Georg Forster Research Fellowship (HERMES) for Experienced Researchers
Submit an application if you are a researcher from a developing country with above average qualifications, completed your doctorate less than twelve years ago, already have your own research profile and are working at least at the level of Assistant Professor or Junior Research Group Leader or have a record of several years of independent academic work. A Georg Forster Research Fellowship (HERMES) for experienced researchers allows you to carry out a long-term research project (6−18 months) you have selected yourself in cooperation with an academic host you have selected yourself at a research institution in Germany. The fellowship is flexible and can be divided up into as many as three stays within three years. The research fellowship programme is financed by the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (Bundesministerium für wirtschaftliche Zusammenarbeit und Entwicklung – BMZ) and – subject to the final financial commitment – co-financed by the EU Marie Curie action 'co-funding of regional, national and international programmes' (COFUND).
Applications can be submitted no earlier than 01.08.2013 until mid-2015 (exact date TBD).
Scientists and scholars of all disciplines from developing countries, emerging economies and transition states (excluding People's Republic of China and India; c.f. detailed list of countries) may apply to the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation directly at any time. The research proposal must address issues of significant relevance to the further development of your country of origin and, in this context, promise to facilitate the transfer knowledge and methods to developing and threshold countries.
The Humboldt Foundation grants up to 80 Georg Forster Research Fellowships for postdoctoral researchers and experienced researchers annually. Short-term study visits, participation in congresses and training courses cannot be financed.
To apply, please only use the application documents which can be downloaded here.
Other important details
- Doctorate or comparable academic degree (Ph.D., C.Sc. or equivalent), completed less than twelve years prior to the date of application. If it is not possible or customary to take a doctorate in the candidate's subject or country, applications may be submitted up to twelve years after commencing publication activity.
- The candidate's own research profile documented by a comprehensive list of academic publications in reviewed journals and for publishing houses.
- Choice of a research project of major relevance to the future development of the candidate's country of origin, including options for transferring knowledge and methods; details of the research project and the proposed timetable must be discussed with the prospective host prior to application.
- Confirmation that research facilities are available and mentoring agreement and a detailed expert's report from an academic host at a research institution in Germany.
- Three expert reviews from important collaborative partners and/or academics from the candidate's own institute and, if possible, from abroad.
- Language skills: scholars in the humanities or social sciences and physicians must have a good knowledge of German if it is necessary to carry out the project successfully; otherwise a good knowledge of English; scientists and engineers must have a good knowledge of German or English.
- The applicant may not have spent an extended period in Germany prior to application. Applications to continue a research stay already underway can only be considered in exceptional cases. Potential applicants who have been in Germany for more than six months at the time of application are not eligible to apply.
- Citizenship as well as principal place of residence and work in a developing or threshold country (excluding People's Republic of China and India, c.f. detailed list of countries).
- The Humboldt Foundation assumes that candidates will abide by the Rules of Good Scientific Practice and the ethical rules of the 7th EU Framework Programme during the application and sponsorship periods.
Applications can be submitted at any time from 01/08/2013 to mid-2015 using the following address:
Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, Selection Department,
Jean-Paul-Str. 12, 53173 Bonn, Germany
Applications that are sent to the Foundation before 01/08/2013 can unfortunately not be considered for the Georg Forster Research Fellowship programme (HERMES).
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 15 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, via language courses 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:
I have worked in an English-speaking country for several years. Do I need an English language certificate?
It is either not customary or not possible to take a doctorate in my country of origin. Can I apply?
What determines the date of a doctorate?
Which date is valid if I have several doctorates?
I obtained my doctorate more than twelve years ago. Can I still apply?
Will you take into consideration the time I devoted to bringing up my children?
I am from a developing/threshold country. Should I apply for a Humboldt or Georg Forster Fellowship?
Can I apply even if I am not resident in a developing country at the time of application?
I already am or recently have been in Germany. Are there any formal grounds militating against my application?
- you have been in Germany for less than six months at the time the Humboldt Foundation receives your application or
- you have returned from a stay in Germany of more than six months and have subsequently stayed in active research abroad for more than twelve months at the time the Humboldt Foundation receives your application.
Candidates who have completed their school education and a university degree or a university degree and doctorate in Germany are subject to the regulations governing German citizens (see following FAQ).
In all other cases we regret that we cannot consider your application. For information about other funding opportunities please refer to the Internet Portal EURAXESS Germany, which is maintained by the Humboldt Foundation.
From December 1, 2011 onwards it is not possible anymore to apply during or immediately after a doctorate in Germany.
Do I need to know German in order to apply?
- Natural scientists and engineers: good knowledge of German or English is sufficient (language certificate required).
- Scholars in the humanities and social sciences: should have knowledge of German if it is necessary to carry out the project successfully. In this case, a German language certificate confirming proficiency must be submitted. Otherwise, a good knowledge of English is sufficient (language certificate required).
- Physicians: If the research project involves work with patients, the candidate must have a good knowledge of German (language certificate required). Otherwise, a good knowledge of English is sufficient (language certificate required).
English or German is my native language. Do I have to submit a language certificate proving my proficiency?
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.
I'm an educational resident. Can I apply if I'm working abroad?
If you are an educational resident you can apply provided that your uninterrupted, permanent place of residence and work has been in a developing or threshold country (see list of countries).
If in doubt, send us a seamless CV and list of your publications so that we can then advise you (info(at)avh.de).
Who can be my academic host?
How can I find an academic host?
Can I conduct my research project with two academic hosts?
Will my host institute receive any additional funds for the costs it incurs in connection with my research stay?
Please see the respective FAQ of the Department Sponsorship and Network.
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 fellowship from another institution at the same time I submit my application to the Humboldt Foundation?
Can I conduct part of my research work abroad?
Research stays in the fellow's country of origin will, however, normally result in a temporary suspension of the fellowship. Further information: Europe Research Stays.
Can I apply for a research fellowship for a period of less than six months?
Do I have to divide up my research stays strictly according to the model specified by the programme?
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?
Is the intensive German language course part of my research fellowship?
When can I attend a language course?
Do I have to take a language course?
Who bears the travel expenses to and from Germany?
Can I bring my family?
Are there deadlines for submitting applications?
Selection committee meetings take place three times a year, in March, July and November. 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.
How soon can I begin the fellowship period?
If you are coming from abroad, the earliest you may begin the fellowship period is usually two months (three months if you need a visa) after your application has been approved by the Selection Committee.
If you are already in Germany, you can start at the beginning of the following month at the earliest.
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 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.
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.