the selection committee. In this case, applicants and their hosts will receive separate notification on this issue in addition to the selection decision approx. four to six weeks after the selection committee meeting. It is not possible to appeal. However, applicants who have been rejected may submit a revised application provided that fundamental aspects of the original application have been manifestly improved.
One of our hallmarks is the degree of support we try to provide for every single guest researcher. This is why we offer you extra benefits in addition to the monthly research fellowship: from invitations to events to family allowances.
Once a Humboldtian, always a Humboldtian: Even after your research stay has come to an end, we shall still maintain close contact with you. Our alumni sponsorship is flexible and designed to support every Humboldtian’s particular path in life and development as well as collaborations between individuals.
This programme is financed by the:
Can I apply before I have completed my doctorate?
What determines the date of a doctorate?
Which date is valid if I have several doctorates?
My doctorate was completed less than four years ago. Can I apply for a fellowship for experienced researchers?
My doctorate was completed more than four years ago. Can I apply for a fellowship for postdoctoral researchers?
Will you take into consideration the time I devoted to bringing up my children?
I am a German citizen and am already living abroad. Can I apply?
However, there are certain exceptions regarding stays abroad:
- Stays in the prospective host country (currently or until recently):
You can apply if
- you have been in the host country for less than six months at the time the Humboldt Foundation receives your application or
- you have returned from a stay in the host country of more than six months and subsequently have been in Germany for at least twelve months at the time the Humboldt Foundation receives your application.
- Stays abroad (except in the host country):
You can apply if
- you have been living abroad for less than five years at the time the Humboldt Foundation receives your application or
- you have spent more than five years abroad, but have now been living back in Germany for at least twelve months at the time the Humboldt Foundation receives your application.
I am not a German national. Can I apply?
I'm a physician (MD / Dr. med.). Are there any special admission requirements?
In addition, please read our "Admission Questionnaire for Physicians (MD / Dr. med.)" for detailed information.
Who can be my academic host?
Why must at least one of the hosts in the Feodor Lynen Research Fellowship Programme be a Humboldtian?
Can I conduct my research project with two academic hosts?
In the event that I have two hosts how do I cooperate with both?
I do not know if my prospective host is a former Humboldt fellow.
What contribution is expected from the host?
My host cannot make any financial contribution to the fellowship. Will you still consider my application?
When and how often do Selection Committee Meetings take place?
Can I apply to several Humboldt Foundation fellowship programmes at the same time, or can I apply for a Humboldt Fellowship and the Sofja Kovalevskaja Award at the same time if I fulfil the formal requirements?
Can I apply for a research fellowship for a period of less than six months?
I am a postdoctoral researcher. Can I divide up my research stay?
How soon can I begin the fellowship period?
When do I have to start the fellowship period at the latest?
What is the value of the fellowship?
Will you pay the fellowship retroactively if I am already at the host institute at the time of being selected?
Can I apply for a fellowship from another institution at the same time I submit my application to the Humboldt Foundation?
Are there deadlines for submitting applications?
Selection Committee Meetings take place three times a year: in February, June and October. Applications should be submitted at least four to seven months ahead of the prospective selection meeting. If we do not receive the application package in its entirety you must assume that processing will take longer.
A graphic display of the complete application process can be found under "timeline of selection procedure".
Where should I send my application?
Can I submit my application via e-mail?
What form should the application documents take?
Should my expert reviews be sent directly to the Humboldt Foundation or enclosed with the application?
What happens if expert reviews are submitted before the application is received?
Who should provide expert reviews for my application and how many expert reviews are required?
Which publications should I enclose with my application?
If you wish to cite your dissertation as a key publication but have not yet submitted it for print, please enclose the original manuscript of your doctoral thesis (three copies on CD-ROM).
You will find detailed information in our Guidelines for completing the application for researchers coming to Germany and for researchers going abroad.
May I include works that have not yet been submitted for publication in the list of key publications and the complete list of publications?
Exception: Your dissertation may be cited as a key publication even if you have not yet submitted it to a publisher. If you wish to cite your dissertation as a key publication but have not yet submitted it for print, please enclose the original manuscript of your doctoral thesis on CD-ROM.
I have not yet completed my doctorate. Do I have to hand in my doctoral certificate later?
What are key publications?
Please note that you cannot amend your selection of key publications once the selection process has begun.
How many key publications should I cite?
If you are applying for a fellowship for experienced researchers you must choose at least three key publications. You may cite a maximum of five.
How should I explain why I have chosen a key publication?
Should my key publications also be cited in the complete list of publications?
Please note that it is not possible to amend the list of publications submitted to the Humboldt Foundation once the selection process has begun.